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What's New?

News and events for Let There Be Night.


Upcoming Events
July 11-17, 2010 AstroCamp at YMCA Camp Eberhart. Space (at camp, that is) is limited.
August 7 Chuck Bueter will present Let There Be Night and dark sky advocacy at the Indiana Family Star Party near Lafayette, IN. Camp Cullom, site of the Saturday talk, is located about 50 miles northwest of Indianapolis.
2012 Don't be taken in by the 2012 doomsday hoax and movie hype. The real alignment that influenced the world and our understanding of our solar system occurs June 5-6 for the 2012 Transit of Venus. Now that's worth watching!
Ongoing Science Fair Project Ideas related to outdoor lighting issues are at projects.html and at ideas.htm. Now is the time to be thinking about your interests, fleshing out ideas, and maybe even starting the investigation.
May 14-16 LTBN model is exhibited at the 2010 Michiana Star Party, hosted by the Michiana Astronomical Society.
May 8 The 3D model of the Let There Be Night results--a map of sky glow over PHM made from over 35,000 LEGO blocks--was displayed at the PHM Silver Mile Health and Fitness Fair. The PHM Educational Foundation funded part of this and other projects with Silver Mile proceeds from a previous year. The frame on which the model is displayed was another contribution of Jordan Toyota. Thanks go to them and other supporters of Let There Be Night.
April 22 The 3D model made out of LEGO blocks that conveys results of the Let There Be Night experiment was displayed at the 2nd Annual Earth Day Celebration at Clay UMC (Firehouse) on Cleveland Rd. in South Bend, IN.
April 15 Correction to location of GLPA Online Store, at which you can order the 2-DVD set. It is now at
March 31
  • "Our Light or Starlight: Children can play key roles in raising awareness about light pollution" by Constance E. Walker is a Focal Point article in Sky & Telescope magazine, May 2010, p. 86. It cites LTBN as an instance in which "creativity flew off the Richter scale...One Indiana school district took this simple (Globe at Night) concept to a whole new level."
  • The 5th annual Globe at Night campaign gathered a record number of observations of Orion from around the world during its 2010 campaign. See Thank you, observers.
  • Nightscape, a Publication of the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA), Issue #79 2010, p. 13, announces that Let There Be Night was given a Managing Director Special Award at the 2009 IDA Annual General Meeting.
  • Students of St. Pius X Catholic School in Granger, IN, who submitted observations to the 2010 Globe at Night campaign, recapped their experience and viewed the model of results from the Let There Be Night experiment.
March 20 LTBN is highlighted in "A Year of Astronomy in Indiana," a presentation by Chuck Bueter at the Indiana state meeting of the Great Lakes Planetarium Association (GLPA) at Pike High School, Indianapolis, IN.
March 11, 2010 The LTBN model was displayed at the symposium Manmade Light at Night--Perils and Promises at Lewis University, Romeoville, IL.
February 1-15 The 3D model made out of LEGO blocks that conveys results of the Let There Be Night experiment was displayed in the lobby of the County-City Building at 227 W. Jefferson Blvd., South Bend, IN 46601.
February 9 New sjc.html page added, in which St. Joseph (IN) County Council hears results of LTBN and is encouraged to be proactive in requiring lighting that is favorable to the night sky.
February 5 Light pollution takes its toll on sky -- and pocketbook; a Viewpoint by Chuck Bueter that cites the LTBN experiment's data, is printed in the Opinion section of the South Bend Tribune; February 5, 2010.
February 2 YouTube video featuring "Year of Astronomy in Michiana" added to IYA2009 and Home pages.
February 1 Jeff of Jordan Toyota in Mishawaka fashioned an expanded, stronger frame on which the LTBN exhibit can rest for the public display at the County-City Bldg. in South Bend, IN. See the work in progress and the exhibit installed downtown.
January 31 Newly published: "A Collective Gaze at the Stars," by Chuck Bueter; Proceedings of the 45th Annual Great Lakes Planetarium Association (GLPA) Conference; Bay City, MI, October 21-24, 2009. See text of the paper, courtesy of GLPA.
October 2009-
January 2010

The 3D model made out of LEGO blocks that conveys results of the Let There Be Night experiment completed a 14-week tour at each PHM middle- and elementary-school:

