12 November 2019 Night up Castelldefels

ICFO brings a new citizen science experiment about Light Pollution. ICFO is launching a new citizen science experiment: NightUp Castelldefels, a collaborative experiment to investigate the importance of color in light pollution.

Light pollution is considered to be a major problem for modern cities and surrounding areas. It not only obscures the view of the star-filled sky but it also affects the living cycle and natural rhythms of species and ecosystems in these areas. Many ongoing projects have been studying light pollution in the cities and its effects on the environment, searching for ways to reduce it in order to improve the quality of nocturnal life of the human and animal population.

ICFO now is coordinating the new project “Night Up Castelldefels”, aiming at understanding the color of nocturnal light sources can affect any living being, humans included.

The objective of Night Up Castelldefels is to gather a significant statistical database of light sources in Castelldefels and make it openly available, so that light pollution experts, who need considerable amounts of data on artificial lighting, can understand better its effects on the environment and on the population.

Those interested in participating in the experiment will be asked to click on a website and with their smartphones and mobile devices go out at night and take as many pictures as possible of the light sources around the city, on the streets, in the park, at the beach, etc.

The experiment is launching a pilot program limited to the area of Castelldefels that will run until spring of 2020 and which is expected to gather over 1000 photos.

With the data collected, the coordinators aim to verify if the approach of the experiment is scientifically robust and reliable to extract valuable information before expanding the initiative at an international level.

The NightUp Castelldefels project is possible thanks to the support of external scientific partners, such as Dr. Alejandro Sánchez de Miguel (University of Exeter) and of local institutions, such as the Castelldefels city council, the Ramón Fernández Jurado library and the Bibliolab project by the Diputació de Barcelona.  

How to contribute to NightUp Castelldefels

1. Go to nightup.icfo.eu with Chrome on your mobile device
2. Take photos of artificial light sources you find on the streets of Castelldefels.
3. Every picture you take will be saved in a database with the information of the location of the light source and the date and hour it was taken.
4. All pictures will be anonymous