Many more celebrities around the world are missing the opportunity to witness all the glory. Two projects used in different ways to reverse this trend have created a compelling video of what people living in areas affected by light pollution are missing. Five years ago, a survey found that one-third of the world’s people could not see the Milky Way from where they lived. The numbers could be even higher now, with more people moving to larger cities and spreading night-lights in less populated areas. Even among those who can illuminate our galaxy, most people have lost the glorious vision that our ancestors saw in most aspects of human evolution.
This is not just an aesthetic loss. Although some of the light pollution that excludes our view of the stars is an inevitable byproduct of the things we value, such as the roads illuminated for protection, much of it is simply a waste of energy. Smoking poorly directed light and using natural particles instead of where needed is blocking our view of the sky in the process correcting the bouncing problem means wasting less fossil fuels. One form of resistance to the trend is the establishment of dark sky sites, where light strictly controlled to limit light pollution. These sites save the ability of nearby large telescopes to do their job (although they cannot do much about satellites) and provide visitors with reminders of what might happen.
Westcliffe and Silver Cliff, Custer County, Colorado are two examples. Both are located in the Wet Mountain Valley. These cities are trying to turn their recognized dark sky status into an income-spinner, pitching them as a place where they can see the stars and then still have a comfortable bed. SKYGLOW provides another method by producing timelapse videos and books on the beauty of the sky in famous places like the Grand Canyon, or combining films from different places to show what the skies of big cities might look like. Now that the two have reunited, the latest video from SKYGLOW’s features the day and night sky of the two communities.
Fair warning, watching this video will make you want to take a trip that is not necessarily a safe mid-epidemic. DarkSightFinder.com offers some tips if you are not in the dark, but close to home. On the other hand, if you do not expect to leave home for a while, you may feel somewhat comfortable with some of our other features of SKYGLOW’s.