The evenings humans experience today aren’t the same evenings our ancestors had experienced during their time. Obviously, everything was simpler — and much, much darker — back then in lieu of modernities.
Their nights were particularly more beautiful than ours, if only for the fact that they didn’t have to deal with light pollution — a phenomenon where too much light from Earth blocks out the visibility of certain stars. In New York, the city that never sleeps, light pollution is as common as rats roaming the streets looking for food.
New York City Minus The Light Pollution
So how would that city look without so much light to block out the natural beauty of the night sky? Well, that’s exactly what the Skyglow project is for.
Like any other metropolis with a frantic nightlife, it’s impossible to see much of anything in the sky other than the moon and some clouds. That’s what makes the Skyglow project so mesmerizing: it illustrates, though artificially, how New York and other cities like it might look if the night sky was fully visible despite the terrible light pollution of the Big Apple.
Skyglow’s video offers a perspective of New York that will never be possible — unless, of course, the entire city’s electricity goes out for a several days. The blanket of stars and cosmic phenomena seen above the city is the kind one would see over the Grand Canyon and Death Valley, which are places where it’s easy to spot stars from.
Dark Sky Week
Skyglow’s new video was released to promote the forthcoming Dark Sky Week, which runs from April 15 to 21. The event, spearheaded by the International Dark Sky Association, illustrates the disadvantages and ill effects of light pollution — from unnecessarily high energy costs to the lack of more visible stars in the sky — and advocates for people to consider turning off their lights during the period to help lower light pollution, even if for just a little while.
But again, for a place described as the city that never sleeps, it’s highly unlikely New York will ever turn its lights off. Even still, Skyglow hopes that by showing what natural views humans can get just by cutting back on excessive lights, they can reconsider their energy habits, particularly with illumination.
You can watch the entire video below. Skyglow also made one for Los Angeles a while back.