On a nearly moonless night in late May, as I stumbled down a wide, smooth path near a large campground in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, it suddenly occurred to me that I can’t see in the dark anymore. I’m not sure when I lost this ability, since I hardly ever get to test it these days; most of my life has…
One of the simple wonders of living on a spinning ball with a thin atmosphere in a densely packed corner of space is the view. Many of us dream of settling down by a picturesque coastline or a rugged mountainscape, but we so often forget that the best scenery on planet Earth is located directly overhead.
It’s obvious to anyone with eyeballs that there ain’t no damn stars in the city, while there are about a gazillion and one out in the countryside. But what do the various gradations of light pollution actually look like? Sriram Murali pointed his camera to the night sky to show you the progression of light pollution…
Since finding a perfectly dark sky is rare in our electrically-powered world, we at Gizmodo like to highlight the areas that still remain and the photography projects that explore them. This week’s photo series comes from the Altiplano salt flats (Salar de Uyuni) in Bolivia, where a team journeyed to the site and…
Something weird is happening to spring. It’s starting earlier and earlier—but not everywhere. The shift is limited to cities and heavily-populated areas.
Our world is getting brighter, as we turn more and more lights on across the planet. But all that light shining from the ground makes it harder to see the lights shining from the sky. It’s now gotten so bad that the Milky Way is almost impossible to see in most of the United States.
Death Valley is one of the harshest environments on the planet, but you wouldn’t know it if you happened to visit last month. As weeks of El Niño-fueled rains percolated into the soil, thousands of dormant seeds were awakened, and the barren landscape bloomed into an ocean of wildflowers.
With gold-plated space telescopes promising to discover distant worlds and unravel the deepest mysteries of the universe, radio astronomy can sometimes feel a bit passé. But lest you think the search for extraterrestrial intelligence is no longer sexy, a glorious new photo collection featuring radio observatories…
Light pollution. It really screws up the view. It would be so great if the stars in the sky could still be seen over big metropolitan areas. But it doesn’t work like that. You have to go far away from civilization into deserts and nature to see the stars and cosmos the way they are meant to be seen. David Oliver Lennon
It’s our most visible alteration of the planet, easily seen from space: the millions of lights added to our cities due to our fear of the dark. We need them to keep our cities safe. Or do we? A series of studies on crime have revealed that we probably don’t need as many city lights as we think — and we might be better…
The bright lights of cities have a clear and well-documented effect on urban wildlife. Less clear, though, is if lights from ports, ships, and offshore oil rigs affect marine creatures underwater. A recent study off the coast of Wales says yup, it’s probably happening.
If you live in LA, or any major city for that matter, you’ll know there’s something very unusual in the image above. It’s called the Milky Way, and it’s about as exotic as a cougar sighting.
It’s easy to remember how big the universe is when you can just stare up at the night sky and find an uncountable number of stars and see every color of the cosmos staring right back at you. But it’s not like that anymore. Now we’re surrounded by city lights of our own creation and hiding the rest of the universe…
And tomorrow's Americans will be louder, still.
A joint mission between NOAA and NASA has yielded data showing just how much brighter Earth is during the holiday lights season. In some places, the effect makes the area 50% brighter than on an average day.
What if all of the lights in the South East of England suddenly went out, eliminating the light pollution that blocks the stars from London's view? This fantastical timelapse video imagines just that, pouring oceans of stars into the London sky.
Check out this amazing nighttime image of Florida as seen from the International Space Station. The Sunshine State features some of the most desirable oceanfront properties in the U.S., producing a near-perfect illuminated outline.
On the right of this image is our home galaxy, the Milky Way. On the left, the wing of a Boeing 747. How, pray tell, does one acquire such a photograph?
Commander Koichi Wakata snapped this crystal-clear photograph of Abu Dhabi as seen from the International Space Station at night. So pretty!
I live in a city. I can see pinpricks of bright stars, but I miss the spill of the Milky Way. Cities don't need to be this bright, and dark skies don't need to be a distant memory from trips to deserts, mountain tops, and vacations far from home.