See the light when observing

You might want to shine a light while you’re observing – perhaps to adjust your telescope or check a star chart.

But the wrong sort of light can dramatically affect your observing. A normal white torch will be so dazzling that your eyes have no chance of observing faint objects.

The answer is to use red light. This allows you to see while having no effect on your eyes’ sensitivity to the sky – what astronomers call your dark adaption.

Avoiding white light is especially important if you are observing with others – at a star party, for example. Blinding others with white light will not do a lot for your popularity.

Category: Beginners

Paul Sutherland

Paul Sutherland

I have been a professional journalist for nearly 40 years. I write regularly for science magazines including BBC Sky at Night magazine, BBC Focus, Astronomy Now and Popular Astronomy. I have also authored three books on astronomy and contributed to others.
Paul Sutherland

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