Haven't seen the stars recently? There's a reason for that.

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.

Courtesy of Tiffany Obi
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With the COVID-19 pandemic upending her community, Brooklyn-based singer Tiffany Obi turned to healing those who had lost loved ones the way she knew best — through music.

Obi quickly ran into one glaring issue as she began performing solo at memorials. Many of the venues where she performed didn't have the proper equipment for her to play a recorded song to accompany her singing. Often called on to perform the day before a service, Obi couldn't find any pianists to play with her on such short notice.

As she looked at the empty piano at a recent performance, Obi's had a revelation.

"Music just makes everything better," Obi said. "If there was an app to bring musicians together on short notice, we could bring so much joy to the people at those memorials."

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Photo courtesy of Claudia Romo Edelman
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When the novel coronavirus hit the United States, life as we knew it quickly changed. As many people holed up in their homes, some essential workers had to make the impossible choice of going to work or quitting their jobs— a choice they continue to make each day.

Because over 80 percent of working Hispanic adults provide essential services for the U.S. economy, the Hispanic community is disproportionately affected. Hispanic families are also much more likely to live in multigenerational households, carrying the extra risk of infecting the most vulnerable. In fact, Hispanics are 20 times more likely than other patients to test positive for COVID-19.

Claudia Romo Edelman saw a community in desperate need of guidance and support. And she created Hispanic Star, a non-profit designed to help Hispanic people in the U.S. pull together as a proud, unified group and overcome barriers — the most pressing of which is the effects of the pandemic.

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Photo credit: Hispanic Star

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