Get Involved: Resource Stewardship - Dark Sky Monitoring
Dark Sky Monitoring
Assist state parks in learning more about the quality of the night sky by collecting measurements of light pollution at night. CPW is working to document sky brightness in State Parks through the Dark Sky Monitoring community science program. We connect volunteers with tools to collect dark sky data that can be used to help preserve and protect the nighttime environment and our heritage of dark skies. Help us identify parks for recognition of their Dark Sky quality so that astronomers, campers, and nighttime photographers know where to see the Milky Way, escape to true nighttime, and enjoy the natural night sky! Using a smart phone or printed star charts, our Dark Sky monitors take a few minutes on moonless nights to document how many stars can be seen with the naked eye. Observations can be made year round in different moon phases (new moon is best). To fully document a park's night sky quality, multiple measurements need to be taken, depending on the size of the park the time commitment would vary. Observations may be made in any state park that allows overnight recreation - please check the state park website before visiting! No experience needed.
To fully record a park's dark sky quality, 2-4 hours may be needed in one night. However, a signle observation should take less than 15 minutes.
Learn how to measure dark sky quality and help CPW identify parks eligible for certification through International Dark Sky Association.
Outdoors and Community Science - Dark Sky Monitoring