Importance of Natural Resources

Yosemite Nature Notes – 19 – Night Skies


[CRICKETS CHIRPING] Man: THE SENSE OF SCALE INVOLVED
IN LOOKING IN THE SKY IS ENORMOUS. YOU REALIZE THAT WE LIVE ON
A TINY SPACESHIP THAT’S ORBITING
THIS AVERAGE STAR IN A GALAXY
FULL OF 200 BILLION STARS. Second man: I THINK WHEN PEOPLE
COME UP FROM THE CITIES, OFTEN ONE OF THE FIRST THINGS
I HEAR IS, “OH, MY GOD! I CAN’T BELIEVE
HOW MANY STARS THERE ARE.” AND IT’S TRUE. THERE’S
AN INFINITE AMOUNT OF STARS. AND WHEN YOU LIVE YOUR LIFE
IN THE CITIES, IN THE SUBURBS, AND PLACES SURROUNDED BY LIGHTS, YOU DON’T REALLY GET TO
APPRECIATE HOW PROFOUND AND MAGNIFICENT
THE NIGHT SKY IS. Woman: AND WE THINK PEOPLE HAVE
BEEN LOOKING AT THIS NIGHT SKY FROM THIS PLACE FOR MAYBE 8,000 OR 9,000 YEARS. FOR ME, I JUST FEEL THAT KINSHIP
WITH PEOPLE ACROSS TIME, THE PEOPLE I’M STANDING HERE
WITH PRESENTLY AS WELL AS THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE
BEEN HERE BEFORE. First man: THIS IS
STARS OVER YOSEMITE, THE GLACIER POINT STAR PARTY. THIS IS ONE OF THE BEST PLACES
IN THE COUNTRY TO OBSERVE THE NIGHT SKY BECAUSE
WE HAVE NOT ONLY DARK SKIES BECAUSE WE’RE WELL AWAY
FROM THE CITY LIGHTS, BUT WE ALSO HAVE STEADY SKIES. IT’S JUST SOMETHING
ABOUT THE NATURE OF BEING HERE AT 7,200 FEET. I’VE HAD PROBABLY MORE
GOOD NIGHTS AT GLACIER POINT THAN PRETTY MUCH ANYWHERE ELSE. SO MANY KIDS ARE GROWING UP
IN URBAN SETTINGS AND EVEN SUBURBAN SETTINGS THAT THE LIGHT POLLUTION IS SO INTENSE. UNTIL YOU LEAVE THAT SETTING
AND GO OUT TO A PLACE WHERE THERE IS A DARK NIGHT SKY, YOU HAVE NO IDEA
WHAT YOU’RE MISSING. Fourth man: A LOT OF PEOPLE
WHO LIVE IN THE CITIES HAVEN’T EVEN SEEN THE MILKY WAY. AND SO MOST PEOPLE DON’T EVEN
KNOW THAT IT’S THERE BECAUSE–THE SKY IS MAINLY
THE COLOR OF THE STREET LIGHTS OF THEIR CITY. WHEN PEOPLE COME OUT HERE,
THEY’RE JUST AMAZED AT WHAT THEY CAN SEE. AND ONCE YOU GET DARK-ADAPTED,
THEN YOU–ACTUALLY CAN SEE YOUR SHADOW OUT HERE
FROM THE LIGHT OF THE MILKY WAY. IT’S THAT DARK. Woman: ONE OF THE REASONS THAT
ASTRONOMERS LIKE TO COME HERE AND DO THESE PUBLIC PROGRAMS IS
WE LOVE TO SHARE WHAT WE KNOW. WE LOVE TO TAKE OUR REALLY COOL
EQUIPMENT AND SHARE VIEWS THAT WE SEE
ALL THE TIME WITH PEOPLE WHO NEVER GET
A CHANCE TO SEE THIS. OH, WOW. Al Howard:
THE BIG OVAL SHAPE, THAT’S
THE ANDROMEDA GALAXY. THERE’S ABOUT 600 BILLION
STARS THERE. THERE’S MORE STARS
IN THAT GALAXY THAN THERE ARE
PEOPLE ON THE EARTH BY A FACTOR OF A HUNDRED. Jane Jones: THIS IS
CALLED THE RING NEBULA. THE STAR BLEW OUT
A LOT OF ITS GAS INTO THIS BIG RING
OF GAS. Woman: THIS IS SO COOL. Morris Jones: RIGHT NOW
