If you stand on Hollywood Boulevard at Highland or Vine after the sun bids its daily goodbye, there's no question that you can behold a vast and magical spread of stars.
Of course, you have to look down to do so, at the sidewalk stars of the Walk of Fame, because gazing up, at the heavens? The bright lights of the city prevents us from admiring too many cosmic bodies, if hardly any at all. We can pick out the moon, of course, though few of its features. And we can maybe spy some constellations, like the Big Dipper. But admiring the Milky Way or smaller objects? Frustration awaits.
The filmmakers at LA-based Sunchaser Pictures have released a new timelapse video that imagines LA under a bowl of twinkly stars. There's Capitol Records backed by a nightfield of glittery gaseous dots and there's the Hollywood Sign looking almost as if it is floating in outerspace.
Filmmaker Gavin Heffernan created the short as part of the larger SKYGLOW Project, which he hopes will bring a "bigger awareness" to the impact of light pollution on our larger cities and "mankind's spiritual disconnect from the stars." There is a Kickstarter in the works and a coffee table book, too.
Any Angeleno with an affinity for astronomy knows the excitement of anticipating a major nighttime event and the immediate realization that follows. It's the realization that a drive to the desert or other dark destination may be in order, the better to fully engage with the velvety blanket above.
But we can indulge our imaginations, for a moment, via the SKYGLOW video. What if it were possible to live in the brightest of big cities and still be able to lose yourself, in a full and deep way, in the starry night sky?