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Thread: Improving observation of deep sky objects

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    Default Improving observation of deep sky objects



    While perusing the inter-web I came across this (old) article from Sky and Telescope. Quite an interesting read and learnt a few things!

    Secrets of Deep-Sky Observing - Sky & Telescope
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    Default Re: Improving observation of deep sky objects

    Great article Dave! Thank you very much for sharing this one!
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    Default Re: Improving observation of deep sky objects

    I probably don't take my dark adaption seriously enough - I'm quite shocked at the magnitude difference in dark adaption after 15 mins to 30 mins. I definitely need to cover up my observing area against the distant lights from some buildings and certainly need to spend much more time observing one object.
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    Default Re: Improving observation of deep sky objects

    Yeah, I try to put my eye patch on my viewing at least 20-30 minutes prior to going outside. It's almost unbelievable the difference it makes in the light gathering power of the eyeball.
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    Default Re: Improving observation of deep sky objects

    Thank you, Dave. That was very interesting and informative.

    I had a bit of an "Ah Ha" moment when reading the AV portion. I'll try to explain...

    I'm left-handed, but right-eye-dominant, so I view with my right eye. When slightly "mowing the grass" to locate a dim object, I've noticed that I'm more successful when the object is on the "nose side" (left) of my view. So, when I read the sentence, "Avoid placing the object very far on the "ear side" of your center of vision; it may fall on the retina's blind spot there and vanish altogether.", the light bulb came on.

    Those of us who do a lot of observing in an urban environment are painfully aware that relatively higher powers make the background darker. That's why I use an 18mm eyepiece most of the time when searching, and my 24mm & 31mm eyepieces set, unused in the EP case most of the time... until I'm at a much darker viewing site.

    Recommended reading from my perspective. Thanks again!

    Clear, Dark Skies
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    Default Re: Improving observation of deep sky objects

    Great article.

    Kinda adds to much of the good advice we receive here on the forum too.
    Thanks for the link.

    Cheers
    .

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    Default Re: Improving observation of deep sky objects

    Great read! I heard somewhere about the 30 minute adaptation. Definitely a big difference since doing so.
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    Default Re: Improving observation of deep sky objects

    Thanks for the good article. I find that whatever actions one can take to improve dark adaptation are worth it.
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    Default Re: Improving observation of deep sky objects

    Thanks for posting the link Dave! Great article!

    One thing they stated, I do all the time and I can tell a difference....

    "some studies indicate that the eye can actually build up an image over time almost like photographic film — if the image is held perfectly still"

    I've noticed that looking directly at some GC's for about 10 seconds straight, I am able to resolve a LOT more detail. Works pretty well.

    What's funny is, like John, my 'telescope viewing eye' is the opposite of my dominant hand. I am right handed but always view with my left eye. The strange thing is, anything else that requires looking with one eye, I always use my right eye. Just thought that was kind of a strange subconscious thing.
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    Default Re: Improving observation of deep sky objects

    Great article! I've definitely noticed the positive effects of dark adaptation. When I observe I normally shut off my backyard light, and it gets pretty dark back there considering my location in a fairly light polluted area. I'm always surprised by how many more stars I can see naked eye after about a half hour or so in the dark. It probably also helps that I'm normally out after midnight due to working 2nd shift. Thinking I should try out the eyepatch sometime.
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