Press Release

August 01, 2006
  • Air & Transportation

"Star Watching Network" for the Summer 2006 to be Held

The "Star Watching Network" is an activity of nation-wide, simultaneous star observation using familiar means, such as binoculars or with naked eyes. This project has been conducted twice a year (summer and winter) since 1988 and is aimed at stimulating the interest of people toward a clean and clear sky without any light or air pollution.

The Ministry of the Environment (MOE) intends to widely publicize the significance of clean air through this project. The MOE seeks to foster favorable outdoor lighting set-ups by carrying out measures to diffuse lighting installations, such as those with subdued lighting or with less upward light spill, and to eventually improve local air quality and contribute to global warming prevention. Information on the Star Watching Network is available on the MOE website for children (in Japanese).

2006 Summer Star Watching

(1) Period
Tuesday, August 15 - Monday, August 28, 2006
Participants are encouraged to watch the stars on more than one night during the period.

(2) How and what to observe
(a) With naked eyes: Observe the Milky Way at three different altitudes (around Cygnus, Scutum, and Sagittarius).
(b) With binoculars: Observe stars in a triangle-shaped area in Lyrae including a first magnitude star (Vega) and check the magnitude of stars that can be observed.
(c) Photographing stars: Take photographs of the night sky near the zenith, using a single-lens reflex camera utilizing reversal film (film for slides).

(3) How to participate
Apply to the authorities in charge of air quality management in prefectural, ordinance designated city, or core city governments

(4) Fixed point observation
The MOE has designated 24 locations at which observation is conducted consecutively by the same method mentioned in (2)-(c) above (photographing stars), in order to estimate sky glow.

For Japanese