Call to study Peak Park sky at night

STAR-spotters are being asked to take part in a new project to chart views of Orion's Belt, which is being organised by the Peak District National Park Authority.

The authority is trying to find out how much light pollution obscures our view of the night sky and is asking people to go outside in the Peak District on a clear night to spot the constellation of Orion, with its distinctive "belt" of three bright stars in a line.

People are then asked to log their location, time and date and compare what they see with a series of images available online, showing different views of Orion. Some images show a dark sky, with lots of stars, and others show a lighter sky in which few stars are visible.

Jane Chapman, the Peak District National Park Authority's head of environment, heritage and recreation strategy, said: "Light pollution not only affects our enjoyment of the night sky, it wastes energy and has an impact on the wellbeing of people and wildlife.

"Unfortunately light pollution is increasing each year, so unless we act now, future generations may grow up never experiencing a truly dark night sky."

For details visit the website at www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/darkskies