While some astronomers are peering into far reaches of the universe, most people on the Earth can no longer even see the Milky Way. A veil of sky glow caused by light pollution from billions of light bulbs has shrouded the stars that served as beacons for our ancestors.
Some people worry that the great natural heritage of the night skies is being lost.
“What is more fundamental than seeingwhere we are in the universe, understandingthat we are a small part of the bigger structureof what's out there?” asks Don Davis, directorof the Planetary Sciences Institute in Tucson, Arizona. “Is there anything as liberating to the imagination?”