Blacker Cities by Judy Goldhill
With the moon in a new phase and plenty of stars and planets on display, why not take some inspiration from this beautiful image captured by artist Judy Goldhill, turn out all your lights and take a chair outside to enjoy the universe’s finest night show?
Judy did just that in style on an artist’s residency at the National Optical Astronomy Observatory in the Arizona-Sonoran desert earlier this year, which is where she took this memorable picture.
“It was two weeks spent on the mountain of Kitt Peak, living away from the bright, polluting lights and cities of Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona, in the rarefied desert air on the Tohono O’odham Reservation to watch and observe in the 24 telescopes that are perched on the granite mountain,” says Judy.
“As night draws in from the fierce light of the day, the mountain gradually cools down to darkness. No lights, phones or wi-fi are allowed within the astronomical compound. The place has a magical air, filled with a breathless expectancy.
“This photograph of Saturn was taken with my own camera attached to the WIYN 3.5m telescope. The excitement of seeing this body tumbling through the dark was awe-inspiring.”
According to the Campaign to Protect Rural England, only one tenth of the UK now enjoys a truly dark sky. Back in the 1950s, most of us would have been able to see the Milky Way. If we all turned out a few more lights, we could all enjoy some more stars.
Changing your household lights to dimmer switches will not only cut light pollution and save you energy but will also make everything feel somewhat more romantic. What a little mood lighting can do and all that…