October 5-9            Prairie Vista; (exhibit photo)
October 12-16         Discovery; (exhibit photo)
October 19-23         Horizon; (exhibit photo)
October 26-29         North Point; (exhibit photo)
November 2-6         Mary Frank; (exhibit photo)
November 9-13        Bittersweet; (exhibit photo)
November 16-20       Walt Disney; (exhibit photo thumbnail)
November 23-4        Elsie Rogers; (exhibit photo)
December 7-11         Schmucker; (exhibit photo)
December 14-18       Moran; (exhibit photo)
January 4-8              Elm Rd.; (exhibit photo)
January 11-19          Grissom; (exhibit photo)
January 19-22          Meadow’s Edge; (exhibit photo)
January 25-29          Madison; (exhibit photo)

January 14 Dark skies and Let There Be Night are featured in the 2010 season of Outdoor Elements on WNIT Public Television with Evie Kirkwood, Director of the St. Joseph County Parks. The program Turn It Down, which aired January 10 & 13, 2010, is Episode #902 on the Outdoor Elements web page (


(2009 below)

December 9 Added podcast regarding actual celestial alignment of 2012. See December 5, 2009, podcast at, or go directly to Chuck Bueter's remarks at
November 10

Galileo continues to make appearances in the Michiana area in celebration of the 400th Anniversary of his using a telescope for the first time:

  • Elkhart Morning Rotary Club in Elkhart, IN
  • St. Patrick's Park in St. Joseph County (photo, courtesy of Brooke Artley)
  • With unique balloon telescope (photo) made by a clown
October 19 Teachers participated in "Cure Nature Deficit Disorder" at the Teaching with Nature conference at Camp Eberhart in Three Rivers, MI. One workshop featured Paper Plate Education activities that highlight citizen-science projects of the night sky. Details at
October 14 LTBN is feature article in Driver's Seat, the publication of Toyota Motor Sales USA.
October 9

Galileo has been making personal appearances in the Michiana area recently, including:

  • People of Praise anniversary celebration
  • Eggleston School Star Party
  • Prairie Vista 5th Grade Camp (photo)
  • Astro Fest 2009 at LaSalle Academy
October 5 The LTBN model is now rotating through PHM schools, beginning with Prairie Vista Elementary School.
August 28

The Michiana Astronomical Society hosted a Telescope Renaissance from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Toscana Park in Mishawaka, IN, to celebrate the 400th Anniversary of Galileo's looking through a telescope for the first time. Telescope Renaissance images are at

August 28 Space Shuttle Discovery (STS-128) launched on the last minute of August 28, en route to the International Space Station. Look up. Countdown clock is at
August 25 WNDU 16 Morning News features four interviews, of which one interview at telescope is online, in lead up to Telescope Renaissance.
August 17 The podcast "Let There Be Night" debuts at
August 10 The LEGO® model of results is currently exhibited at Toscana Park in Mishawaka, IN, through August 2009, accompanied by a display poster (right).
June 9 The LEGO® model of results is currently exhibited at the Harris Branch Library through early-August 2009, accompanied by a display poster (right).
May 22 Added LTBN Highlights through May 2009
May 18

The South Bend Tribune reports on the unveiling of the LEGO model and the student effort that went into the science experiment.

Sitemap page updated, including links to:

May 17

Added much content to the Results page including:

Added to recommended books: How Many Stars in the Sky?; by Lenny Hort, paintings by James Ransome.

May 12

The results of LTBN were released at the PHM School Board meeting last night. Student Leadership Team members unveiled an 8x4 foot model made of of over 35,000 LEGO blocks that depict the observations of over 3,400 students who actively contributed to the experiment. WNDU TV news reported on this big finish to LTBN.

Teachers in grades 3-8 have a four-page Analysis handout for each student that summarizes the results and asks closing questions. See the Results page for copies of the four-page Analysis handout.

April 23 Second Life announces LTBN is a Top Ten Finalist for its inaugural Linden Prize.
April 14 The St. Joseph County Council passed Bill No. 30-09, issuing congratulations on the LTBN community-wide science experiment. SLT members received the award on behalf of all students who contributed observations. WNDU TV news reported about the County's action.
March 28 Observations of Orion and SQM measurements of sky glow concluded tonight with Earth Hour, with both a WSBT TV feature story and a WNDU TV news report.
March 27 Added stargazing under a dome and SQM readings under the stars at the Meadow's Edge Sleepover.
March 25

Added past news coverage of LTBN, including:

  • WNDU news update about LTBN is filmed at Elm Rd. on March 21 during an overhead pass of the International Space Station with the space shuttle docked to it.
  • Mary Frank Elementary School third-grade class writes a letter in the Opinion page of the South Bend Tribune asking people to shield outdoor lights
  • Meteorologist Andrew Sweeney announces the debut of LTBN on WSBT news on March 14, 2009.
  • Meteorologist Andrew Sweeney announces the debut of LTBN in the South Bend Tribune on March 14, 2009.

