For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream. --Vincent Van Gogh
Thierry Cohen wondered what our greatest cities would look like if lit only by stars. His images are stunningly beautiful! One cannot help but think we have lost so much.. I miss the stars at night.
Below is part of an old 3Quarks post about the night sky on Mauna Kea:
When the medievals looked out at the night sky, they did not see dark skies as we do now, but they rather saw a universe jam-packed with stars and planets and angels and music (Lewis writes beautifully in the essay about how the heavens were filled with heavenly music). And all this activity, they believed was put in motion not by causes and effects but rather out of love. But he cautions us not to misunderstand Dante's famous line about the love that moves the heaven and stars; for this is less about modern conceptions of love with their ethical connotations as it is an appetites or desires. So, as Lewis describes it, the Medieval universe was rotating in its desire or appetite for God. It was a musical, ordered and festive universe; for Lewis says the angels and seraphim spend their time engaged in festivals of great pagentry):
The motions of the universe are to be conceived not as those of a machine or even an army, but rather as a dance, a festival, a symphony, a ritual, a carnival, or all these in one. They are the unimpeded movement of the most perfect impulse towards the most perfect object.
One has to admit that there is something incredibly aesthetically pleasing to understand the universe in these terms.
That night in Hawaii, seeing once again the great splendor of night sky remembered from my childhood, I realized how much we had lost. Our gracious and wonderful host at the observatory said that he really understood the Dark Sky Movement since the vision of the night sky is such a crucial part of our human heritage --and indeed we have lost so much. Before getting back in the car to go back down the mountain, I took one last look at the myriad stars twinkling so beautifully in the sky. Sadly, I recalled Emerson's famous quote about the stars since the envoys of beauty no longer come out to light the universe in smiles anymore.
"If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore; and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God which had been shown! But every night come out these envoys of beauty, and light the universe with their admonishing smile.”