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Old 19-11-2011, 09:21 PM
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ballaratdragons (Ken)

ballaratdragons is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: In the Dark at Snake Valley, Victoria
Posts: 14,412
I will share how I became able to see super faint fuzzies. It works for me but I can't say it will work for everyone.
What makes this even more amazing is that I suffer night blindness

For the many years I was a full-time Visual Observer (yes, I used to be one). I had 'Trained' my eyes.

Brains and eyes can be trained to know what to look for.
I achieved this by going to an object (or where I believed it should be) and looking, and looking,
and I kept looking.
Then I would walk away from the scope but never look up at any distant light or even the sky, but walk around looking down at the ground for about 2 - 3 minutes, then go back to the scope and keep looking.

Because I was determined to see those faint fuzzies that I saw in books I would do this several times, and eventually I would start to notice things.

Usually (but not always) by the 3rd look I could make out some detail in tiny super faint objects.

Then I would go look at another object (one that I knew well, like NGC 253 or 55 etc, but not a bright object) for about 5 minutes, than go back to the elusive faint fuzzy again and you would be amazed at how instantly you recognise the detail you saw before.
Look for a few minutes then do the walk again, then return to the scope and by looking for another few minutes you will start to see even MORE detail that you thought wasn't even possible with a super faint fuzzy!

If I found that I couldn't quite make out a particular detail I would attempt to sketch the object.
As an artistic person I tend to notice more detail this way.

I would stay on this object off and on all night and each time I went back to it I found it easier to recognise it and any detail in it.
The following night I would start with another object but go back to ones I have 'learnt' on the previous nights. The more I went back to others the more I saw in them.

I did this with many hundreds of super faint fuzzies and after years at it I could recognise then within seconds.

It's not a gift, or a trick.
It is training, and it takes practice, Lots of it.
The many long nights I spent doing this was enjoyable to me as tiny super faint fuzzies are my 'thing'

Even though I don't do visual any more, it pleases me when I do look through Eric's scope about every 2 or 3 months, or look through a scope at camp, and I can still recognise and 'see' detail in very faint fuzzies that many people only see as a very faint blob. It's like recognising an old friend. My eyes still remember what to look for.

Practice, practice and practice.
and then some practice
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