The Night Sky - Exploring the last great wilderness

Overseas Magazine, Issue 734

June - August 2023


As spring shifts into summer the sky reveals new constellations and planets, and with them the mythology and stories that humans have used for centuries to give meaning to an aspect of our natural world that often feels far beyond our understanding. In this summer edition of Overseas, we aim to illuminate the magical world of the night sky, providing a deeper understanding of this most enigmatic of subjects.

On page 6, we attempt to shine a light on the darkest corners of the universe with Professor Lisa Harvey-Smith, British-Australian Astrophysicist and member of the original team that planned the Square Kilometre Array telescopes. An astonishingly ambitious project, (SKA) will see space-age equipment scattering the desert wildernesses of Australia and South Africa to bring us never-before-seen data on the expanding universe, dark matter and the origins of the big bang itself. On page 10, I talk to experts about the problems of light pollution, and how the urbanisation of natural spaces is proving disastrous for both the animals that rely on the sanctuary of darkness to survive, and the circadian rhythms that keep humans functioning.

And for everyone that’s ever gazed into the night sky and wondered what it all means, Abi Millar is here to give us some guidance on page 18, with a delve into the stories and myths behind the summer constellations.

Back to earth, we talk to Director-General Annette Prandzioch about the successes and future of our Public Affairs events programme, and Arts Curator Robin Footitt takes us on a tour of our summer exhibition, Illustrated Guide to London, which is sure to inspire you to explore more of ROSL’s wonderful home city, whether by starlight or sun.

Enjoy a wonderful summer, from the team at ROSL

- Rosie Allen, Overseas Editor


Read the PDF here


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