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Seeing Stars

I’m worried about how not being able to see the stars is affecting me. I’ve never lived anywhere that the stars were really visible. But I remember being able to see alot more of them when I was younger and further north. In London I can see hardly any, and even the ones I can see are stangely unmoving when devoid of their context.

With less than 10,000 stars visible to the naked eye even under the clearest conditions, and with more stars in the universe than grains of sand on the beaches of the whole planet*, the difference between being able to see 20 stars and 2000 stars may not seem like much, but psychologically it feels like the difference between not very many and loads.

Not being able to see the stars removes a certain perspective, maybe it removes one of the rails of reality I’m trying to cling onto. Local difficulties swell in my perception beyond their true proportions. I suppose this obsession with trivial things comes from living in such a thin layer of gas on such a small ball of molten iron. Not being able to see past my own pollution isn’t helping.

*There are 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000ish stars, the universe is only 13,700,000,000 years old. See, “ESA: How many stars are there in the Universe?” and “NASA WMAP: How Old is the Universe?

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