Press Release

July 28, 2009
  • Air & Transportation

Star Watching Network: the Implementation of Summer Star Watching for FY 2009 and the Results of FY 2008 Star Watching

The Star Watching Network is an activity involving simultaneous nation-wide star observation by familiar means, such as with the naked eyes, binoculars or cameras. This project has been conducted twice a year in the summer and winter since 1988, aiming at stimulating participants' interests towards a clean and clear atmosphere without light or air pollution.

The Ministry of the Environment (MOE) tries to appeal to the significance of clean air through this project on a large-scale. The MOE will further promote various policies for fostering favorable outdoor lighting set-ups, global warming prevention and the improvement of local atmospheric environments, such as the diffusion of lighting apparatuses with less light leakage into the air and with subdued lighting. Star Watching Network activities for children are introduced on the MOE's web page at (in Japanese).

1. FY 2009 Summer Star Watching
(1) Duration
Thursday, August 13 - Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Participants are required to watch stars for more than one day during the period.
(2) Observation method
(a) Naked eyes
Observe the Milky Way in three different altitudes (in the vicinity of Cygnus, Scutum, and Sagittarius).
(b) Binoculars Observe stars in a triangle-shaped area in Lyrae including a 1st magnitude star (Vega) and check the magnitude of the stars observed.
(c) Photographing stars
Photograph the night sky near the zenith, using single-lens reflex cameras utilizing reversal film (film for slides). 2. Outline of observation results for FY 2008 Star Watching
Number of groups and individuals participated: While 884 groups applied for participation, 756 groups conducted observation in 800 locations due to bad climatic conditions and other causes. The total number of individuals who participated in the observation is 9,872 (774 groups and 10,871 individuals participated in the FY 2007 Star Watching).

For Japanese