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Purple Haze

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seer's picture
Purple Haze

"Excuse me while I kiss the sky" 

Last night while I was taking my reading on R Lep there was a slight haze and it got me to thinking about it. I think that to some degree a slight haze should be able to help with making a more percise variable star reading. I use to metal detect. If you equite a slight haze to depth in metal detecting than there should be a corresponding movement with reguards to discrimination. In metal detecting the deeper something is the better the discrimination works. Reducing the shine of all the stars seems like it might aid in the detecting of their variance. As I mentioned earlier I think there is probably confining parameters.

What do you think?

JAM's picture
Interesting idea.

Interesting idea.

Unfortunately atmospheric haze is uneven, which might dim some stars more than others and give you an inaccurate observation. This is also the case for high cirrus clouds that may not be easily visible at night.

Professional astronomers deal with uneven haze in the interstellar medium, too. It's known as "differential reddening."

Clear skies!


Actually, your idea has merit

Actually, your idea has merit, though I seriously question the analogy to metal detecting.  During WW2 experiments were conducted on vision to support operations research modeling of visual detection.  One of the results, applied by some visual observers at least, is to defocus images slightly to enable more accurate relative magnitude comparisons.  The technique only works for relatively bright targets, though.  Apropos to haze, the effect is similar:  spreading an image otherwise perceived as point-like.

JAM's picture

Yes defocusing works well, particularly on carbon or other stars with high B-V values.

I'm not sure about that but

I'm not sure about that but the opening guitar riff in Purple Haze is iconic.  Sort of now makes me want to estimate R Lep.  Last night, I actually did estimate S Lep and RX Lep.  R Lep exceeds my magnitude limit with my light pollution (binocs) but as I do S Lep and RX Lep in future, I now will not be able to get Purple Haze playing in the background out of mind.  Thanks for that!

Bob S

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