Astronomy

What If New York City Had No Light Pollution?

I grew up on a small island off the West Coast of Canada, with the darkest skies you could hope for. Although I live in a small town now, with some light pollution, I can still see the Milky Way from my backyard.

But for the people living in some of the biggest cities in the world, like New York City, the sky is so much worse – the light pollution is ever present. You can see the few brightest stars and some of the planets, but mostly the sky is just a dull yellow glowing mess. And that’s a shame that so much of the world is cut off from the incredible night sky that inspires our curiosity to explore the Universe.

Gavin Heffernan and Harun Mehmedinovic from the SKYGLOW project are working to give people living under constant light pollution a sense of what it looks like to live in a world where they could actually see the Milky Way every night. And their latest video shows this perspective from a view in New York City.

The team carefully matched up timelapse video of New York City with the pristine night skies of the Grand Canyon and Death Valley International Dark-Sky Parks.

For most of the world, light pollution is an ongoing and growing concern, and the International Dark Sky Association is taking the week of April 15-21 to celebrate the night sky. They’ve got ways you can take action to push back against light pollution.

During this week, and really any time, I highly recommend you use a tool like the Dark Sky Finder to search for areas near you that’ll have the least amount of light pollution. Even folks in New York City can drive for a couple of hours to some relatively dark skies and appreciate the night sky as it was meant to be seen.

Source: SKYGLOW Project

Fraser Cain

Fraser Cain is the publisher of Universe Today. He's also the co-host of Astronomy Cast with Dr. Pamela Gay. Here's a link to my Mastodon account.

Recent Posts

Scientists Track How a Giant Wave Moved Through Our Galactic Backyard

Astronomers say there's a wave rippling through our galactic neighborhood that's playing a part in…

15 hours ago

JWST Sees a Milky Way-Like Galaxy Coming Together in the Early Universe

The gigantic galaxies we see in the Universe today, including our own Milky Way galaxy,…

16 hours ago

The Brightest Object Ever Seen in the Universe

It's an exciting time in astronomy today, where records are being broken and reset regularly.…

18 hours ago

Japan's New H3 Rocket Successfully Blasts Off

Japan successfully tested its new flagship H3 rocket after an earlier version failed last year.…

2 days ago

Gravastars are an Alternative Theory to Black Holes. Here's What They'd Look Like

Astronomers continue to find more and more evidence of black holes, but there's an alternative…

2 days ago

European Satellite ERS-2 to Reenter Earth’s Atmosphere This Week

One of the largest reentries in recent years, ESA’s ERS-2 satellite is coming down this…

2 days ago