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The Globe at Night March 21, 2006

Posted by Michael McVey in Online Tools.
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globe at night   The National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO) has offices just around the corner from my building on the campus of The University of Arizona and I was delighted to discover their involvement in Globe at Night (GaN), an online program of astronomy observing and reporting for families. Years ago, I suggested such a thing to bring astronomy to neighborhoods as part of a Masters class I was taking. I am delighted to see that vision come to fruition. The first observation task, a challenge for families around the globe, is to make observations of the constellation Orion from March 22 to March 29. The goal is to determine the degree of light pollution. 

Students will use a web page with a sliding bar to help them determine the magnitude of stars they are able to see from “magnitude one,? where only bright stars like Betelgeuse are visible, to “magnitude seven,? where many more stars are visible to the observer. There is an online reporting form, a packet of materials for the observing family, and many other tools. This is an excellent example of engagement with an online tool, development of a community of learners, and an opportunity to learn something new. Tomorrow night, my daughter and I will be outside looking at the stars. 

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