The sky is an eternally changing treasure trove of beauty. Man has praised its beauty and has been spellbound by its immenseness for ages. No matter how many times you look at it in your lifetime, there will always be new things to look at. I plan to write a series of articles on the sky. This is the first installment about how the sky is like at night.
Man has always been fascinated by the night sky. He has been spellbound by its beauty and its vastness, and for its mysteries and its darkness. Night makes him romantic, night makes him happy; it frightens him, it makes him susceptible. This article is about how night has influenced human society, science and thinking.
The Romantic Beauty of the Night Sky
The darkness of a new moon night or the dazzling beauty of a full moon night in a countryside takes us close to nature. The night sky has the magic to bring out the romanticism from the inner confines of the city dwellers like us. We write poems, we sing songs, we go on long drives – night sky makes us romantic. The darkness of night brings us together. We fall in love at night.
The Stars and the Moon
Even in this age of the Web and space stations, we are still fascinated by the moon and the millions of stars and the comets which visit us every once in a while. It has been 50 years since man went to the moon but we are still intrigued by its beauty and shall always be.
When I was a small child, I used to look at the sky and often would walk for minutes in the dark roads like someone in a trance. I would imagine myself as an astronaut or a space scientist and ask my mom such questions to which she would not be able to provide a satisfactory answer.
Modern Science and the Night Sky
The influence of the night sky upon modern civilization is immense. If it were not for the unanswered or wrongly answered questions about the sky, modern science would not have been possible. Modern science started with the study of the night sky when scientists like Copernicus and Galileo observed the night sky and for the first time defied the Aristotelian view of the earth and the universe.
Galileo’s revolutionary thoughts did not please the Church and he was forced to take back his words before the Church. But even the Church, after four hundred years of the telescope has finally accepted that its treatment towards Galileo was unjust. And this rediscovery of truth by the Church is in accordance of man’s quest to understand the night sky and the secrets of the universe that it hides.
It is not only about science. There are some dark mysteries as well
The sources of light in the night sky, the moon, the stars and the comets have made scientists think and discover the secrets of the universe. But the darkness of the night and the secret that it hides is one of the greatest fears man has ever known. Night has always been associated with ghosts, vampires and all other evil spirits which haunt living men. Even the moon can frighten a man when the night plays its tricks.
Black Cats and other animals
The luminous eyes of a black cat in a dark road against a dark sky – there are many whose body hairs would rise at the very sight. Not only are black cats avoidable in the night, so are bats and owls. Many a ghost story has been written, and many a movie has been made where flying bats and hooting owls in the darkness of the night have been portrayed as imminent signs of a great evilry at work.
The night shall always inspire us, frighten us, make us happy and make us sad. This is the beauty of the night.