Globe at Night

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In this international citizen science activity, learners measure their night sky brightness and submit their observations into an online database. This popular program has generated 100,000 measurements from people in 115 countries! This activity introduces learners to the concept of light pollution and how it can affect energy consumption, wildlife and health. Resources are available in more than 20 languages.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
free per student

Age Range:
Ages 4 - adult

Resource Type:

Chinese, English, French, German, Greek, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish

Materials List (per student)

  • Globe at Night Activity Packet
  • Something to write on
  • Something to write with
  • Red light to preserve night vision
  • Optional: smart mobile device, GPS unit, or a topographic map to determine your latitude or longitude
  • A computer with an internet connection for submitting data


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Astronomy
      • Stars and Galaxies
  • Physical Sciences
  • Life Sciences
    • Ecology
      • Human Impact
  • Mathematics
    • Data Analysis and Probability
      • Data Collection
    • Geometry
    • Number and Operations
      • Fractions
      • Number Systems
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
  • The Nature of Technology
    • Technology and Society
      • Impacts of Technology
      • Technology and the Environment

Informal Categories

  • Citizen Science
  • Nature and Environment
  • Outdoor Activity


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • use keyboard

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Foreign language versions of this resource:

Components that are part of this resource:

Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All rights reserved, National Optical Astronomy Observatory,

Funding Sources:

  • Centro de Apoyo a la Didáctica de la Astronomía
  • International Dark-Sky Association
  • National Science Foundation