Added student artwork at Meadow's Edge Elemenary School that features Orion.

March 24

Five SLT members met with the St. Joseph County Council to describe the three aspects of light pollution; to suggest why they should care and what's at risk; to explain the LTBN community-wide experiment, both by thousands of students from their backyards and by SLTs at school grounds; and to suggest what St. Joseph County can do to mitigate its light pollution. The St. Joseph County Council generously received our group and afterward asked questions about local lighting issues.

Added images of student team meeting outside at northpoint.html.

March 23

Added images of student teams meeting outside their respective schools at 9:30 p.m.:

Added link to WNDU news update that complements the original feature story by Cindi Clawson.

March 22

Added images of student teams meeting outside their respective schools at 9:30 p.m.:

March 18

Added new pages and updated images from 3 middle schools:

Added images of student teams meeting outside their respective schools at 9:30 p.m.:

Updated ISS overhead passes through March 26 for Michiana observers.

March 17 March 17: WNDU Gives a Green Light on St. Patrick's Day
Its clear again in northern Ireland--err, rather, Indiana--in the middle of March. Take advantage of the opportunity to match your backyard view of Orion to the star charts of varying magnitudes. Tonight the space shuttle Discovery (STS-119), docked to the International Space Station (ISS), rose in the west at 9:14 pm., and moved across the northern sky.

March 16: Space Shuttle Discovery (STS-119) Chases the International Space Station (ISS)
What a sight it was--the ISS gliding across the sky, following shortly by the space shuttle Discovery (STS-119) in pursuit. But you had to look to see the spectacle. And it was yet another clear night, so hopefully you got in your observation of Orion and matched it to a magnitude chart number. This great weather can't last much longer, can it? Check WNDU weather for the latest.

March 14&15: Bring On The Night, We're Underway!
Let There Be Night has launched, and the first two nights were very good with clear skies. Venus is dazzling in the west after sunset, and Orion stands tall in the southwest just as Mr. Klinger showed it in the planetarium. On Sunday night, a brilliant Iridium flare lit up the northern sky at 9:31 p.m.

Share comments about your experience on Cindi Clawson's WNDU blog at
March 15 Let There Be Night has launched, and the first two nights were very good with clear skies. See images from Mary Frank Elementary School. Venus is dazzling in the west after sunset, and Orion stands tall in the southwest just as Mr. Klinger showed it in the planetarium. On Sunday night, a brilliant Iridium flare lit up the northern sky at 9:31 p.m.
March 14

Added links to the interactive Orion "slider" at Globe at Night, which shows the stars that appear for each magnitude level, from magnitude 1 to magnitude 6.

Meteorologist Cindi Clawson of WNDU has started a blog that complements her feature story about LTBN on Friday, March 13, 2009.

Added announcement on this page that Chuck Bueter will give a talk on LTBN at the regular 7:00 p.m. meeting of the Michiana Astronomical Society at the downtown Mishawaka library.

With financial support (and muscle power) from Jordan Toyota, we installed fourteen 9'x3' banners at each PHM elementary and middle school. Some images of the banner at the respective schools are on their school page. Thank you, Jordan Toyota.

Added image of Prairie Vista SLT meeting in advance to determine school site.

March 11 Uploaded image of Proclamation from City of Mishawaka Mayor Jeffrey Rea, who declared March 28, 2009, to be Let There Be Night, Earth Hour Day in Mishawaka.
March 10

8th grade students at Discovery Middle School each make a poster, a slide presentation, or a model to support their verbal presentation related to light pollution. A collection of photos on Flickr shows the handiwork of several students.

A Horizon 5th-grader shares her vision with her poem Skylight.

March 6

Kepler spacecraft launches 3-plus year mission to search for planets in the habitable zones of stars using the transit method. "Kepler's telescope is so powerful that, from its view up in space, it could detect one person in a small town turning off a porch light at night." Source: Five Things About Kepler

LTBN highlighted in podcast by Dr. Connie Walker, astronomy educator of the National Optical Astronomy Observatory, at 365 Days of Astronomy for March 6. See Globe at Night: Shed Light on Light Pollution.

