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Did you know… the Orion constellation is key to our Star Count?

Andy Smith
By Andy Smith
21st February 2022

In 2021 the CPRE annual census of the night sky showed that the coronavirus pandemic was actually good news for the UK’s dark skies. The Citizen Science event showed a 10% drop in the worst light pollution, with more of us enjoying truly dark, star-filled evenings.

Chief executive Crispin Truman noted that ‘It’s likely this is an unintended positive consequence of lockdown, as our night-time habits have changed. Let’s hope we can hold onto some of this achievement as we come out of lockdown.’

Now it’s time to call on the people of Surrey and the rest of the UK, to once again become stargazers for a night between 26 February and 6 March 2022. You won’t need any special equipment like a telescope, you can view the stars with your eyes and just need to be able to see the sky to the south. Last year almost 8,000 people took part across the country and we’re sharing this information to encourage you to take part again, or to give star-gazing a try for the very first time.

How to take part in Star Count 2022

  1. Sign up now to take part and for more information about Star Count, including top tips
  2. Between 26 February and 6 March choose a clear night with no haze or clouds and then wait until at least 7pm to ensure the sky is dark enough for best results.
  3. Looking from your garden, an outside space or even your bedroom window locate the Orion constellation, which should be in a southerly direction
  4. Wait for around 20 minutes so that your eyes are adjusted to the dark and then count the number of stars that you can see within the four corners of Orion (see picture below)
  5. Note down the number of stars seen (just with the naked eye) and submit your count on the CPRE website

If you do take part we’d love to see your photos. Be sure to tag us in on your social media channels of choice @cpresurrey.

You can see me and my family taking part last year in the post below. You can follow me on Instagram here: @craigdfreeman


Star Count 2022