Midiendo la contaminación lumínica en Australia con Ciencia Ciudadana

Nuestro socio, el astrofísico y divulgador científico Ángel López-Sánchez (Australian Astronomical Optics, Macquarie University), está involucrado en un proyecto de ciencia ciudadana que pretende medir la contaminación lumínica en Australia este domingo, 21 de junio, día del solsticio de invierno (en el hemisferio Sur, claro). Ángel ha escrito esta entrada en su página web (en inglés) que reproducimos íntegramente aquí.


Measure the light pollution in your street this Sunday

My «SpaceNews» for the episode of «The Skyentists» that Kirsten and me released yesterday was to talk about the citizen science project that is running this Sunday, 21st June (Winter Solstice in the Southern Hemisphere) with the aims of measure the light pollution in Australia and New Zealand.

You have all the information about the event on the webpage of the Australasian Dark Sky Alliance, and PLEASE do register to participe on it. It is very easy and fun to do: just observe the sky with your unaided eye and estimate how many stars do you see using the Globe at Night Web App.

This citizen science project is also part of the Guinness World Records ™ Official Attempt for Most users to take an online environmental sustainability lesson in 24 hours.

As you know, I’ve been fighting the big problem of the light pollution for decades, and not only because it negatively affects us, astronomers, but also because of the huge environmental impact that the light pollution is, with plenty of negative effects in flora, fauna and our health, and on top of that it is a stupid way of wasting our resources (and MONEY) and contribute to CO2 emission.

Hence, I’m helping as much as I can to promote this citizen science project and make the people aware of what we are missing because we are not illuminating properly our cities.

Science in Public has prepared a media release about it, and I have contributed with several of my astronomical images and timelapses.

This morning, Marnie Ogg, CEO of the Australasian Dark Sky Alliance, has been interviewed by the famous weather presenter, meteorologist and science communicator Nate Byrne in the public Australian TV channel, ABC, about it.


And I’m very happy because, for some few seconds, I was on TV!!!

I’m very grateful to Niall Byrne (Science in Public), Tanya HaNate Byrne and Marnie Ogg for using my images and videos for all of this, but also for crediting them.

So, now you know, this Sunday evening don’t stay inside your house: get your kids, your friends, your family, your parents, your boyfriend or your girlfriend and look at the sky to help us measuring the light pollution in Australia, and perhaps even beating a World Guinness Record!


Acerca de Angel.Lopez-Sanchez

Dr Ángel R. López-Sánchez is an astrophysicist and science communicator working at the Australian Astronomical Optics (AAO) and the Department of Physics and Astronomy of the Macquarie University (MQ) in Sydney (NSW, Australia). His research is focused in the analysis of star formation phenomena in galaxies of the Local Universe, especially in dwarf starbursts and spiral galaxies, using multi-wavelength (UV, optical, IR, radio) data. He presented his PhD Thesis at University of La Laguna and the Instituto Astrofisica de Canarias (Spain) in 2006. In 2007 he joined CSIRO Astronomy & Space Science (Sydney) with a postdoctoral position. He then joined the AAO (formerly the Australian Astronomical Observatory) and MQ in 2011. In July 2018 he was appointed as Senior Lecturer at AAO-MQ. He has been providing instrument and observing support at the Anglo-Australian Telescope (AAT, Siding Spring Observatory, NSW) since 2011, being the instrument scientist of several instruments: the multi-fiber spectrograph 2dF+AAOmega and the near-infrared imager and spectrograph IRIS2. He also has large experience with integral-field spectroscopy (IFS), being a very active member of the SAMI collaboration at the AAT and part of the HECTOR Science Team. He currently is the Instrument Scientist of KOALA+AAOmega at the AAT, and leads the international astronomy survey "HI KOALA IFS Dwarf and irregular galaxy Survey" (Hi-KIDS), that is getting unique, high-quality IFS data of a sample of 100 nearby dwarf and irregular galaxies for which 21cm H I interferometric data is available He has large experience teaching undergraduate and PhD students and giving lectures and classes about Astronomy. Dr. López-Sánchez is passionate science communicator who continuously gives talks and public lectures, writes popular science articles and organizes science communication events and stargazing activities. He is very active in social media, his Twitter feed is @El_Lobo_Rayado.