by Mark Wagner
Then the serious stuff happened. My laptop screen decided to stop working (it is working fine here, back at home). When the laptop went out, I switched to paper charts. Immediately my reading glasses (cheaters) fell, hit the ground, and scratched so badly I couldn't see out of the right lens. In frustration, I snapped them in half and chucked them into my truck. This left only two options... give up - quit for the night (no way!) or... here's what we did...
Steve would pick the target - we were on the galaxy clusters by now - he'd describe where in the sky it was, by star hopping, then we'd locate the brightest member in each of our scopes. Steve used a photographic chart and we'd hop from one object to another, talking to each other about direction, distance, visibility, shapes, orientation, etc. It was a great way to observe. And, while doing it, I realized that over time I began picking up more ability to detect dimmer and dimmer objects, some which were not on Steve's charts. By not looking at a computer screen, and by not using a red flashlight to look at a chart, by only looking through the eyepiece without exposing my eye to any unnecessary light, my dark adaptation and night vision took a very noticeable step "deeper". I was very impressed with the results. Steve made an excellent guide dog, and I enjoyed the benefits! Thanks Steve!
In fact, it worked so well, I'll try to get Navarrete to be "guide dog" next month at CalStar... Mush!
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