The night sky has inspired romance, wonder, and art for thousands of years. Check out the story of Cepheus and Cassiopeia. He was the easy going king of Ethiopia and she was the vain queen, a “mirror, mirror on the wall” type. Poseidon sent a sea monster after Cassiopeia for insulting his wife. She survived that ordeal, only to then insult Hera, queen of the Greek gods. Hera dispatched Cassiopeia to the sky. A heart broken Cepheus begged his buddy Zeus to send him to be with his beloved Cassiopeia. Now Cephus and Cassiopea permanently embrace in the heavens.
How would you like a romantic Valentine’s date that also contributes to science? Turn on the Globe at Night webbapp, bundle up your sweety, then go outside to look at the stars. As you cuddle, tell the app what you see, press submit, and become a citizen scientist! The app is easy to use. It shows you 6 versions of the night sky. You pick the one that looks most like what you see. If you are in the city, where only a few stars are visible, you can still participate. Just pick the image that only shows a few stars.
Globe at Night is an international citizen-science campaign to raise public awareness of the impact of light pollution by inviting citizen-scientists to measure & submit their night sky brightness observations. It’s easy to get involved – all you need is computer or smart phone.
Scientists are asking ordinary citizens to help measure light pollution, so the scientist can determine how we are doing at protecting our night sky. You don’t need detailed knowledge about constellations or astronomy. All you need to do is find Orion’s Belt. For help with that, check out a previous Name a Star post.
To maximize your star gazing experience, buy a star from Name a Star to present to your sweety. Be prepared: pack a picnic, a blanket, and groundsheet if it is wet, a few cushions for extra comfort and plenty of warm clothes. For true romance a bottle of wine or flask of hot chocolate is a must. Learn which constellations are visible, so you can point them out and impress your date.
Stargazing together is deeply romantic, free, and Covid safe. Reconnect with your loved one and let Mother Nature take your breath away.