STARGAZERS are being invited to look up to the night sky this month as part of one of the biggest starlight surveys in years.

Star Count 2019 is giving everyone the chance to become ‘citizen scientists’ by taking part in an experiment to find where skies are darkest and which areas suffer most from light pollution.

Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) is asking people across the North East to look at Orion, (with the naked eye) and count up how many stars they can see within the rectangular constellation.

The nationwide Star Count, supported by the British Astronomical Association, is live now and runs up until Saturday, February 23.

Although there is interest in the North East’s profoundly dark skies in Northumberland, the north Pennines and rural areas of County Durham, statisticians are equally interested in the views from cities and towns.

Richard Cowen, chair of CPRE Durham, said: “It would be great to see families using this as a way to study the skies together..

““How many stars you will see ultimately depends upon the level of light pollution in your area, but by counting stars and mapping our dark skies together, we can fight back against light pollution and reclaim the night sky.”

For more information and to take part, visit or use the hashtag #starcount2019.