starry night sky aesthetic
The term night sky, usually associated with astronomy from Earth, refers to the nighttime appearance of celestial objects like stars, planets, and the Moon, which are visible in a clear sky between sunset and sunrise, when the Sun is below the horizon.
After sunset the civil twilight sets in, and ends when the sun drops more than 6° below the horizon. This is followed by the nautical twilight, when the sun reaches heights of -6° and -12°, after which comes the astronomical twilight defined as the period from -12° to -18°. When the sun drops more than 18° below the horizon the sky generally attains its minimum brightness.
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The Greek astronomer Ptolemy made a catalog of 48 “classical” constellations in the 2nd century AD:
- Ursa Minor (Little Dipper) as a mnemonic for finding the pole star Polaris in middle-ages to present.
- The faint constellation of Hydra possibly used as an East-West arrow by Minoan sailors c. 2400BC
- Polynesians used constellations to navigate across vast distances in the Pacific Islands.
The ethereal painting’s balanced composition is composed of celestial swirls, stylized stars, a radiating moon, an idyllic village, and a sky-high cypress tree. While the depiction is based on his real-life view of the village, van Gogh took some liberties when painting it. A notable fact, as the Dutch artist was known for faithfully painting what he saw before him.
The view from van Gogh’s room (Photo: MoMA)
9) Pathologist Paul Wolf postulated in 2001 that the artist’s fondness for yellow in paintings like “Starry Night” resulted from taking too much digitalis, a treatment in his day for epilepsy.
Starry Night has risen to the peak of artistic achievements. Although Van Gogh sold only one painting in his whole life, “Starry Night” is an icon of modern art, the Mona Lisa for our time. As Leonardo da Vinci evoked a Renaissance ideal of serenity and self-control, Van Gogh defined how we see our own age – wracked with solitude and uncertainty. Since 1941 Starry Night has been in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.