How important is natural light? Which kind of negative effects can excess light inflicts on the natural environment? How many species are affected by light pollution?
Light pollution is a serious thing, with enormous negative effects on the environment, the economy, and the population. It as been scientifically proven, for instance, that human pathologies such as insomnia or stress can be related to light
Experts on the topic are confident that light pollution matters and it has to be drastically reduced. High-level organisations share this worry. The United Nations named the 2015 the International Year of Light in order to foster the debate on the topic improving citizens’ awareness.
Building on the relevancy of the topic, STARS4ALL is in the first line to fight against light pollution. STARS4ALL is creating a structured community of people aware of the problem and ready to fight against it. The community will be created through the engagement of all potentially interested people, from amateurs to experts, in activities such as games, seminars, events and the streaming of astronomical events.
We all live under the same sky, so why don’t share the same community?
Description of the outcome
Measuring light pollution worldwide in real time
The Telescope Encoder and Sky Sensor (TESS) is a compact device to monitor night sky brightness every night.
This photometer has been designed by astronomers to be installed on the outside measuring 24/7. TESS monitors sky brightness variations every minute and therefore light pollution evolution through time.
With TESS, users will be able to check the sky brightness using their PCs or smartphones (local mode). They can also configure their devices for sending their measurements to the STARS4ALL open data repository.
The project is deploying a network of devices around the world and they will be available soon for the general public to purchase.
What you need to use it
To join the STARS4ALL photometer network users will need to install a TESS in a high place (usually a roof) with electricity and WIFI connection. After setting the device the photometer works unattended.
The design is open hardware and it includes: TESS contents, electronic parts that should be soldered onto a printed circuit board and the control software which runs into a WIFI module. To build their own TESS, users would need to purchase all the parts and mount them according to the description, then introduce the software onto the WIFI microchip. Electronics, soldering and computer science knowledge are needed for the tasks mentioned.
To obtain useful scientific data, the photometer should be calibrated with the help from the UCM LICA laboratory.
The contact person for this is Jaime Zamorano: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you want to contribute?
For set up and how to use TESS photometer please check the manual in English here (DOCX)
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