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Take part in this year’s Star Count: 6th – 14th February 2021

28th January 2021

Take part in our 2021 star count from home, and help us to build a picture of levels of light pollution across Cheshire’s skies.

Dark starry skies are a beautiful sight, and a distinctive feature of the countryside. But too often, light pollution means that many of us can’t see the stars.

To celebrate our starry skies and to help to protect our view of the stars, CPRE, the countryside charity is inviting the nation to be ‘citizen scientists’ and take part in Star Count 2021 – a cosmic census that will help map our view of the stars and the impact of light pollution across the country.

This year, given the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown, we’re asking supporters to take part from home only, and to not travel to take part. This could mean taking part from a garden, balcony, doorstep or even bedroom window.

Sign up here to find out more and take part.

Light pollution impacts our experience of the natural wonder of the night sky, blurs the distinction between town and countryside, and disrupts wildlife. CPRE’s Night Blight maps show that just 22% of England is untouched by light pollution, and in our 2020 count, 61% of participants counted 10 or fewer stars in the constellation of Orion, indicating severe light pollution.

Dark skies are also important for the health and wellbeing of people and animals. Too much artificial light can impact our sleep, disrupt nature’s natural cycles and confuse wildlife.

Take part in Star Count from home to map the nation’s view of the sky

Stargazers will be asked to count the number of stars they can see from home (with the naked eye) within the constellation of Orion, and submit their count on our website at

You don’t need a telescope or any equipment to take part.

The number of stars visible within the constellation of Orion is a good measurement of the amount of light pollution, and can be compared with previous years’ data to show how our ability to see truly starry skies is changing. We’ll also use the data to produce an interactive map of the nation’s view of the stars.

Star Count will take place during the darkest skies from Friday 6 February – Sunday 14 February, inclusive. Star Count is taking place with support from the British Astronomical Association.