(IAAC) You *might* be a Deep-Sky Nut if...
A fellow meteor observer sent this one to taunt me. Enjoy! :)
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Date: Wed, 16 Sep 1998 23:50:46 -0400
To: Lew Gramer at work <email@example.com>
From: "C.L. Hall" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Deep sky observing...
You know you're a Deep Sky Observer when...
You frequently wish Earth had no moon.
You consider Jupiter 'light pollution'.
You consider meteors 'light pollution'.
You consider the Milky Way 'light pollution'.
You pack Dry Ice around your head to reduce the "noise" from your retina
and optic nerve.
You refuse to use the ladder with your 20" f/6 at the Winter Star Party
stating, "If I use that, the objects are too far north."
You consider the H-II regions of distant galaxies as individual
You spend most of your time looking at or for objects you can barely
Your favorite objects are objects you can barely see.
You enjoy looking at faint fuzzies with the smallest possible aperture.
You enjoy looking at faint fuzzies with the largest possible aperture.
You like to choose objects that are easier to imagine than to see.
Your observing schedule demands that you search for objects in twilight.
You wonder how your favorite objects missed getting included in the New
General Catalog or the Index Catalog.
You're not sure that anything in this solar system counts as Astronomy
You're amazed that anyone needs artificial light to read charts.
You could do a Messier Marathon from memory, if you still bothered with
You can read all the NGC abbreviated visual descriptions without using
the key, but you have to be careful not to cheat by just
remembering what things look like.
You view a major earthquake as an opportunity for a close-in dark-sky
You are attending a major star party (guess which one), and you ask the
organizers to turn down the Milky Way.
You believe M13 ruined your dark adaptation.
You welcome (and have even considered instigating) power cuts, but only
if they occur on clear moonless nights.
You observe M42 at the end of the sessions because it DOES ruin dark
Your choice of a new vehicle is determined by the size of your scope.
Vacation time is planned around the Winter and Texas (or other) Star
Arp is not a funny sound, but the name of one of your favorite galaxy
You challenge friends by saying .."Lets do something stupid" ..as you
hunt for deep sky objects on a lazy, full-moon night because
you are faint-photon starved.
You find auroras a complete annoyance because they ruin sky contrast and
You can recite type and magnitude off the top of your head when asked
"What is a NGC 1000?"
Your ideal site would require oxygen - or maybe a spaceship!
Your ideal vacation would be in Namibia, but...
Your ideal telescope would be immovable.
You prep your eyes by applying pupil dilating drops until they open to
You travel to Australia to read your star charts by the light of the
Instead of vitamins you take billberry pills.
You actually know where to get billberry jam, and make a point of
consuming some prior to observing sessions
You'd rather observe than go on a hot date.
For some reason you're always depressed when that time of the month
(full moon) occurs
In preparation for another DSO bout, you carefully massage your eyes to
make sure all your rods are discharged.
You pay $3500 for a pupil enlargement operation even though you own a 1
meter light bucket.
You complain you can't really see the faint stuff because the
Gegenschein is too bright.
You consider how to blow-up the SUN in order to reduce light pollution.
While spot checking the collimation of your dob, you note that with
concentration you can just begin to detect spiral structure in the
dust coating your primary.
You take deep-sky pictures during a total eclipse of the moon.
You bitch about severe light pollution when the limiting magnitude is
You actually know how to USE setting circles.
You have NO use for setting circles. Star hopping to a 18th mag. smudge
is a breeze.
You actually USE 'Uranometria', and can quote page numbers.
You frequently disagree with Burnhams, and have seriously considered
publishing your OWN "observer's guide".
You see absolutely no value in using a Telrad.
Your principal finder scope is larger than 80mm.
You consider 15 minutes to be a 'quick' exposure.
You see more DSOs on your laptop screen during an evenings' observing
session than you do through the eyepiece.
You have seriously considered starting up your own anti-satellite lobby.
You have blackened the edges of your eyeglasses.
You are briefly taken aback by the brightness of a normal flashlight
under "normal flashlight" circumstances (power outages, e.g.)
You hire a crop duster to spray the surrounding area because last night
the fire flies kept ruining your dark adaptation.
You think GM's Daytime Running Lights are some kind of evil alien
You can make ten trips lugging equipment back and forth across a cow
pasture without stepping on a single cow pie, using only
the illumination of that garishly bright Milky Way to guide you.
You wear sun screen during full moon periods.
You wear sun glasses during full moon periods.
You wear red sunglasses all day in preparation for viewing that night.
You've been thinking that a 14th century black monk's hood is a pretty
Night lights are a nuisance in your house.
You wear an eye patch during the viewing session.
The dome light of your car is painted red.
You paint the LED's on your equipment with red fingernail polish so that
they are dimmer.
You begin to realize that even the deepest red flash light is affecting
You remove the LED on your drive control panel, because THAT ruins your
You use an infrared flashlight.
You keep thinking that if only the stars would go away, it might really
You always set your scope up so that you can't move your car until
You bring a gallon of coffee (or 12 pack of Diet Coke) to the viewing
session. If the caffeine doesn't keep you awake the urge to
You keep a cross-index of stuff that you have looked at on 3x5 file
cards organized by object catalog number, so you can easily
find your logged observations of any specific object.
You have elective surgery to replace your eye's natural lenses with
f/0.8, oil-spaced, apochromatic triplet objectives designed by
You think about how to smash the nearby street light without getting
You think about how much the penalty would be for smashing the nearby
You're caught by the police climbing light poles at night trying to
"unscrew" the bulbs.
You ask your neighbors over to star gaze, so they will know to turn out
their porch lights.
You can talk with a red flashlight in your mouth.
You can understand somebody else talking with a red flashlight in THEIR
You believe bug repellent messes up your coatings, so you've become
adept at slapping mosquitoes without moving your eyes or
bumping the scope.
Every November you are terrified that the Leonids might storm and mess
up your observations.
Your wife hires a skywriter to tell you to come home.
You have Kendrick dew heaters on your eyeglasses.
You insist that your optician put anti-reflection coatings on your
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