Imagine the earth disappears under your feet and you are suddenly floating in space. The planet is gone, the atmosphere is gone, and those irritating sodium vapor lamps at the strip mall are gone; the sun and moon are likewise mysteriously absent. You look around you and your eyes adjust, becoming thousands of times more sensitive then they are now. What would the view be like?
Nick Risinger has answered that question with a massive project called the Photopic Sky Survey. Travelling around the earth several times over, lugging a complex 6-camera outfit, Risinger collected 37,000 photos of the night sky and stitched them together. It’s an incredible DIY project, and Nick tells the story better than I, so go check it out now and be wowed. And to those of you who’ve never seen a really dark sky, this image, though it shows much more than the un-augmented human eye can ever see, comes very close at capturing the grandeur of the real night sky. That so many have lost sight of it is truly a tragedy.