If you’ve ever travelled to the middle of nowhere, you’ll know how spectacular the Universe can look without light pollution.
Unfortunately, most of us living in cities rarely get a chance to see all those millions of stars spilling out above us, as light pollution drowns it out.
But photographer Nicholas Buer has created this time-lapse video that shows what the night sky over London would look like if all the lights in South East England suddenly went out. And the result is breathtaking. As Lauren Davis writes over at io9, it’s almost as if the video is “pouring oceans of stars into the London sky”.
Buer explains over at Vimeo that the footage used is all real, even though the video is a composite.
“The city shots were captured during the day and processed to look like night and the night sky shots were captured from dark locations around the South of England to ensure that the stars are astronomically correct for the latitude of London. I have also processed the astro shots to be more sympathetic to what the naked eye would see in terms of saturation and detail.”
The project was inspired by an article Buer read on an LA blackout in 1994, which explained how people started calling 911 because they were seeing strange clouds floating in the sky. Those clouds, it turns out, were the Milky Way.
“It made me think about how the lights from cities have made many of us lose our connection to the night sky,” Buer wrote on Vimeo.
“The film's agenda could not be more simple; to inspire people to get away from the city lights, go somewhere quiet on a star-filled night and simply look up.”
We don’t know about you, but it definitely worked for us.
See more amazing images of what cities around the world would look like without light pollution over on io9.