March 6

New interactive map of PHM school district links to each elementary school's LTBN web page, which shows variety of material created and used at the respective schools. Samples have been recently added to:

  • Elm Road
  • Prairie Vista
  • Madison
  • Northpoint
  • Horizon
  • Meadow's Edge
  • Bittersweet

Added the recording form for SQM readings, on which the Student Leadership Teams will write the values of the SQMs and of Orion's magnitude chart number as seen from school grounds every night.

LTBN and the PHM student effort is featured in today's podcast at 365 Days of Astronomy. See March 6 podcast entitled "GLOBE at Night: Shed Light on Light Pollution!"

For science fair project, 4th-grader suggests light pollution is lessened when outdoor lights are shielded.

For science fair project, a student uses an SQM to compare the sky glow of his home community against the sky glow of a second location. More at prairievista.html.

Soccer Zone supports Earth Hour and puts poster in window at the invitation of a student.

February 24 Added three public showings--March 8, 15, and 22--at the Let There Be Night public show at 1:00 p.m. at the PHM Planetarium.
February 13 "Young Astronomers Study the Night Sky -- and Collaborate with Peers Online"; Edutopia magazine article notes LTBN role in the Globe at Night star hunt.
February 11
  • student-fireflies.html
    Student's Learningsphere project inquires about the apparent decline of fireflies
  • elm.html
    Elm Road Elementary School students do the Turtle Hatch Activity to see how their changing outdoor lights affects the survival rate of sea turtle hatchlings.
  • meadows.html
    Meadows Edge Elementary School students do Turtle Hatch Activity and read There Once Was a Sky Full of Stars during "In Your Dreams" Night. They also created a Constellations Book preceding their visit to the PHM Planetarium.
  • madison.html
    Madison Elementary School posts window covering of Orion in preparation for identifying the constellation.
  • bittersweet.html
    Bittersweet Elementary School students make new drawings of Orion, while teacher Jenny McCarthy and BES parents make overhead projector punchouts for 11 schools
February 10 Mishawaka Mayor Jeff Rea meets with local students to discuss LTBN, outdoor lighting issues, and Earth Hour. See related WNDU TV news story.
February 3


February 2

Added and highlighted three new files for PHM Teachers at teachers.html:

Added link to galileo.html:
The Many Inventors of the Telescope, by Colin Johnston; Astronotes, October 2008, pp. 2-4.

January 22 The "Gosh Dim It All!" podcast, which was broadcast by the New Media Working Group of the International Year of Astronomy 2009, is now linked directly from You can also find the podcast, its transcript, and other daily astronomy podcasts at 365 Days of Astronomy. Scroll down to (or find in the Archives) the podcast for Sunday, January 18, 2009.
January 19 7:00 p.m., Michiana Astronomical Society meets at the Mishawaka Branch library, with guest speaker Dayle Brown presenting the books she authors and illustrates.
January 18 Gosh Dim It, a 10-minute podcast about the Let There Be Night program, airs on the 365 Days of Astronomy podcast.
January 13

New maglite.html page added:
A collection of effective demonstrations use Maglite flashlights to illustrate glare, light trespass, and sky glow.

Let There Be Night's interactive building in Second Life has debuted on the new Astronomy 2009 island.

January 11
  • New dvd-open.html page gives illustrated instructions on how to access many folders of resources on Disc 2 of the LTBN DVDs.
  • New images for the Turtle Hatch activity show the plot kept by students from two trial runs during a meeting of the Student Leadership Team.
  • New sections added to this What's New web page (below) showing where Let There Be Night is featured in media, publications, new media, and posters.
January 10 9:00-10:30 a.m., Student Leadership Teams met at the PHM Planetarium, with thanks to parents who took on the challenge of snowfall.

Recent News and Website Additions
January 4 Let There Be Night is featured at the 213th American Astronomical Society Meeting during the Dark Skies Awareness workshop in Long Beach, CA.
January 1, 2009 Woohoo! Happy New (International) Year (of Astronomy). We're underway.

