In a world where more than half of the population lives in cities, we tend to forget there is even a night sky. Our eyes barely rise above the horizon. Our sense of vertical is developed mainly around tall buildings. And if we do one day find our way to look past the top of those skyscrapers, we find an almost white canvas with a few sparse bright dots. Fortunately, we have come to understand the importance of reconnecting with the Universe and experiencing it.
2009 was named the Year of Astronomy. In 2007, the Natural Bridges National Monument in Utah became the world’s first dark-sky park. Galloway Forest Park in Scotland plans to be the first European one. Earth Hour, an initiative that began in Sydney in 2007, when 2 million homes and businesses switched off their lights for one hour is now expected to involve close to one billion people from over 74 countries and landmarks such as the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, Rome’s Colosseum, the Sydney Opera House and the Coca Cola billboard in Times Square will stand in darkness.
A night sky is a limitless source of creativity and fascination. Like painting by numbers, you trace imaginary lines from star to star, giving life to worlds that know no boundaries. Shooting stars and northern lights, props for magical stories. As much as we learn about the universe in museums, or on television, there is nothing like experiencing the sight of a night sky saturated with stars, the Milky Way casting shadows on the ground - it is overwhelming, it is humbling. We need never to forget to look up. We need never to forget to dream.
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