2021 Star Count
2021 Star Count
The 2021 Star Count results are in! In February, we asked you to look at the night sky and count the stars you could see with the naked eye within the constellation of Orion. Dark starry skies are a marvellous sight, and we believe they can be a special and enriching aspect of the countryside.
The results of this citizen science project can be used comparatively over time to measure light pollution changes, and we were delighted that so many residents took part this year in Buckinghamshire. We received results from 104 participants across the county, who counted an average of 12 stars.
Wonderfully, the results for our county indicate that 5.8% of stargazers counted more than 30 stars, which is indicative of truly dark skies. This is higher than the national average of 5.3%, and the highest numbers in Buckinghamshire were seen near Little Missenden, Taplow and Great Marlow.
On the other hand, 56.7% saw 10 or fewer stars compared to a national average of 51%, which signifies severe light pollution. These included built-up areas such as Milton Keynes, Aylesbury, and High Wycombe. Not only does severe light pollution undermine our ability to enjoy the glory of the night sky, but it can also have detrimental effects on the ecosystem, especially for nocturnal animals such as bats.
A truly dark sky allows us to appreciate a smidgen of the wonder and beauty of the Universe, and it is our earnest desire that this will be something inhabitants of Buckinghamshire can enjoy for years to come.