A thunderstorm caused a blackout in New York allowing people to see the Milky Way for the first time!
In 1977, a bolt of lightning from a colossal thunderstorm struck a power plant at Indian Point, New York causing a massive blackout throughout the city from July 13th to July 14th. The blackout caused immense problems throughout the city with a lack of power from looting and theft to travel delays, yet one of the more positive aspects was that citizens of New York could for the first time see the Milky Way galaxy!
The city was so completely dark that constellation were visible to the naked eye that had never been observable before. The Milky Way is the galaxy in which the Earth resides. It received its name from the “milky” color that is visible from the countless stars that are so numerous the naked eye is unable to distinguish them, resulting in a large glowing band. The entire galaxy is 100,000 to 120,000 light-years across and could contain up to 400 billion stars! It is believed to have begun as several small overdensities of mass came together shortly after the Big Bang.
Today we know more about space than any other time in history, yet it is because of pollution and immense power usage many densely populated areas are unable to see it, making the 1977 power outage a real marvel for New Yorkers!