Monday, November 10, 2014

New version of the Loss of the Night app is released!

The updated version of the Loss of the Night app is now available for iOS and Android!

The app lets citizen scientists like you measure how bright the night sky is, by seeing which stars you are able to see. The more faint stars you can see, the more natural your sky is. Your results are then shared with the GLOBE at Night project, and will be used to track how the night sky is changing in response to widespread adoption of LED lights.

What's in the new version?
  • Improved feedback: We fit your data and tell you the estimated naked eye limiting magnitude, approximately how many stars are in your sky, and how consistent your observations were:

  • Smoother behavior: Phones that had problems with an unstable star field should now be fixed.
  • More customization: You can change font sizes and switch the screen brightness between a city/country mode. Pinch zooming will replace the zoom buttons.
  • Better night mode: Removal of gray backgrounds and replacing orange with red in many places.
  • Improved measurement technique: new options to tell us if the star is clearly or barely visible, or if you can only see it with averted vision
  • Better set of stars used: So the app is quicker and easier to use, and more accurate
  • Expanded language support: To Czech, Hebrew, Slovak, and Turkish
  • News about our project: Links to these blog posts on the news page
  • Calculation of next possible observing time: If the moon is up, the app will figure out when the next good (evening) observing time is for your location, and let you put it in your calendar
  • Feedback button: So you can tell us what we should do next! 
  • Faster GPS convergence

Thanks to everyone who gave us feedback on how to improve the app, to the translators, and to everyone who has used the app and provided us with data. This new version couldn't exist without you!

Now, we need your help once again to spread word about the app, because the project will only be a success if there are thousands of people taking data worldwide. So please post news about it on social media, tell your friends about the app, and give it a good rating in the app and play stores to help make it more visible!

If you'd like some more information, you can read our press release. Step-by-step guides for using the app are available for iOS and Android.

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