A few years back I took my 40+ city slicker lady-friend down the great ocean road where this clip was filmed. Late that night I persuaded her to drive away from the lights of our motel and go look at the moonless sky, there were tears in her eyes because she had never noticed how beautifull the sky was without city lights.
There are so many people who have never seen a truly dark and starry sky. It can't be described. I was lucky enough to grow up 50 kms from the nearest city, Calgary, AB, so I was used to it, occasional auroras, shooting stars and all.
I'm not positive, childhood memory being what it is, but when I lived in rural Tasmania and saw the true night sky again for the first time in a long time I swear there were more stars visible than in Canada. If true, I suspect this may be because southern hemisphere air is clearer than northern hemisphere air, where dust and pollution are greater.
I laugh at myself about it, but it took me a couple of nights to realize that those two little wisps of cirrus cloud that never moved and hung in an otherwise perfectly clear sky were actually the Magellanic Clouds, neighboring galaxies! The only familiar constellation I saw was Orion, and he was standing on his head :)
Two weeks ago I was out in the outback undertaking some work with dingoes (yes crakar, they are introduced, and yes, I did directly kill at least one that I observed, and probably many others). The nearest town was Broken Hill, and that was over 200km away, so I was truly isolated from any form of artificial lights.
We were sleeping in swags under the stars, so I could look up all night and see just how absolutely breathtaking the sky can be. I am fortunate that in a former life I needed to be away of constellations and can identify many stars, but until you see them in all their glory, you just do not realise the extent of many of the constellations. My personal favourite is scorpio, because it is one of the few constellations that actually looks like the thing is supposedly represents.
Of course, watching satellites fly overhead, and counting shooting stars is a pretty cool way to spend a night.
The outback sky at night is something special. Took one of my daughters up to stay for a weekend last year when my husband was working in the Southern Flinders area.
Got her to go outside on a *bitterly* cold night to watch the sky. She was enchanted - and very glad she'd done so when the next day turned overcast so she would have missed it otherwise.
I am lucky enough to have travelled Australia a bit, and my very favourite memory (from 1990-'93) is the stars in the Gulf Country of far north western Queensland. I was, at the time, very much involved in installing photovoltaic power systems on remote cattle properties about 9 hours drive west of Cairns. (around Georgetown, Croydon and Normanton)
I will never forget the feeling of being "almost" able to touch the stars! (they were so thick!)
We often slept out in the open in Swags, and I will also never forget the sound of the tiny insectiverous bats that swoop in and eat the mosquitoes buzzing around your ears.
(strange, but TRUE!)
I have marvelled at the wonder of Nature all my life, but those days I spent in outback Australia, I will treasure forever.
(oh, I got lotsa stories baby!)