I’M LOOKING AT M51, WHICH IS A GALAXY. Second woman: OK. IT’S ABOUT 25 MILLION
LIGHT YEARS AWAY. SO THERE’S A GOOD 200 BILLION OR 300 BILLION
STARS IN THAT GALAXY. WOW. AND FIGURE THERE’S
PROBABLY A DOZEN PLANETS AROUND EACH STAR. SO YOU’RE PROBABLY LOOKING
AT SOMEWHERE IN THE RANGE OF 30 BILLION PLANETS
AS WELL. WOW. Kid: WHY DO YOU FIND
ALL THIS INTERESTING? Al: WHY?
YEAH. I FIND IT FASCINATING
JUST TO BE ABLE TO LEARN ABOUT THE UNIVERSE, WHAT IS OUT THERE
IN THE UNIVERSE. [INDISTINCT CHATTER] Man, voice-over: SO I’VE
COME UP HERE TO POTHOLE DOME UP IN THE TUOLUMNE MEADOWS
REGION OF YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK BECAUSE I WANT TO SHOOT
SOME TIME-LAPSE TONIGHT. YOU KNOW, I’M SHOOTING
THIS FOOTAGE BECAUSE THIS IS SOMETHING THAT I’M PASSIONATE ABOUT. I LOVE BEING ABLE TO SHOW
THE BEAUTY OF YOSEMITE AND ESPECIALLY TO BE ABLE
TO SHOW THAT THROUGH THE NIGHTTIME SKIES. AND I’M REALLY EXCITED BECAUSE
I’VE JUST RECENTLY BEEN ABLE TO START DOING LONGER
DOLLY MOVES. SO I’M GOING TO GO
FOR A 12-FOOT MOVE TONIGHT. AND THE MOON’S GOING TO COME UP
ABOUT HALFWAY DURING THE MOVE, WHICH IS GOING TO GIVE
A REALLY COOL EFFECT. AND SO WHEN THE MOON HITS,
YOU KNOW, IT WILL LIGHT UP THE SCENE REALLY NICELY. AND YET BEFORE IT HITS,
WE’LL ALSO BE ABLE TO GET TO SEE THE STARS IN ALL THEIR GLORY
IN THE MILKY WAY. SO COMING TO A PLACE LIKE
YOSEMITE, IT GIVES YOU AN EXPERIENCE OF
A LIFETIME TO BE ABLE TO LOOK UP AT THE STARS AND
REALIZE HOW SMALL WE REALLY ARE IN THIS ULTIMATE UNIVERSE
THAT WE LIVE IN. Lisa Murphy:
IN THE NATIONAL PARKS, WE REALLY VALUE THIS DARK NIGHT
SKY EXPERIENCE. SO WE’RE ACTUALLY
QUANTIFYING IT. WE HAVE A DARK NIGHT SKY TEAM
LOOKING AT WHAT THE SKIES LOOK LIKE IN
OUR NATIONAL PARKS, STARTED TAKING DIGITAL IMAGERY
OF THE HORIZONS TO SEE WHAT THE LIGHT POLLUTION
LEVELS WERE TO KNOW IF OUR DARK NIGHT SKY
EXPERIENCE IS IMPROVING OR DECREASING, AND THEREBY BE ABLE
TO TAKE MEASURES WITH NEARBY COMMUNITIES
TO HELP PRESERVE THAT NIGHT SKY EXPERIENCE. LIGHT POLLUTION IS SOMETHING
THAT WE CAN CHANGE OVERNIGHT. YOU CAN CHANGE THE BULB THAT
YOU PUT IN YOUR OUTDOOR LIGHT. YOU CAN PUT A COVERING ON IT
SO IT FOCUSES JUST WHERE YOU WANT THE LIGHT INSTEAD OF PUTTING
THAT LIGHT OUT THAT WE’RE SEEING
AS LIGHT POLLUTION. Morris Jones: FEAR OF THE DARK
IS A VERY POWERFUL THING. AND FOR THOSE OF US WHO LOVE
THE DARK, WE HOPE TO CONVINCE OTHER PEOPLE THAT THE DARK DOESN’T HAVE TO BE
QUITE SO SCARY, AND THAT WE CAN RECOVER A LOT OF
THE NIGHT SKY THAT WE’VE LOST. IT’S A VERY IMPORTANT PART OF
YOSEMITE, AND IT DESERVES TO BE PART OF
WHAT’S PROTECTED IN THIS PARK. [CRICKETS CHIRPING]


