Telescopes dot the cloudless top of the dry volcano Mauna Kea in Hawaii, Earth’s tallest mountain from its underwater base to its peak. Its night skies, free of artificial light, are a resource disappearing across the planet in the face of light pollution.
This new video comes as part of the SKYGLOW project, which seeks to capture footage of some of North America’s remaining dark sky locations. These are places whose skies haven’t been washed out by light from human activity, where you still see the stars or the glow of the Milky Way galaxy.
Around 80 percent of the world lives in a place with some sort of sky glow, according to the International Dark Sky Association. This brightening of the night sky comes from light sources like street lamps beamed straight up or reflected off the ground. Not only is artificial light wasting energy and obscuring our appreciation of the night sky, it might have effects on the sleep schedules and behaviors of nocturnal wildlife. The SKYGLOW team put together a book and are working on the video series documenting what dark skies North America has left.