There are plenty of celebrities in New York City but very few stars (of the celestial kind). Because of all the light produced from the buildings, it is close to impossible to see any stars in the sky unless there is a citywide blackout. With this in mind, photographers and filmmakers Harun Mehmedinovic and Gavin Heffernan, of the gorgeous Skyglow Project, created time lapses from the night skies at the Grand Canyon and Death Valley National Park and superimposed those images on the NYC sky. Their new video is part of the International Dark Sky Week (April 15-21) which is a campaign to get communities to turn off their lights.
The omnipresence of artificial light, brilliant in its intentions, has become as much of a nuisance as a blessing in cities where we almost can’t tell night from day. Enter global light pollution. Is there any escape? The bright lights get in the way of astronomy–and affect animals and plants (who can’t just pull the shades down). Scientists are looking to “dark sky” initiatives to protect areas unscathed by light pollution; there are now dark-sky-designated areas in North America, South America and Europe. Interactive dark sky maps, courtesy of Esri, show where on Earth one might find respite from the glare–and where it’s at its most intense.