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Back-Lit Observing


LMC
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I've recently re-discovered our Moon, thanks in part to a string of lousy weather where the only clear nights were filled with Luna.

Somewhere or other I read that placing a light (60 watts or so) off your rear quarter (no-not a euphamism), actually helps one observe the moon.

I believe the idea is that, as it's so bright, Luna will actually mess-up your vision, even with a filter. The back-light not only helps compensate for this by lowering the contrast between your site and the moon, but also allows you to keep your day-vision intact which is much more sensitive to detail and colour.

I was a little dubious, but I'm always open to stuff like this, so I adjusted our porch-light accordingly and gave it a try.

Lo-and-behold it seemed to work!

I picked Plato because of its familiarity and was surprised to find that I could discern 5 craterlets instead of the usual 3 or maybe 4. Details seemed 'that' much sharper and to top it all off, I didn't get a cracking headache an hour later.

Has anyone else experienced this or am I making it up?

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No, you're not making it up. :) Despite using a lunar filter the Moon easily ruins your night vision, so it's been a long-standing practice to backlight your observing area if possible, and also to use a white light while lunar observing. Works great on planets, too. :glasses1:

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No, you're not making it up. :) Despite using a lunar filter the Moon easily ruins your night vision, so it's been a long-standing practice to backlight your observing area if possible, and also to use a white light while lunar observing. Works great on planets, too. :glasses1:

Excellent. I thought it might just be something in the tablets the doctor gave me!

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