An astronomy post, for a change!
A majority of people now live in cities, so they have not seen all the wonders of the night sky from a truly dark environment. I live in the middle of nowhere, so it's less of a problem here, but there's still pollution from nearby streetlights and the town.
Well, now there's an effort underway to quantify how much light pollution is affecting stargazers around the world. The GLOBE project is asking for your help. It's pretty straightforward:
1) Find your latitude and longitude.GLOBE will then be able to compare pollution levels to last year, when they had 8491 observations. They're hoping for more this year. It's a great excuse for you to go out and look at the stars - and, if you can, encourage others to do the same, especially kids. Generating an interest in Astronomy now will pay off down the road with more educated people in all aspects of science.
2) Find Orion by going outside an hour after sunset
(about 7-10pm local time).
3) Match your nighttime sky to one of their magnitude charts.
4) Report your observation.
5) Compare your observation to thousands around the world.
So, go out and enjoy the sky. They're accepting observations from now until March 8th.