Reader Comments

  1. He determines the number of the stars
    and calls them each by name.
    Great is our Lord and mighty in power;
    his understanding has no limit…. Psalm 147

  2. couldn't we petition at least once a month that everyone turns off every light for a measly hour? I know I would like more but just to get that experience wouldn't it be worth reconnecting and reflecting and putting our shitty problems into perspective?

  3. I feel very happy to listen to the tunes of carlos santana , I was listening to him since I was in Haiti and I love his melodies a lot. kalolo

  4. When I see videos like this, I think…"We're nothing". But not in a bad way at all. We are important, yes. But so is everything…here and out there. I can't explain it. Just beautiful. Absolutely jaw dropingly amazing.

  5. I would be very much appreciated if anyone can tell me "who" made the music, it…is….awesome!
    Could quite possibly be the best video i ever seen on youtube, Just my opinion.

  6. I had to stop midway through this video because of pure jealousy. In Phila., we have no such view, and I would die to see this any day. The closets to "dark skies" is Cherry Springs. Maybe I'll take a trip here instead. Awesome!!

  7. thats your own opinion/viewpoint that god created the universe. keep those viewpoints for yourself, until you have evidence for "god's" existense. Only because you and i am not smart enough to figure ou how the universe made, big bang? does not mean that a magical god created it.

  8. Our species needs, and deserves, a citizenry with minds wide awake and a basic understanding of how the world works, not think how the the world works.

  9. yet, yosemite is rated a 4 on the bortle dark-sky scale.
    natural bridges nm is rated a 2, the best in the contiguous u.s.
    death valley is rated a 3.

  10. This is what I enjoy. I wish I could take all my family to these celestial places. How can I forward this ?
    Geri

  11. Your summer program was awesome! I just re-watched some Nature Notes and am totally inspired all over again. Thanks Steve!

  12. First off, that is one long sentence!! Secondly, I DO believe in God and Angels from above, and there is no other way any of this could have been created.

  13. That was neat! I do have a correction: There are actually 200 billion stars in the Milky Way (I think the narrator said million).

  14. Fantastic Video. For all the people who live in the city who forget what a beautiful world we live in. The Night Sky's are so inspirational, your so talented. Have a wonderful weekend 🙂

  15. Thank you so much. That was so beautiful. I have seen the night sky in Yosemite long ago. We should have lights turned off by 12am every night on the streets, but not the highways. We would conserve energy also.

  16. does anyone know the last song ? great video by the way.. sometimes i can forget about how marvelous the universe is.. thank you

  17. people are moving here to the foothills around Yosemite and leaving outside lights on day and night. they bulldoze and burn up the habitat and run over the animals. the creatures that survive that have to deal with their pet dogs, cats, goats, chickens, gardens, and their chemical war against nature. they're so predictable with the flags at their mailboxes and "solar" lights lining their driveways which say to me "i'm a consumer". the brilliant night sky here used to get pitch dark. not no mo

  18. my dad used to tell me "turn off the light if you're no longer using it". that was one of the wiser things he taught me. unfortunately the new fastronauts are multiplying and the quickening is accelerating. . .more light pollution. . .sad. . .would love to be an enforcer but not likely in these times. p.g.and e make too much money from all that wasted electricity so they're not about to complain.

