Amazing video demonstrates levels of light pollution

Lost in Light is Sriram Murali's simple yet beautifully-crafted demonstration of levels of light pollution from worst to best, and how much gets lost in the night sky.

How bad is light pollution? Todd Carlson took these remarkable matched shots before and during the 2003 Northeast power outage that affected 55 million people:


Murali explains the making of the video, the challenges of finding places exemplifying Bortle scale values, and his hopes for the future:

Shot mostly in California, the movie shows how the view gets progressively better as you move away from the lights. Finding locations to shoot at every level of light pollution was a challenge and getting to the darkest skies with no light pollution was a journey in itself. Here’s why I think we should care more. The night skies remind us of our place in the Universe. Imagine if we lived under skies full of stars. That reminder we are a tiny part of this cosmos, the awe and a special connection with this remarkable world would make us much better beings - more thoughtful, inquisitive, empathetic, kind and caring. Imagine kids growing up passionate about astronomy looking for answers and how advanced humankind would be, how connected and caring we’d feel with one another, how noble and adventurous we’d be. How compassionate with fellow species on Earth and how one with Nature we’d feel.

Lost in Light (Vimeo / Sriram Murali via Everything About Design)

Notable Replies

  1. That was beautiful, and, as an astrogeek, I'm probably going to have that on loop for the next hour...

    Thank you.

  2. Vert says:

    The video is beautiful! It is a good reminder of how much we’re missing.

    I envy, but do not share, Mr. Murali’s optimism about how if we all could just see the stars again we’d magically be “more thoughtful, inquisitive, empathetic, kind and caring... advanced... noble and adventurous.”

  3. The problem isn't the light, but the light pollution. There are techniques and lighting designs to allow for illuminating areas without bare bulbs shining up into the sky...

  4. xzzy says:

    It's pretty fun to play with the other major source of light pollution: the moon.

    Go out into the mountains and park your butt in a field with a crescent moon and marvel at the sky for a couple hours. Then when the moon sets it gets REALLY dark because you can't see the mountains anymore either and suddenly everyone's out of their comfort zone and interested in getting back into the car.

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