Press Release

December 11, 2006
  • Air & Transportation

"Star Watching Network" for the Winder 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 interests 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 activities is available on the MOE webpage for children (in Japanese).

FY2006 Winter Star Watching

(1) Period
Monday, January 8 - Sunday, January 21, 2007
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 (in the vicinity of Perseus, Geminids, and Monoceros).
(b) With binoculars
Observe stars near the racket-shaped area in Pleiades star clusters and check the magnitude of stars observed.
(c) Photographing stars
Photograph 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 23 locations at which observation is conducted consecutively by the same method as those for photographing stars mentioned in (2)-(c) above, to assess night sky brightness.

For Japanese