Astronomical Visibility

In 2014 I published a paper in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society called "Human Contrast Threshold and Astronomical Visibility". It investigated the limits of what can be observed visually, with naked-eye or through a telescope, when seeking out stars and deep-sky objects. I did this using existing laboratory data on visibility which I modelled mathematically. I tested my model against existing field data from visual astronomers, used it to make predictions about telescope performance under different conditions (aperture, magnification, light pollution), and made proposals about dark-sky classification. I presented my results at the ALAN (Artificial Light at Night) conference in Leicester in 2014.

My paper is quite technical, but I also wrote a more general outline of my ideas for the journal of the Webb Deep-Sky Society, and I gave a talk at their annual meeting in Cambridge in 2015. I gave a similar talk at the Abingdon Astronomical Society in the same year. The following links are to the two journal articles and the PowerPoint presentations of my talks.

Human Contrast Threshold and Astronomical Visibility [MNRAS 442, 2600-2619 (2014)]

Modelling the Visibility of Deep-Sky Objects [The Deep-Sky Observer 171, 7-12 (2016)]

Human Contrast Threshold and Astronomical Visibility (De Montfort University, Leicester, 4th September 2014)

What Will I See? - Modelling the Visibility of Deep-Sky Objects (Abingdon Astronomical Society, 12th January 2015)

Modelling the Visibility of Deep-Sky Objects (Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge, 20th June 2015)

Andrew Crumey