One short film, appropriately entitled "SKYGLOW," by artists Gavin Heffernan and Harun Mehmedinovic, experiments with time-lapse technology to show what it would be like to see stars above highly populated metropolitan areas in North America.
Light pollution in built-up cities (brightness from skyscrapers, homes, and more) practically erase any sign of stars in the atmosphere. This illumination of the night sky is called "skyglow."
For example, look up in Los Angeles or New York City, and it's nothing but darkness.
Then leave one of these areas for the countryside, and you're reminded of all that beauty in the sky.
But what if you could see the city like this?
At an abstract level, Scott Kardel of The International Dark-Sky Association tells The Guardian that "having bright skies takes something away from us. All of our ancestors had star-filled skies that inspired countless people in art, literature, religion, science and philosophy."
Additionally, Steven Lockley, a professor at Harvard Medical School, tells The Guardian that experiencing light 24 hours a day is unnatural, and can even be physically unhealthy. He explains this continuous light causes increased heart rates and temperatures, and a decrease in our bodies abilities to produce melatonin.
The filmmakers tell TIME Magazine they hope the film spreads awareness regarding light pollution. Furthermore, they're working with The International Dark Sky Association to make a change.
"'[The association's] primary interest is to influence cities to change their lighting systems and revamp the way we think about how much needs to be lit or not lit,'" Mehmedinovic tells TIME.
Meanwhile, we can imagine:
Watch the full film below:
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