This Is What Our Cities Would Look Like Without Light Pollution

Hong Kong 22° 17' 55'' N 2012-03-23 Lst 14:54 THIERRY COHEN/DANZIGER GALLERY
Kristy Hamilton 14 Nov 2014, 22:12

What if our cities were lit by billions of stars? Wipe away the light and air pollution that obscures our view of the cosmos and we would be left with a dazzling light show.

French artist Thierry Cohen has done just that, depicting a world in which our cities and clear night skies co-exist together. “By combining two realities, I am making a third that you cannot see … but it exists! I am showing you the missing stars,” said Cohen to WIRED.

The eerie beauty of the images highlights what we are giving up; a lament to the skies city dwellers leave behind in order to live in a metropolis. 

Since urban skies are polluted with light from street signs and corner shops, Cohen had to travel to the same latitude in another part of the world to capture a clear view of the night sky. The resulting images are the product of under-exposure and a technique known as day for night. 

To view all 17 images, check out Thierry Cohen’s “Darkened Cities” gallery. Here are a few of our favorites.

San Francisco

San Francisco 37° 48’ 30’’ N 2010-10-09 Lst 20:58  THIERRY COHEN / DANZIGER GALLERY

Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro 22° 56’ 42’’ S 2011-06-04 Lst 12:34  THIERRY COHEN / DANZIGER GALLERY


Shanghai 31° 13' 22'' N 2012-03-17 Lst 14:47  THIERRY COHEN / DANZIGER GALLERY


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