AAVSO: American Association of Variable Star Observers

Analysis of Great World Wide Star Count Data: 2007–2013

Volume 42 number 2 (2014)

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Jennifer J. Birriel
Department of Mathematics, Computer Science, and Physics, Morehead State University, Morehead, KY 40351; address email correspondence to j.birriel@morehead-st.edu
Jessica N. Farrell
Department of Mathematics, Computer Science, and Physics, Morehead State University, Morehead, KY 40351; address email correspondence to j.birriel@morehead-st.edu
Dennis Ward
Education and Public Engagement, National Ecological Observatory Network, 1685 38th Street, Boulder, CO 80301

Abstract

The Great World Wide Star Count (GWWSC) website provides free public access to seven years of naked-eye limiting magnitudes (NELM) reported by citizen scientists from 2007 to 2013. We summarize the data and perform a simple statistical analysis. GWWSC data are compared with the Globe at Night (GaN) data over the same time period. The global average NELM values are generally comparable across the two data sets. Global NELM data seem to reflect shifts in urban versus suburban participation over time, while regional and local NELM data are more likely to reflect changes in night sky brightness.