This is footage of the night sky above Manchester, shot with Russell Moss in July 2010. I have been led to believe that the Stone Roses 1989 ‘Fools Gold‘ might be about the golden (sludgy yellow/brown) light that hangs over the city. Someone told me that years ago, I can’t remember who but it made sense and stuck.
I am now moving towards the final edit with my observations of the amateur narrative fiction films in the archive; the final work will be the place where these observations and ideas are worked out in full. As part of this process I have been working with notions/phenomena that in some way run parallel to these ideas, either in the narrative details or a more general sense about the activity of the film makers or the archive. These ideas, sometimes marked by an approximate visual might not make it into the final edit, but allow the thoughts to develop.
The North West Film Archive is an accumulation of film that features the people, places and activities of the North West of England, a specific geographic location. The light that forms over the city is also an accumulation that can be thought of geographically, as a sort of 1:1 map of where people are. I have also been researching accent along the same lines, with specific focus on how one can loose or acquire an accent. Each line of inquiry contains specific ideas and problems that make them different from each other, and interesting to me.
An edited down section of an article on light pollution measurement:
The Bortle Dark-Sky Scale
Excellent? Typical? Urban? Use this nine-step scale to rate the sky conditions at any observing site.
by John E. Bortle
Thirty years ago one could find truly dark skies within an hour’s drive of major population centers. Today you often need to travel 150 miles or more. In my own observing career I have watched the extent to which ever-growing light pollution has sullied the heavens. In years long past I witnessed nearly pristine skies from parts of the highly urbanized northeastern United States. This is no longer possible.
To help observers judge the true darkness of a site, I have created a nine-level scale. It is based on nearly 50 years of observing experience. I hope it will prove both enlightening and useful to observers — though it may stun or even horrify some! Should it come into wide use, it would provide a consistent standard for comparing observations. Researchers would also be better able to assess the plausibility of an unusual or marginal observation. All around, it could be a boon to those of us who regularly scan the heavens.
Rate Your Skies
Class 1: Excellent dark-sky site. The zodiacal light, gegenschein, and zodiacal band are all visible — the zodiacal light to a striking degree, and the zodiacal band spanning the entire sky. Airglow (a very faint, naturally occurring glow most evident within about 15° of the horizon) is readily apparent. If you are observing on a grass-covered field bordered by trees, your telescope, companions, and vehicle are almost totally invisible.
Class 2: Typical truly dark site. Airglow may be weakly apparent along the horizon. The zodiacal light is still bright enough to cast weak shadows just before dawn and after dusk, and its color can be seen as distinctly yellowish when compared with the blue-white of the Milky Way.
Class 3: Rural sky. Some indication of light pollution is evident along the horizon. Clouds may appear faintly illuminated in the brightest parts of the sky near the horizon but are dark overhead.
Class 4: Rural/suburban transition. Fairly obvious light-pollution domes are apparent over population centers in several directions. The zodiacal light is clearly evident but doesn’t even extend halfway to the zenith at the beginning or end of twilight.
Class 5: Suburban sky. Only hints of the zodiacal light are seen on the best spring and autumn nights. The Milky Way is very weak or invisible near the horizon and looks rather washed out overhead. Light sources are evident in most if not all directions. Over most or all of the sky, clouds are quite noticeably brighter than the sky itself.
Class 6: Bright suburban sky. No trace of the zodiacal light can be seen, even on the best nights. Clouds anywhere in the sky appear fairly bright.
Class 7: Suburban/urban transition. The entire sky background has a vague, grayish white hue. Strong light sources are evident in all directions. Clouds are brilliantly lit.
Class 8: City sky. The sky glows whitish gray or orangish, and you can read newspaper headlines without difficulty.
Class 9: Inner-city sky. The entire sky is brightly lit, even at the zenith.