Spectacles for Spectacular Skies

Night myopia is the tendency — shown by many but not all people — to become more nearsighted in the dark.
S&T Illustration
Have you ever felt that you ought to be able to see more in the night sky using just your unaided eyes — or a pair of eyeglasses? Have you ever stood next to somebody who can see faint stars, or maybe even whole constellations, that are invisible to you? You may need nothing more than a new pair of eyeglasses.

Click here to download a PDF version of an article from the September 2005 issue of Sky & Telescope by former S&T editor Joshua Roth. Josh explains the fundamentals of night vision, a subject that's critically important to all stargazers, but not widely understood. And he describes night myopia, a phenomenon that's well-known to vision specialists but not to the general public. Truck drivers often get special glasses for driving at night, so why not astronomers? Special astronomy eyeglasses have revolutionized Josh's view of the night sky — and mine as well.

Tony Flanders
Associate Editor, Sky & Telescope