GLOBE at Night aims at turning the attention of mankind to the heavens once again. But it aims to getting some interesting and useful information on how the heavens look like nowadays, to those who try to see.

The main obstacle for seeing the glory of heavens are the artificial lights around us, whenever we see them. They are so much brighter than the stars, sometimes even much brighter than the Moon. So, to see the remaining stars at all, full adaptation to the sky luminance itself is needed: this demands no common artificial electric lights around. And either no lights indoors before that, or just very faint (even a candlelight is rather strong) and devoid of blue component (i.e., pure yellow or orange; astronomers use very faint red light for seeing star maps, like a bicycle rear light diminished hundred times). Adapting the eyes even to very polluted city sky takes quarter an hour at least, when going outdoors from the usual home indoor lighting, Adaptation to natural skies takes two hours.

For the observation, a spot is to be found from which no human lights are visible and which has no strong light sources nearby (like a backyard blocking the direct visibility of them, but still influeced by light dispersed by the air just some dozens of metres from the luminaire).

Then, the Moon over horizon and the Sun below horizon might interfere. This is no great problem, even such observations are valuable, provided they are repeated once or twice later when the Sun gets deeper. It has to be 18 degrees downwards to have no influence at zenith – this is called astronomical night. Of course, the exact time of the observation is to be noted, together with the date and the correspondence of the the time you use and the Universal Time. If you are interested when the civil, nautical or astronomical night starts, you may use my nights.phtml within this directory.

Another obstacle to see faint stars is a nighttime myopy (shortsightedness). I didn't experience it, but many people do. The cure is simple, but unfortunately, not out-of-shelve probably. Buy a -1 D glasses (thinner in the centre, thicker at the rim, meant to improve viewing objects very far away). Any optician will make you such (care for the accurate distance of the glass lense centres, should be the same as the distance of your eye lense centres). Even if you don't have nighttime myopy, you may still be myopic a bit all the time, which is no problem under strong light, when your eye entrance pupils are tiny. Taking -0.5 D or even -1 D glasses for night might help you a lot – try for yourselves! Maybe, the Wonder of the Creation will appear for you for the first time in its full glory...

yours, Jenik Hollan
a life-long astronomer and a night environment fan and expert