View Full Version here: : Proxima Centauri and colour perception
A few years ago while I was still in Australia I observed Proxima Centauri with my 300mm dob. While it was quite easy to see I can't say the same about its colour. The impression I got at the eyepiece is that I may have percieved the star's colour (redish), however, what I saw or thought I saw may have been influenced by the fact that I know Proxima Centauri to be a red dwarf star. What I am led to understand is that the light from Proxima, even seen through a 300mm scope, is too faint to activate the cone cells on the retina of the eye.
Any comments about know facts about an object clouding objective observations.
25-07-2012, 11:38 AM
Well I'm colour blind so I'd have no chance, but I can report an effect which is in accord with what you suggest.
I'm sometimes asked "what colour is this?". If I believe it to be red for some good reason (eg it's a stop light) then it looks red. The brain does this interpretation.
If I do not have any prior reasons, and am told assertively it is green, then it seems green. I have to go close to make sure.
BTW, about 8% of the male population are colour blind, and it can be present in a person to various degrees. !00% colour blindness is rare.
You say your are colour blind so do you percieve a colour such as red as another colour?
25-07-2012, 12:10 PM
The simple answer is no, but it is more complicated than that.
It is best described as colour confusion. Complete colour blindness is rare, and most people who are colour blind only have it to some degree (80% in my case) and between two colours (red-green in my case, the most common).
So as far as I know I see standard reds and greens the same as anyone else (maybe a bit less intense), WHEN there is enough of that colour for me to pick up.
If there is a green bush with a red flower at the end of the garden, I can't pick out the flower (not enough red in comparison to all the green), but if I go up close, then I can.
There are other troublesome situations too, such as when colours are mixed together eg in purple or violet.
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