A London-based designer creates and recreates constellations in the night sky to remind people of the negative effects of prolonged artificial lighting.
Recognizing that constellations are now rarely seen in the sky due to prolonged artificial lighting at night, London-based product designer Oscar Lhermitte has launched the Urban Stargazing project, an astronomical initiative that recreates existing constellations and mapping out new patterns using LED lights, fiber optics, large slingshots, nylon lines, and other materials. Each constellation is a triangulated struture made out of clear 0.6mm nylon line, 0.2mm polyethylene braid, 0.75mm fibre optic and a solar-powered LED. The solar panel recharges the battery during the day and switches the LED lights on when the sky is dark enough to see stars. Lhermitte’s team then used a telescopic catapult to mount the constellations on top of trees. Lhermitte describes:
Over time, society has developed a complex rhythm that demands we live in an environment artificially lit twenty-four hours a day preventing us from experiencing the natural lights coming from billions of light years away, shining and twinkling as soon as the Sun sets to the west. The Urban Stargazing project focuses on bringing back the stars in the city sky by recreating existing constellations and adding new ones, narrating old and contemporary myths about London. Twelve groups of stars have been installed at different locations in the city, and can only be observed by the naked eye at night time.