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I need a word or phrase that describes this...


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"Being hit in my retina by the sheer, live, almost 3D brightness of seeing something like the trapezium or the Castor double through an eyepiece."

It knocked me sideways when I first saw this in my eyepiece and it still impresses me.

I have only ever seen this "effect" through the eyepiece and never in an image.

An astrophotographer can share their image but all I have is something in my memory that I am unable to share and can only pitifully try to explain with words.

Help! 

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I think that fully describes how we all probably feel when we try to describe to others what we saw. Words cannot describe what we feel many times! I love your description 'Being hit in my retina by the sheer, live, almost 3D brightness '. If i would use one word maybe 'mesmerising' or literally 'out of this world'.

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That feeling is awe, but the true meaning of 'awesome' has been so devalued by overuse on trivialities , maybe try awestruck ?

It has the clobbered by awe shade of meaning covered .

 

I'm reminded of the apocryphal tale about John Wayne in a biblical epic  ...https://ntweblog.blogspot.com/2017/09/say-it-with-awe-apocryphal-john-wayne.html

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Indeed, there is something magical about watching the sky, an image just does not convey the 'here now' moment for me.

I can compare it to a listening a recorded piece and going to a live concert. The recorded music is usually better quality but the concert has an extra dimension to it which is very difficult to describe. Same with visual astronomy, it has a connection to the cosmos I just can't get from images.

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There probably isn't a sufficiently good word to describe the view that you sometimes get on those magical evenings when the sky is clear, the air is still and the mozzies have gone to bed. Several years ago, I watched Saturn for nearly an hour through my 180 Mak as it was one of those evenings, with Hubble-like detail and stunning soft banded peach colours of the disk. That's why we all continue with this hobby, despite the long cloudy periods and the neighbour's security lights!

Chris

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An interesting challenge! I have often given an audible “wow” when viewing objects. Doubles and multiples can be very special - the best of the bunch has to be the Trapezium, a set of tiny perfect pearls set in the fiery maelstrom of the nebula. But there are so many other wow objects to choose from, all stirring up our own personal emotions and feelings. 

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It is difficult to express in words the feelings we get when seeing something absolutely mind-blowing in the night sky. I know exactly what you mean, it's beautiful beyond description 😍😍

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Great thread - & a good description from the OP, for me its not just that it hits the retina, but that it burns through into the brain and stays there, "unforgettable".

Those views I can recall when I close my eyes and some will never fade.  

A tiny but perfect Saturn set me off again on this whole thing for the first time since being about 14, first view of the M42 trapezium in my new Mak & of course the moon. Then there's the Double Cluster, Alpha Perseii, Pleiades & Beehive - frequently in 'scope and binos. And new ones being added all the time - M31, M67, M35, M41, Castor, Algieba, and Beta Monoceros .... 

The good news is I suspect the sky is full of them.

Edited by SuburbanMak
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The challenge is how* to convey "what is in our brain" to those starting out. They can be seduced by the digital image without giving visual observing a chance.

The same reason why pictures on the radio or in a work of fiction are always better than TV or a movie I guess.

*My attempt

Edited by Spile
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"Skiddoobies"! - was the expression used by a young boy who in 1983 asked me if he could look through my telescope at the Moon. He ran off to pleade with his parents to buy him a telescope. Not sure they would have understood him,  but his enthusiasm was plain to see.   Ever since then, I've used the nonsensical expression "Skiddoobies" whenever I get a WOW moment. It works for me!

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