Kids Starry Night – suggested project

The problem:

Many children, especially living in towns and cities, never see a dark starry sky.

The solution:

When a cloud-free night is approaching, TV weather reports will give out locations where a starry sky can be safely viewed by accompanied children, accessible by public transport. Ages will probably be around 8 to 12 year olds.

The method:

1. Preparatory meetings are held between media, academic, transport, and public safety organisations: probably one grouping per county apart from media.

2. Suitable “dark sky” locations away from urban light pollution and accessible by public transport are identified. Suggestions: Shaw & Crompton; Town Green.

3. Plans are established, including transport timetables, station staffing, police and first aid cover, astronomy volunteers, near-to-station supervised viewing areas.

4. BBC and ITV regional weather forecasters decide a night-time is 24 to 48 hours away which has a high probability of no cloud cover. This is broadcast, along with a project web link.

5. Events take place, possibly different dates for different counties depending on the local cloud cover forecasts.

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