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Awe-inspiring video shows what NYC would look like if you could actually see the stars

By Clayton Guse

New York City isn’t a great place for stargazing aficionados. The intense light pollution emanating from the region puts the vast majority of the celestial bodies out of view.

But what would Gotham look like if the Eastern Seaboard went dark? That's the premise behind a new video from the creators of the Skyglow Project, a collaboration between photographers and filmmakers Harun Mehmedinovic and Gavin Heffernan that aims to raise awareness of the effects of light pollution.

The video shows a series of time-lapses from locations across the city, juxtaposed with views of the night sky that are visible at the Grand Canyon and Death Valley National Park. The whole production is pretty incredible and is powerful enough to make even the most grizzled New Yorker at least a little bit envious of those living in remote, dark areas with a view of the constellations. 

The project is pegged to Dark Sky Week (April 15–21), which pushed for communities and cities to turn off their lights at night in order to make the night sky visible. Pending another blackout, this kind of starry sky will almost certainly never be visible within the five boroughs. The closest thing to a trippy, celestial show in New York can be found in the form of a simulated space show at the Hayden Planetarium (or across the Hudson at the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, home to the largest planetarium in North America). 

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