On a whim, Wylie Overstreet set up his telescope outside his apartment. He wanted to look at the moon. He had no idea he would, in a matter of hours, inspire awe in hundreds of strangers on the streets of Los Angeles. “It’s incredible how many people have never looked through a telescope,” Alex Gorosh, a friend of Overstreet’s, told The Atlantic. “Many people thought the image wasn’t real—they thought we were playing a prank on them.”
Overstreet and Gorosh were so taken by strangers’ reactions to the moon through their telescope that the friends began to set it up in different locations across the city, filming as they went. “That’s when we recognized the powerful message of unity that we were capturing,” said Gorosh.
Their resulting film, A New View of the Moon, is a simple tribute to human wonder. Like last year’s total solar eclipse, Overstreet and Gorosh witnessed how a cosmic event has the power to bring people together. “It’s about taking a step back and appreciating the beauty and grandeur of the natural world around us,” said Gorosh. “It sounds cheesy, but if we were able to do that more often, it would be much easier to work through the divisions that we’re facing as a culture.”