Thursday, April 24, 2014

I miss the stars

When I moved from the city to my isolated rural hillside all those years ago, I was overwhelmed by the clarity of the night sky. It was so dark! So vast! And so many stars! I moved from a 9 in the chart above, to a 1. On really clear nights I used to drag a rug and cushion outside and simply gaze at the night sky, just for the pleasure of it. And now I am back in an urban environment, not the inner  city but near enough...a 7 in the chart. It never gets really dark. I don't regret moving back to town, I love living here, but... I miss the stars.

In 1994 an earthquake knocked out the power in Los Angeles. Many residents called emergency centres to report a strange "giant silvery cloud" in the dark sky. That giant silvery cloud was the Milky Way, which many residents were seeing for the first time. Light pollution is stealing the night sky. Something to think about, especially this week (April 20 - 26) which is International Dark Sky Week. 
Astrophotographer Mark Gee has made this video, mostly shot in Wellington and the Wairarapa. Watch it on full screen - it's beautiful.

City Lights To Dark Skies - International Dark Sky Week 2014 from Mark Gee on Vimeo. 



4 comments:

  1. We have beautiful star-filled skies, but even so there are about three spots on the horizon with a slight glow. Distant small towns.

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  2. Here at Coromandel the sky is amazing at night. We've gone down to the beach at night and laid down and just watched the stars and satellites overhead. In Auckland we don't see a fraction of what we see here.

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  3. I LOVE sitting outside on summer nights and watching the stars. We are probably around a 4 on the scale, and even then the stars are so beautiful. Of course, it always helps to enjoy the stars if you have a glass of pinot noir in your hand. :-)

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  4. The things we take for granted. I used to live in the country and saw the 'true' sky at night, but never gave it a thought. Now I see hardly anything. It's sad.

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