Awake by Zach Rogers is a short video beautifully photographed and produced using a time-lapse process that results in mesmerizing views of star filled skies above stunning landscapes. It was a 3 year “passion project” involving the selection of 6,870 photos from a collection of 50,000.
“A philosopher once asked, ‘Are we human because we gaze at the stars, or do we gaze at them because we are human?’ Pointless, really….. Do the stars gaze back? Now, that’s a question.” — Neil Gaiman, Stardust (1999)
Experiencing a night sky teeming with glittering stars awakens curiosity, perspective and inspiration, and is a recreational activity enjoyed by amateur astronomers throughout the world. The opportunity to see such a sight, however, is getting more difficult as dark skies are vanishing from the glaring effects of light pollution. In fact, more than 99% of people living in North America and Europe see light polluted night skies rather than stars, and the Milky Way is hidden from more than 1/3 of the world’s population. The International Dark-Sky Association (“IDA”) works to protect night skies and ecosystems within parks and conservation areas around the world. Find dark skies for your best stargazing experience via the IDA locator map HERE, and look around for Telescopes and Stargazing Guide Book * to learn more and get started.
The short video Lost in Light by night sky photographer, Sriram Murali, dramatically demonstrates the affects of different levels of light pollution on our view of the night sky.
If you can’t get outside—-Watch the Night Skies channel here to see more amazing stargazing views captured on video by talented photographers.
Pros give advice on how to take great photographs of the night sky in this free-to-watch info-video series → Shooting Stars
Have you tried moon gazing? Humans have revered the Moon for thousands of years, and celebratory customs of moon viewing add a spiritual component to the experience of seeing a big, bright, beautiful moon in the night sky. Simple, but awesome.
“Light Pollution Hides Milky Way from 80 Percent of North Americans, Atlas Shows” by Nell GreenfieldBoyce, NPR All Things Considered (June 10, 2016)
Night Sky Network – Search tools to help you find astronomy clubs and special events throughout US
Earth Sky (List of astronomy events, festivals, star parties & workshops)
Ten of the Most Breathtaking Night Skies on Earth by Michelle Douglass, BBC Earth (August 27, 2015) Some the world’s best dark skies are over remote, hard to reach locations, while other sites are astrotourism hotspots encompassing national parks and observatories.
Lassen Volcanic National Park (located approximately 3 hours northeast of Sacramento, California) has meadows freckled with wildflowers, jagged peaks, clear mountain lakes, a rich diversity of plant and animal life as well as numerous volcanoes, steaming fumaroles (steam and volcanic-gas vents) thumping mud pots, and boiling pools. Stargazing & Astronomy→ park info Dark Sky Festival
Pic du Midi – Hautes-Pyrénées, France
Rakiura National Park, Stewart Island, New Zealand – This ‘Land of Glowing Skies’ was designated an International Dark Sky Sanctuary in January, 2019
Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve – Mackenzie Region, NZ
Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona becomes International Dark Sky Park in June 2018
Dark Sky Festival – Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, California USA
Acadia Night Sky Festival – Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, Maine USA
Jasper Dark Sky Festival – Jasper National Park, Jasper, Canada
Night Sky Festival – Joshua Tree National Park, California USA
Mayo Dark Sky Park – Newport/Mulranny/Ballycroy, Ireland
Brecon Beacons National Park – South Wales, UK
Galloway Forest Park – Scotland
Dark Skies Festival – North York Moors and Yorkshire Dales National Parks, UK
Winter Star Party – Florida Keys, USA, usually scheduled each year during the full moon in February
OzSky Star Safaris The “Classic” is held at the outskirts of Coonabarabran, NSW, Australia, and the “Spring Edition” takes place at NSW Southern Tablelands
Exmoor Dark Skies Festival – Family stargazing weekend at Exmoor National Park, a large beautiful and peaceful area of wild countryside in the South West of England and Europe’s very first International Dark Sky Reserve
Star Search: A Night Guide for Urban Texans by Wes Ferguson (Texas Monthly, March 2018) – Where to find dark, wide-open skies or a big telescope for star gazing in the state of Texas
Fountain Hills Dark Sky Festival, Arizona
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The feature photo is a still shot taken from the video, “Awake” by Zach Rogers
The title of this article “If Stars Could Speak” comes from the title of original music by Alexandr Fullin. It was used by Zach Rogers as the soundtrack to the “Awake” video.
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