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Dark Sky Meter

Main Project Information
Presented By
Goal Help scientists measure, understand effects of light pollution.
Task Use the camera of your iphone to measure "skyglow" in real time.
Where Global, anywhere on the planet

The Dark Sky Meter (available for iPhones) allows citizen scientists to contribute to a global map of nighttime light pollution.
Light pollution is a growing problem in urban environments, but now you can help scientists better understand its effects on the environment. The map is also a great help for (amateur) astronomers looking for dark skies.
By utilizing the camera built in to your iPhone, the Dark Sky Meter actually measures ‘skyglow’ and updates the data in real time.

The app also charts weather conditions and cloud cover so you can take readings at optimal times. The app is as easy to use as taking a picture, and is a fun way to learn about your night sky.

The Results are live and visible for everyone on a global light pollution map generated by the app users. Visit to see the map. Since this project has no funding or grants the app costs $1 to cover the hosting costs (which is a steal compared to commercially available light pollution meters).

How to Join

Visit the site and download the app.

Social Media
Materials List iOS app Dark Sky Meter
Ideal Age Group Elementary school (6 - 10 years), Middle school (11 - 13 years), High school (14 - 17 years), College, Graduate students, Adults, Families, Seniors
Ideal Frequency Just once
Average Time Less than an hour
Spend the Time outdoors
Type of Activity At the beach, On a walk, run, On a hike, At a science center, zoo or aquarium, At home
Training Materials
Media Mentions
and Publications
Tags bats, constellation, light, night, pollution, sky, sky quality, sqm, star
Project Updated 04/11/2017