By Jim Ketchum (Master Observer Certificate #3)
You aren’t in this astronomy hobby for long before you hear about the importance of dark adaptation. It takes from 20 minutes to an hour to become dark adapted. I’m guessing the 20 minutes is the minimum and to become totally dark adapted it may take up to the hour listed. To take advantage of a dark night out observing — the longer the better. I’m sure we can all agree with that I’ve had the ability to see faint objects very well. Many times I’ve tried to point out a faint galaxy to someone at my telescope only to have the person say they couldn’t see it. Sometimes it was because of the person’s experience level at viewing small faint fuzzies. It does take practice. Other times it was simply a physical ability that stood in the way. I have sort of a secret that I believe gives me an advantage in seeing small, faint deep sky objects.