In the Scottish Highlands we’re blessed with many dark locations from which to view the Milky Way, the band of diffuse light revealing our place within a giant spiral galaxy.
Even if you live in a busy city like Inverness, a short drive is all that’s needed to escape to relatively dark skies. Regrettably, in many parts of the UK and central Europe this important connection with our home galaxy has been rubbed out due to light pollution.
Looking up at the Milky Way lets us connect with something vast and far bigger than ourselves – an important check on our own sense of self importance.
More needs to be done to curtail unnecessary outdoor lighting and to educate people on the basics of dark sky preservation. Retaining access to our night skies needn’t be an economically crippling ideal. There are simple practical steps people can take that make dramatic differences. Please see this excellent guide on the International Dark Sky Association website for tips on how you can help.
I’ve made a short video celebrating our views of the Milky Way and how overwhelmed our position is amidst an estimated two trillion other galaxies in the observable universe.