Artists Gavin Heffernan and Harun Mehmedinovic are spearheading a unique brand of astrophotography as part of SKYGLOW, a project that explores the world’s most exotic dark sky locations and archaeoastronomy sites, using timelapse equipment and low-light digital camera lenses.
The artists’ astrophotography book and timelapse video series are intended to examine the increasing impact of light pollution, known as “skyglow,” on the environment. The issue, though perhaps not as widely known, televised or hotly debated as other environmental problems, nonetheless threatens the health of humans and animals, disrupts ecosystems, wastes energy, and interferes with astronomical research.
According to the project’s website: “With stars becoming increasingly more difficult to see, SKYGLOW will focus on one unasked question: What are the psychological impacts of a sky without stars? Has their loss created a greater void than we realize?”
A scary thought.
In case you need reminding of how beautiful it is to pause and look up, watch one of the project’s recent timelapse videos, DISHDANCE, which features an array of radio observatories across the country, including facilities at Very Large Array Observatory (New Mexico), Owens Valley Observatory (California), and Green Bank Observatory (West Virginia), which is where scientists first attempted to “listen” for extraterrestrials in the galaxy via radio frequencies.
All three of these facilities have been utilized by the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) program. Since they’re constructed in remote areas, they also have some of the clearest views of the night sky.
See for yourself.