Now you can stargaze straight from your smartphone at an hour of the day
There are at least 100 billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy, according to The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (aka the one and only NASA). For the amateur stargazer, the night sky can be a playground for your imagination. And now, with a little curiosity—and yes, a decent amount of outdoor space—you can capture the stars and planets in a crisp, mesmerizing image on your smartphone.
On Tuesday, Google introduced the Pixel 4 and its astrophotography feature, Night Sight 2.0: a brand-new way to take photos the kind of star-studded photos you see in the pages of National Geographic. In order to take full advantage of the new camera capability, you have to “travel away from the city lights, and start shooting 90 minutes or more after sunset.” Once you’ve found a dark spot, simply point your phone toward the sky as it rests on a steady surface, tap “capture,” and leave it be until the countdown timer says the image is ready. Then, go ahead—let your jaw drop.
While you’re making your camera roll that much more beautiful, awe-inspiring, and ‘grammable, you’ll also be surrounding yourself with nature when you otherwise might be indoors. Research has indicated that making time to frolic in nature (or, you know, sit down and ponder the enormity of the universe) comes with a wide range of health benefits. Spending time outside has been found to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, stress, high blood pressure and more.
Beyond the numerous good-for-your reasons to step outside your door, the emotion you feel when looking at the stars—that is, awe—has also been found make your life a little bit better. The feeling you get when peering up at the Milky Way (or down at your screen) has been found to expand your perception of time and increase your overall well-being. So—for heaven’s sake—let yourself be dazzled.