Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) Star Count

Star Count 2023 is here! From 17 to 24 February 2023, our annual citizen science project returns. Last year thousands of you took part and counted the stars in your night sky – so check the forecast for a clear night and help celebrate our dark skies by Star Counting with us.

What is Star Count?

We think that dark and starry skies are a special part of enjoying our countryside. Nothing beats looking upwards to see velvety blackness, with twinkling constellations as far as the eye can see.

Our buildings and roads emit light, though, and this can affect our view of truly dark skies, and cause problems for wildlife. We want to make sure that we can all enjoy starlit nights, and we need your help in measuring what effect light is having on our views of the galaxy.

The best way to see how many stars we can all see in the sky is … to count them! But don’t worry, you don’t have to count every one. You just need to follow the instructions on this page.

Every year, around February, we ask people from all across the country to become ‘citizen scientists’ and look heavenwards for one night. You don’t need any special equipment – it’s all done with the naked eye. It’s great for kids too, in fact we’ve even created a Star Count activity pack for kids aged five and up, which you can download here.

Over the years, many thousands of you have submitted your count, which our experts then analyse and compare with previous years. We then publish our findings on the website, and email those who took part.

Take part in Star Count 2023

Your results from Star Count will help us make a map of where star-spotters are enjoying deep, dark skies. By showing on a map where light pollution is most serious, we can work with local councils and others to decide what to do about it.

Together, we can work towards rewilding our skies for the benefit of people and wildlife.