When you live in a city, it's easy to forget that we are surrounded by the greatest show in the Universe: The Universe itself. This sky comparison chart is the sad proof of that.

Sadly, missing the awe-inspiring show of all those planets, stars, and galaxies dancing around us is the price humans had to pay for having observed it in the first place:

When our prehistoric ancestors studied the sky after sunset, they observed that some of the stars were not fixed with respect to the constant pattern of the constellations. Instead, five of them moved, slowly forward across the sky, then backward for a few months, then forward again, as if they couldn't quite make up their minds. We call them planets, the Greek word for "wanderers." These planets presented a profound mystery. The earliest explanation was that they were living beings. How else to explain their strange looping behavior. Later they were thought to be gods, and then disembodied astrological influences. But the real solution to this mystery is that the planets are worlds, that the Earth is one of them, and that they all go around the sun according to precise mathematical laws. This discovery has led directly to our modern global civilization.

A Personal Voyage — Harmony of the World, by Carl Sagan

Excellent dark sky

Inner city sky

Next time you have a few free days, remember the images above and go to a remote place, far from any town, in a night with no moon. If you have never done this, I can assure you that the experience will deeply affect your perception of the world. [Thanks B!]