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A hundred and fifty years ago, anyone could walk out of their home ona clear night, look up and see thousands of stars. Each year the stars followed the same cycles as the seasons, while the planets wandered amongst them, following their own complex rules. No wonder the stars and planets were considered to have an influence over their everyday lives. Great minds like Galileo, Copernicus, Herschel, Einstein and Hubble gradually unpicked the underlying physics of the solar system, our galaxy and the universe. Wow.

Today light pollution means most people don't realise just how much diversity is in the sky above them. If everything in the sky suddenly got brighter you would see swirling galaxies looking bigger than the moon, great curtains of glowing gas and great clusters of stars peppered across the sky. With a relatively inexpensive telescope or just a half-decent pair of binoculars you can start to explore the universe, wherever you live.