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Noctalgia Black Lager

Moths to a Flame

In 1879, Thomas Edison’s incandescent light bulbs first illuminated a New York City street and in the early 1970s the term “light pollution” was coined by scientist.

SInce then, we have become not fully aware of the effect of artificial lighting as part of our Anthropocene. Migrating birds fly into lit skyscrapers at night, our natural diurnal tendency can be forced into a sort of awake nocturnalism with the benefits of increased means of production accompanied by the negative effects on human psychology and biology. Insects that normally navigate toward the moon on mating flights fly to the ground on their attempts in failure. Spring actually comes earlier due to light pollution and Auttumn later. The benefits of artificial lighting are as undeniable as the negative effects and yet we still keep continuously launching earth brightening satellites into orbit with some vague dream of escaping the bonds of our home.

In June 2023, Aparna Venkatesan, a cosmologist at the University of San Francisco, and John Barentine, astronomer and science communicator at Dark Sky Consulting coined a new term combining "noct-" from the Latin word "noctis" meaning "night" and "-algia" from the Greek word (álgos) meaning "pain" or "grief."

“We offer here the term noctalgia to express "sky grief" for the accelerating loss of the home environment of our shared skies - representing loss of science, heritage, millennia-old sky traditions, place-based language, and more - and summarize next steps to address the protection of our nighttime and daytime skies.”

The image on our can of beer is comes from the catalogue of images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope/NASA. It is a portion of the constellation Sagittarius and can be found here along with other amazing images to make us feel smaller, or less significant or perhaps more humble - putting us in our place, and maybe expanding our concept of what it means to be human. We need more of that.

We hope that the skies can be as dark for you as the colour of this beer so that you can revel under the stars, point out constellations to a loved one, and embrace our insignificance. We hope that you can create meaningful connections under the stars and embrace and conserve the darkness.

If you get out and share dark sky moments with loved ones or alone, that is time well spent.

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