Principals' Memo #1006-10

COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education

February 25, 2010

TO: Principals

FROM: Linda M. Wallinger, Assistant Superintendent for Instruction

SUBJECT: 5th Annual Globe at Night Campaign - March 3-16, 2010

The National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO) has announced the 5th Annual Globe at Night Campaign. Last year several Virginia schools participated in this event.

Globe at Night is an annual two-week campaign in March that helps address the light pollution issue locally as well as globally. This year the campaign is March 3-16, 2010. Everyone all over the world is invited to record the brightness of their night sky by matching its appearance toward the constellation Orion with star maps of progressively fainter stars found at http://www.globeatnight.org/observe_magnitude.html. Measurements are then submitted online at http://www.globeatnight.org/report.html with the date, time, and location. A few weeks later, organizers release a map of light-pollution levels worldwide. Over the last four two-week Globe at Night campaigns, volunteers from over 100 nations have contributed 35,000 measurements.

To learn the five easy steps to participate in the program, visit the Globe at Night website at http://www.globeatnight.org. A 10-minute audio podcast on light pollution and Globe at Night can be found at http://365daysofastronomy.org/2010/02/03/february-3rd-the-globe-at-night-campaign-our-light-or-starlight/. For activities where children can explore what light pollution is, what its effects are on wildlife, and how to prepare for participating in the Globe at Night campaign, visit http://www.darkskiesawareness.org/DarkSkiesRangers.

If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact Sara Marchio, educational technology specialist, by e-mail at Sara.Marchio@doe.virginia.gov or by telephone at (804) 786-0877.

LMW/sm