Let There Be Light!

I just found this great collection of photos showing how the world’s major cities would look without human-made lights.

Seeing it made me value human civilization even more.

12 thoughts on “Let There Be Light!”

  1. Even in the mountains or at sea it is rare to see so many stars. It’s incredible, what it must have been like for most of history, how close one was to them.


  2. When I was in Mavuradonha, the wilderness in the north-east mountain country of Zimbabwe, you could see stars on every part of the sky, except really low down. It seemed like you could see stars behind stars behind stars. It was like some creature had spewn out speckled light. Some of the stars looked enormous, as big as your thumb nail.


  3. Civilization is great, but every now and then I think it would be great to turn off the lights to remind people of their place in the universe. That sky!


      1. // I never saw more stars than usual.

        I heard that far far away from the city people really see much more stars, so it isn’t entirely artistic license. Even lights far away with fog / smoke interfere. I googled to check and air pollution in cities influences visibility too.


      2. Might that be because the moon was out, there was enough residual lighting from the rest of the city, or because the lights weren’t for long enough (it takes about half an hour for your eyes to become adapted to scotopic [rod cells only] conditions). Any of these might explain why you think you never saw more stars than usual when the lights went off.


      3. Really? I can definitely see a very big difference between where I live now (glorified suburb of NYC) and where my family lives (out west in the mountains). Out west, I could even see the Andromeda galaxy with only a pair of binoculars on the clearest nights.

        If there were no lights at all, even in distant cities, and it was a new moon, we still wouldn’t see as many variations in star color as in those photos. But I have heard if you go someplace very remote (Australian outback maybe?), you can see the dust lanes in the Milky Way. I live to see the Large and Small Megellanic Clouds with my naked eyes… (well among other things)


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