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In the Pursuit of Darkness

Curiosity Inspired by the Stars

Benjamin Velani is from Minneapolis and graduated summa cum laude from Cornell University '22, majoring in Religious Studies and Government. 

Through the Humanities Scholar Program, he researched how to minimize light pollution’s disruption of the rhythms and ecology of the natural world and human experiences with a dark night sky. His thesis won the inaugural Joseph E. Connolly prize "awarded to undergraduates who have demonstrated exceptional scholarship at the intersection of religion and politics or society" (Cornell A&S Society for the Humanities).

As a summer research fellow at Fallen Tree for a Resilient Future, he studied the impact of artificial light at night on urban environments, human health, and how to reduce light pollution at home and within a community.

He also uses astrophotography and the Dark Sky Meter app to document the artificial brightening of the night sky.

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Jan. 15th - Raton, NM

thing you may have noticed in my previous photographs is the presence of red or white streaks across the sky. When taking photos of the...

Jan. 14th - Chaco Canyon, NM

Chaco Canyon is one of the most ancient and impressive archaeoastronomical ruins in the American continent, with it being estimated that...

Jan 13th - Fence Lake, NM

Driving north through eastern Arizona and into northwestern New Mexico, small mountain communities stood out in the night. Even though...

Jan. 9th - Arches National Park

With just a short three and a half hour drive from Vernal, UT to Thompson Springs, UT, a small community 45 minutes north of Moab, Connor...

Jan. 8th - Steinaker State Park

“Wyoming is a sacred place,” Connor said as we set out across the least densely populated state in the contiguous U.S. And it is. Rolling...

Jan. 7th - Devil's Tower, WY

How do you go about describing the feeling of setting off on a long trip, where you will come to know different people and places,...

My Goals and Intentions

Leaving 7 January 2022, I hope to begin a 10-day-long expedition to experience and document, through photos and blog posts, dark skies in...

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Feel free to get in touch via email or social media, and I will get back to you as quickly as possible!

I am more than happy to answer any questions my blog may raise for you, including how to do astrophotography at a dark park near you or while traveling. 


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