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Star light, Star bright

por beatriz j a, em 07.12.18

 

 

Jessica Lancia

 

Yield Vespucci, and let Columbus yield. Each of them
Holds his way through the unknown sea, it is true.
But you, Galileo, alone gave to the human race the sequence of stars,
New constellations in heaven.
O bold deed, to have penetrated the adamantine ramparts of heaven.

 

Giovanni Faber, mathematician

 

 

It matters, though, surely, that only 1 percent of Europeans and Americans can still clearly see the Milky Way at night, that only 20 percent of terrestrial Earth now has true darkness. Italy, home to Galileo, who gave us the stars, is now considered to be among the most light-polluted—which is to say starless—countries. We know this because of satellites we have launched, our astronomical technology now being used to scrutinize our own bright globe in this self-obsessed age, the satellites’ orbits like the universe’s longest selfie sticks.

...

Because of the telescope, we now know that our galaxy’s center is a supermassive black hole from which no light can escape. In other words, this whole thing we call the “cosmos”—a short simple name to contain the vastest, deepest, most ineffable of mysteries—is mostly darkness: invisible dark matter and dark energy, unmappable and uncrossable black holes, an unknown. No light can fully penetrate it. And yet the darkness goads men on. Lynx have largely disappeared worldwide, and the vertical migrations of bioluminescent phytoplankton—the largest migration in the world—are disrupted by ships beaming lights as they cleave the breasts of the black oceans.

Holly Haworth in The Fading Stars: A Constellation - How the new astronomy obscured the traditional night sky.

 

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