How many stars are there?
"Do you know how many stars there are?" is often asked in a well-known children's song. Our home galaxy alone, the Milky Way, consists of 200 billion stars. If we now imagine that there are 100 billion known galaxies alone, this incredibly large number quickly exceeds our imagination. And in fact, no one really knows how many stars there really are.
But how many stars are there that we can see with the naked eye? You can choose the answer, says Florian Freistetter, astronomer, author and science cabaret artist, in his podcast Star Tales: "From 35 to 100 quadrillion, everything is possible". In most German cities, only the brightest 35 stars would be visible, because the pollution of the sky by artificial light is enormous here. On starry nights in areas without light pollution, such as in a star park, there might be between 2,000 and 5,000 stars. A similar estimate was reached by the stargazer from the Bavarian Broadcasting Corporation.
Looking at the stars inspires people
Why sleeping outdoors makes you so happy, I have already described. But why does looking at the starry sky fill many with happiness? For me, looking up at the starry sky evokes a feeling of awe. The infinite size of the universe gives me the freedom to dream, because the problems of everyday life seem very small and manageable in comparison and do not stand in the way of my dreams. I often ask the stars in my thoughts for support for my plans, external wishes and also thank them for wishes that have come true. If you like, looking at the starry sky is a kind of meditation for me. Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)
I am not alone with my deeply emotional impressions. For Simone Jungwirth, looking at the stars is a reminder that we are part of a larger whole. »Under a sky full of stars, this can be experienced quite impressively for me. This magic of a really dark night sky with billions of stars takes hold of me every time.« The Austrian rediscovered her fascination for the starry sky in 2019 during a star tour in one of the darkest regions of Austria, the Gesäuse National Park. Since then she has been involved in astronomy and night sky photography and has spent countless moving nights in the open air.
For Simone, the starry sky is a unifying element for people. The stars evoke a feeling of peace and charity in her, which motivates her to protect the environment and work for nature.
Uncovering the starry sky again
This was also her motivation to get involved at the Godfathers of the Night . For there are people who have made it their goal to free the starry sky from the artificial light of civilisation, so that we can once again enjoy the view of a starry night sky more often. The Godfathers of the Night is an initiative of people in Germany and Austria who are working together to impart knowledge and raise awareness around the issue of light pollution.
The initiative explains to municipalities, companies and private individuals what light pollution is and how everyone can help to reduce it. "Using light only in places and at times where it is really needed, or shielding light sources and using warm white light, are just two measures that usually require little effort and can make a great deal of difference." After all, to avoid illuminating the night sky, we don't have to switch off all the lights on Earth. There have long been luminaires that let the light shine where we really need it: onto the earth and not into space. Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)
Support godfathers of the night
The Godfathers of the Night want to make the stars shine again. Of course, we want to support this commitment with SkyHeia, because sleeping outside is especially beautiful with a starry night sky. Since 22.02.2022, we have been official supporters of the Godfathers of the Night and are very confident that this initiative will raise awareness for the correct use of artificial light and that more people will enjoy a starry night in the future.
PS: Thanks to Simone Jungwirth for the stunning night picture. More pictures can be found on her Instagram account @nightly.