This composite picture is courtesy of NASA
All of the lights that are on outside at night compete with and in most cases overwhelm the dim light of distant stars. As a result the closer that you live to a major city or any site of development, the less you are able to see the stars. In the biggest cities, only the moon, planets, and brightest stars have enough light to punch through the man made light and be seen. Did you know that we are raising the first generation that does not know what the milky way looks like? They’ve never seen their own galaxy. Now one must travel far from the cities to the country to find a spot that is suitable for deep sky astronomy.
What can you do? How can you learn more? Follow this link to the international dark sky association web page. IDA web site