We Cannot See The Stars

Have you ever seen the Milky Way?

That question would have been absurd 200 years ago because billions of stars were visible on every clear night.

But now with the prevalence of artificial outdoor light most of us cannot see the Milky Way and many children don’t know what it is.

Because of this, some ancient stories don’t make sense.  In Genesis Abraham worried that he had no heir but God reassured him, “Look up into the sky and count the stars if you can. So many shall your descendants be.”   Today we look at the sky and count 50 stars, not realizing that Abraham saw millions and was overwhelmed.

So what are we missing?  Sriram Murali traveled in California recording time-lapse video of the night sky in places with high light pollution (San Jose) and almost no artificial light (Death Valley).

His video let’s us see the sky as our ancestors did.

Watch the stars come out.

(video by Sriram Murali)

10 thoughts on “We Cannot See The Stars

  1. Two thumbs up Kate! I really enjoyed that. Because I live in California it was extra special as I’ve been to many of those places. You always surprise us with something new, interesting and educational!

    1. Very thought provoking. It makes you realize how small we are the in the scheme of things.These pictures show a tiny fragment of the universe. It is mind boggling to imagine the entire universe.
      Thanks for these pictures. I loved them.

  2. People think you’re a little strange when you say you love Death Valley, but when you drive there at night, except for the fact that you’re on a paved road, you could be on the moon. There are no streetlights and when you turn off your headlights you literally cannot see a thing but those gorgeous stars. (depending on the moon)

  3. A curious coincidence happened yesterday. I found this video a few weeks ago and picked a Friday to write about it, not thinking that in Pittsburgh this was the perfect day to write about light pollution.

    Every year, on the Friday before Thanksgiving, Pittsburgh holds Light Up Night to kick off the Christmas shopping season. Every building, every decoration, everything is lit.

    I didn’t realize Nov 18 was Light Up Night until after I published the article. I guarantee you we did not see the stars last night!

  4. That’s an awesome reveal by just turning out our lights.
    Thanks Kate for sharing Sriram Murali’s video skills.

  5. Cherry Springs State Park 191 north of the Burgh. Anyway who wants to see the stars head there. An official dark sky park

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