He wishes for the cloths of Heaven

by Kieran Healy on February 28, 2004

There wasn’t much light pollution when I was growing up in Ireland, but it was cloudy way too often. It wasn’t until I moved to Arizona and got out into the desert at night that I fully appreciated the Milky Way as a celestial object you could look up and see. I remain appallingly ignorant about the constellations, but via Escadabelle comes a superb photograph of the Arizona night sky (see also a larger version] If you’re ever in Tucson, make time to get out to the Kitt Peak National Observatory which runs a terrific Nightly Observing Program. Here in Australia the night sky is also very clear, outside the cities, but I am even more clueless about its composition.

fn1. Incidentally, I know that this photo wasn’t taken just by strolling out into the desert and pointing a camera in the air. But it conveys the feeling of what it’s like to be out there.



Henry 02.28.04 at 3:32 pm

The Orb’s ace dance track, “Little Fluffy Clouds,” is all about Arizona skies. Lyrics “here”:http://cgi.di.uoa.gr/~grad0092/lfclouds.html


alkali 02.28.04 at 3:52 pm

The International Dark-Sky Association (http://www.darksky.org) works to stop light pollution to improve the view of the night sky.


Andrew | BYTE BACK 02.29.04 at 12:25 am

I live in Arizona, now and I can back all that up. Haven’t lived here too long though and never have seen that pic – yet.

Saw GREAT lightning storms last year, though.


John Stein 02.29.04 at 2:48 am

Yes, lots of stars. This past summer, at the bottom of the Grand Canyon on a clear, moonless night, I was amazed at how much I could see by starlight alone. (I live on the East Coast, land of light pollution.)


Escadabelle 02.29.04 at 1:14 pm

Thanks for the link Professor Healy! Cheers!!

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