Glow-in-the-Dark Stars

Ashley Guadalupe and John Noé

Laser Teaching Center
Department of Physics & Astronomy
Stony Brook University


The inspiration for this project came from a childhood experience. As a child, I was fascinated by glow-in-the-dark materials, and also by black lights. My mother had given me an astronomy book that came with many glow-in-the-dark stars of various shapes and colors. When I was about twelve years old, I was using my black light near one of my stars and I immediately noticed that the star's glow had significanly increased. I experimented with all my stars, and fund that the black light caused all of them to glow more brightly. This accidental discovery led to my interest in the effects of diverse light sources on glow-in-the-dark materials.

What I didn't know then was that stars can also be DE-activated by exposure to a light source!

What this project and report covers ....

Technical Background

The technical term used to describe glow-in-the-dark material is photo luminescent. Luminescence is the light that is emitted by a object that Also called cold light .... See

Materials Used

Stars and light sources. Photodetector.


Bleaching has several important applications.


Radiation badges

Super-resolution microscopy

STED technique, see

Decay Curve

The light decay curve answers the question: "how long do the stars glow?"


  1. Jill's report

  2. Don Klipstein's Web Site.