(2008 below)

December 17 Two-disc DVD can be purchased for the cost of duplication and shipping through the Great Lakes Planetarium Association at the GLPA Online Store.
December 16 For something completely different, name the next Mars Rover in this NASA contest:
December 13 9:00-10:30 a.m., Student Leadership Teams met at the PHM Planetarium.
December 11 Added to teachers.html:
Tools for Teachers: The International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) offers a collection of tools to assist teachers, with activities, lesson plans, learning resources, brochures, and project ideas.
December 10 Added to galileo.html:
NASA activity at Venus Phases: Why Does Venus Look Like The Moon?.
December 9 Scientific method, as it relates to Let There Be Night, uploaded to teachers.html and families.html web pages.
December 8 DVD sets and SQMs are delivered to each PHM middle and elementary schoola
December 1 Jordan Toyota of Mishawaka, IN, to duplicate Let There Be Night DVD set for multiple users in the community.
November 25 News stories in South Bend Tribune introduce Let There Be Night.
November 17

Drafts of new web pages:

  • /turtles.html
    The Night You Hatched, a group activity in which kids simulate turtles hatching on a beach at night in the presence of light pollution
  • /blocks.html
    A 3D model to quantify the amount of sky that's already lost using LEGO® blocks
  • /dvd.html
    List of DVD contents
November 9 Let There Be Night DVD World Premiere at the PHM Planetarium. See news report.
October 23 Illustration (town3jB8VP.jpeg) of a small town can be enlarged to poster size for doing demonstration with Maglite® flashlight
October Students make personalized constellations from Orion outline provided to all PHM schools by teacher Jennifer McCarthy and Bittersweet Elementary School parents.

DVD World Premiere

At the Let There Be Night DVD world premiere on November 9, 2008, guests viewed excerpts from several videos and watched the feature presentation with Galileo and Hypatia in its entirety. Bob Hayden, General Manager of Jordan Toyota, presented a $10,000.00 check to PHM Superintendent Dr. Jerry Thacker to support production of the DVD.

Jordan Toyota presents check LTBN premiere guests



New Media


brochure thumbnailTri-column brochure introduces Let There Be Night.


ASP 2009 poster

Poster at 2008 Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP) Annual Conference announces two components of Let There Be Night: a DVD featuring the planetarium program and other dark sky resources, and the community-wide experiment to quantify sky glow.








Time Out for Some Far Out News!

Finally, something we have been seeking for 400 years. Astronomers have taken pictures of planets orbiting other stars. Three different sites together released news and images of their independent discoveries. Hubble imaged a planet in the dust ring of the southern star Fomalhaut, while Gemini North and Keck Observatories imaged three planets around a young, massive star. Then the ESO reported its Very Large Telescope imaged a planet near the star Beta Pictoris. Planets you can see.

One of the most profound sights Galileo saw was four moons orbiting Jupiter. Four hundred years later, on the cusp of the 2009 International Year of Astronomy, astronomers have imaged exo-planets.

For more info:

Logo Alice's Astro Info Alice's Astro Info - Nice explanation in the Astro Info blog from AFGU participant / host Alice Enevoldsen at the Pacific Science Center.

HST  Fomalhaut planetHubble Directly Observes Planet Orbiting Fomalhaut - Hubble (left) press release

Hubblecast 22: Hubble directly observes planet orbiting Fomalhaut - video about the Hubble discovery

Gemini Observatory images planets b & cKeck image of 3 planetsGEMINI RELEASES HISTORIC DISCOVERY IMAGE OF PLANETARY "FIRST FAMILY - Gemini (right) press release

[Activity: Do the Gemini's Signature activity with a paper plate.]

First Image of Another Multi-Planet Solar System- Keck (left) images 3 planets; from Universe Today

Beta Pictoris with planetShortly thereafter, a team from France announced they had imaged another planet around the star Beta Pictoris.


Four centuries earlier, in response to Galileo's Starry Messenger findings, Johannes Kepler "rejoices" that Galileo had discovered four objects going around Jupiter and not around another star. Kepler is thus "restored to life" as opposed to made captive of "the great fear."

"I rejoice that I am to some extent restored to life by your work. If you had discovered any planets revolving around one of the fixed stars, there would now be waiting for me chains and a prison amid Bruno's innumberabilities, I should rather say, exile to infinite space. Therefore, by reporting that these four planets revolve, not around one of the fixed stars, but around the planet Jupiter, you have for the present freed me from the great fear which gripped me as soon as I had heard about your book from my opponent's triumphal shout."

-Johannes Kepler, Conversation with Galileo's Sidereal Messenger