What If Our Cities Went Dark?

We’ve all seen plenty of spectacular images of the dramatic effect of man’s efforts to ward off the night. This image from my In Search of Darkness? post is a clear example:


But have you ever wondered what all those city lights are keeping us from seeing in the night skies above? Well, as the following images from the Twisted Sifter blog show, photographer Thierry Cohen has gone to extraordinary lengths to precisely recreate what the skies above some of the world’s great cities would look like, were they to go dark:

“Cohen’s method is original and precise … he photographs the world’s major cities, seeking out views that resonate for him and noting the precise time, angle, and latitude and longitude of his exposure. As the world rotates around its axis the stars that would have been visible above a particular city move to deserts, plains, and other places free of light pollution. By noting the precise latitude and angle of his cityscape, Cohen is able to track the earth’s rotation to places of atmospheric clarity like the Mojave, the Sahara, and the Atacama desert. There he sets up his camera to record what is lost to modern urban dwellers…”

Via What the Night Sky Would Look Like if Cities Went Dark on Twisted Sifter

Wow! 😀

You might want to check out their What if Other Planets Were as Close to Earth as the Moon? and Putting the Size of the Observable Universe in Perspective posts too!

I want ice water.

More from the Visual Treats volume

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