The Project

As an astrophysicist and photographer, I have been always looking with interest at the ideal border between earth and sky: the horizon.

To make my dream to be an astrophysicist real, I had to move from my little country to Rome, from where it is so hard to see the stars because of light pollution. Over the years, my desire to find a way to reach the Cosmos from heavily urbanised places pushed me to investigate by photography the relationship between the Eternal City and the starry sky.

Everyone should take care of the firmament and its immense, ancient cultural value, keeping it for future generations. During my outreach activities to increase awareness about light pollution, I have understood that one of the main obstacles to overcome was exactly this: those living in a city do not see the stars, so they really do not realize there is such a huge beautiful and precious heritage – the starry sky – on the brink of extinction.This makes much harder to raise people awareness about the light pollution issue.

It is very important to show that the starry sky deserves our attention and consideration even from urban areas, where after all most us live. This is the first step to a more conscious protection of its heritage.

My goal, with the “Carpe Sidera” project, is to awake the perception of the night sky and its vast beauty, even in heavily light polluted areas. Showing fragments and glimpses of this ancestral splendor, feeding the desire to enjoy it more and better, it is possible to involve people and spontaneously promote responsible actions and behaviors, preserving the upper side of the natural scenery, useful to limit the crazy increase of artificial light in the natural environment.

“Carpe Sidera” wants to offer to the observer fragments of beauty, grabbed close to that border line we call Horizon, where the Sky and the City have been meeting for thousands of years.  Our ancestors were aware of this, to the point they celebrated it, we miss it almost completely.

I hope this project and this site will contribute to the rediscovery of the beauty of the night sky from our cities, to help preserving its sublime wonders, precious as the monumental ones of an extraordinary city like Rome.

Gianluca Masi