Haven't seen the stars recently? There's a reason for that.
WARNING: Beautiful images ahead.
When was the last time you saw a starry night sky?
If your answer is "I don't remember" or "What stars? I can't see any!" you're not alone.
If you can't see the stars, blame skyglow.
Skyglow happens when the night sky looks unusually bright, making it impossible to see stars. Some of the causes of skyglow are wholly man-made, like the light pollution from urban areas. That's the one that many folks, like astronomers, are concerned about.
But if you're not an astronomer, why should you care if you can't see the stars?
Light pollution can deeply affect our health and the world.
Neurology professor George Brainard said that light pollution can disrupt our sleep cycles, and the disruption of sleep cycles is correlated with health problems.
It's also pretty bad for animals like sea turtles and frogs that rely on the natural cycle of light and darkness to find the sea or to make mating calls. (It's totally true!).
Two artists want to bring attention to skyglow.
Gavin Heffernan and Harun Mehmedinović have both previously created time-lapse art of the sky and stars. Now, they are using Kickstarter to raise money for a new project that will answer the question:
"What are the psychological impacts of a sky without stars? Has their loss created a greater void than we realize?"
"There's a profound biological system that revolves around our relationship to the universe, and we believe that's gotten lost."
— Gavin Heffernan
If they raise money, the project will be a beautiful book of their photography and their time-lapses portraying American starry skies and highlighting what light pollution does to those skies.
Yes, that means there will be GORGEOUS pictures and time-lapses like this:
Watch the video below to see even more amazing shots:
If you want to help see the stars again, learn how to help stop light pollution by visiting the International Dark-Sky Association.
April 13-19, 2015, is International Dark Sky Week, and the association has a great 101 for anyone who wants to learn more.