  19. another thing people don't seem to be aware of is how lights attract and distract the wildlife from the smallest to some of the largest creatures. rain beetles. turtles. plants. migrating birds, insects, spiders, and mammals. . .whole ecosystems have been created with just one lightbulb in a once dark place. used to be a park night ranger. the light at my ranger shack would attract an amazing variety of wildlife, some I had never even known existed. t'was quite a show. then turn it off and see

  20. Please can you tell me what is the song played at 4:12? Thanks (and sorry for my english, I'm from France)

  21. because shutting stuff off doesn't make money, sorry but that would be most's response, not to mention, even if we did shut off all the lights on earth, people would be too busy being plastered to their iPhone screen to actually enjoy the REAL image of the night

  22. 0:25 – 0:29 Is that a satellite slowly moving through the sky? Too slow to be a shooting star. (it starts near the top and slowly moves down and to the left, for people having trouble spotting it)

  23. For about half of the video I watched and thought how cool is it that i can see the galaxy totating then i thought wait thats the earth rotating MINDBLOW!!!

  24. I am so sorry to hear what happened to you. There's nothing harder than to lose a child or a family member. When did that happen ? Be strong my dear, be strong. I came to realize that nothing belongs to us. We are just administrators of GOD's graces and creatures. Our own selves are a gift that can be taken away… May you be in peace. There is still a lot to see, learn, love, believe me. Be blessed !

  25. Can you tell us please the songs that you used for your video, they are very nice and i would like to listen on my phone without to use youtube

    Thanks

  26. Your work is outstanding Shawn, hopefully we can get laws passed that help limit the effects of light pollution with less broad range outside bulbs and limit illumination downward.  

  27. Thank you! That's what human beings are. Love the video, the thoughts and emotions, and the Yosemite! although I've never been there. Music is unique. Anybody knows who's the author?

  28. the universe is pretty big place, if we are the only beings in it, it's an awful waist of space,,  ( contact)  some people are so  anal!!!! 

  29. JESUS is the MAKER of the stars, skies, etc 🙂 <3 He loves you so much and really wants you to turn from Him and repent of your wickedness.

  30. ending song: Kim Caldwell — Days 5-8: Embrace. Its some kind of meditation music. Try google it, i didnt find it on YT

  31. Alright ,
    I think I've got the best Night Sky story ever
    Was camping Yosemite back when my first Son was 4 or 5
    And as the night got darker . He started to become frightened .
    So I pointed out the light from the stars and sead .
    " See how close they are . Because we're so far up in the mountains ."
    And my Son SO , Starstruck sead to me …
    " WOW ! Dad can we get one ? "
    As with every conviction of a five year old boy .
    Who hasn't seen the stars that close before .
    WELL ! His opptamisum could not be denied .
    So I flipped him up on my shoulders .
    And RAN up the near by hill to get one of those stars .
    Thank you Lance , for showing me the stars so close .
    I'm sorry we did not reach one that night .
    And now you're so far away .

  32. Our world would be a very different place if every child was exposed to this kind of experience before they were conditioned to believe they are merely competitors in a consumer culture. We who know Yosemite and its "timeless" beauty have been given a very special gift: a sense of wonder and of belonging to something far greater than our individual limitations.

  33. I remember being in Yosemite Valley and after a long day full of adventure, we were walking through Half Dome Village at night to return back to our cabin, and looking up through the trees and being able to see all the stars SO clearly, I just couldn't believe my eyes. This video is so accurate, you can literally see the night sky that clearly in Yosemite, I'm not even exaggerating. I've never seen the sky that clear before in my life!! Its been 1 year this month since I was last there. I miss it!

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