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

A/Prof Ángel R. López-Sánchez is an astrophysicist and science communicator working at the School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences, Macquarie University (MQ). He is a recognised expert in the study of how the gas is converted into stars in galaxies and how this affects galaxy evolution. He graduated in Theoretical Physics at the University of Granada (2000) and completed his PhD Thesis in Astrophysics at the prestigious “Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias” (IAC, Spain) and the University of La Laguna (Spain) in 2006. He moved to Australia in 2007, joining CSIRO “Astronomy and Space Science” to perform radio-interferometric observations of gas-rich galaxies at the Australian Telescope Compact Array. In 2011 he joined the Australian Astronomical Observatory and Macquarie University combining instrumentation support, research, lecturing, and outreach. He was appointed as a full-time research academic at the School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences at Macquarie University in May 2023. He is the president of the association of Spanish Researchers in Australia-Pacific (SRAP), the vice-president of the Astronomical Association of Córdoba (AAC, Spain), representative in the Andalusian Astronomy Network (RAdA), and member of the International Astronomical Union (IAU), the Spanish Astronomy Society (SEA), and the Australian Astronomy Society (ASA). He is a globally-recognised science communicator, with visibility in Spanish and Australian printed, broadcast, and social media. He is also a passionate amateur astronomer that uses his own equipment for capturing the beauty of the Cosmos. His stunning astronomy time-lapse videos and photos have received +1/2 million views in YouTube and have been seen in TV channels in USA, Australia and Spain, science museums worldwide, and textbooks.