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Star Watching Network: the Implementation of Winter Star Watching For FY 2008

December 18, 2008

"Star Watching Network" is an activity in which individuals simultaneously nation-wide star observation by familiar means, such as with the naked eyes or binoculars. This project has been conducted twice a year (summer and winter) since 1988 with the aim of stimulating interests of participants toward clean and clear atmosphere without any light or air pollution.

Through this project, the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) has tried to widely appeal the significance of clean air. The MOE will further promote various policies which foster favorable outdoor lighting set-ups, the prevention of global warming and the improvement of local atmospheric environment, such as the diffusion of lighting apparatuses with less light leakage into the air and with subdued lighting.

1. FY 2008 Winter Star Watching
(1) Duration
Sunday, January 16 - Saturday, January 29, 2009
Participants are required to watch the stars for more than one day during the period.
(2) Observation method
(a) The naked eye
Observe the Milky Way in three different altitudes (in the vicinity of Perseus, Gemini, and Monoceros).
(b) Binoculars
Observe stars near the racket-shaped area in the Pleiades star clusters and check the magnitude of the stars observed.

(3) How to participate
Apply to the authorities in charge of air quality management in prefectural, ordinance designated cities, or in the core city governments.
Star Watching Network activities are introduced in the MOE webpage for children at http://www.env.go.jp/kids/star.html (in Japanese).

(4) Fixed point observation
The MOE has designated 23 locations at which observation is conducted consecutively for photographing stars, in order to assess night sky brightness.


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