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After living in Alaska for several years, I don't really think that is how cities would look at all. With just stars and even the aurora borealis, it is incredible how pure darknesss looks. I really didn't know how much light pollution effected the sky until living there, but even in small towns and other less populated areas the light from various sources changes the skyline.

Whew. I was wondering if I was the only one who has been out in the mountains and other rural areas, but have never seen a night sky like these.

I grew up in rural New York and once, when camping, we stayed up very late with all the lights off. You would be amazed at how much your eyes eventually see after a couple hours in darkness. We could see Satellites, the Milky Way, and even the "Horse and Rider" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horse_and_Rider).

Nowadays, with phones and ipod, it's nearly impossible to let your eyes adjust that long without light. But it's worth it.

There's probably an app (that has probably been done) in there for making the screen show in hues of red. Or, if not an app then a screen protector that's a gel (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_gel).

There's an app for that: http://stereopsis.com/flux/

Having spent some time in the White Mountains in northern New Hampshire, the sky I saw looked a lot like those pictures, I think they are fair depictions. I definitely remember it as being my first and only time when I could actually see the Milky Way.

(it's also a little freaky being above a thunderstorm at night)

If there is literally no light pollution in your vicinity (like in the middle of northern canada, hundreds of kilometers away from the nearest small town) on a very very clear night it does look something like this.

I've never seen the milky way with that much color, but the amount of stars and the star clouds of the milky way are not that far off.

The title is not just removing light pollution, it is removing most of the atmospheric interference. On clear cold nights you can get something close to this if you're truly in the middle of nowhere. Emphasis on clear and no towns within a few hundred kilometers.

I remember the Milky Way looking very ... milky. It's just a dim white haze -- much dimmer than the stars surrounding it.

The reason it doesn't really look like the photos is that we don't have CCDs in our eyes. When things get dim enough, we lose a lot of color perception. (That's why night scenes look practically monochrome.)

The stars look like this in the fall, in the western US, 60+ miles from the nearest city, and above 5000 ft. I've spent a lot more nights camping on the east coast and while you can see the milky way if you're remote enough, the altitude or the humidity or something makes the stars dimmer.

Yeah, my brother lives outside Flagstaff, which has strict light pollution laws and is at 7000 ft. On clear nights the view from his front yard is ridiculously gorgeous.

The summer I was 13 I went to summer camp in Minnesota, and one clear night the counselors took us in a bus out away from the camp, to a hilltop, and we lay on our backs and looked up. I could see the band of the milky way across the sky, and so many colors. I have never seen a night sky like that before or since. It was as vivid as these images depict.

t also helps to give your eyes time to adjust to the darkness. I've spent a few nights in the Australian outback, about 100km+ from any population greater than half a dozen or so. Initially, the view seems ho-hum, but stay outside in the dark for half an hour or so and it becomes amazing.

And do stay away from _any_ light at least during that half hour. Rods take that time to fully adapt to the dark (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adaptation_(eye)#Dark_Adaptatio...; I think some experts claim even longer times). Since light adaptation goes much faster, even a short glance at a light means you need minutes to get fully dark adapted again.

I spent a summer in Haiti. There were blackouts every night... The skies looked just as beautiful as the ones linked.

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