(IAAC) Fwd: (meteorobs) LM Star Count vs Milky Way Perception

------- Forwarded Message

From: GeoZay@aol.com
Date: Thu, 27 Aug 1998 14:38:40 EDT
To: meteorobs@latrade.com
Subject: (meteorobs) LM Star Count vs Milky Way Perception

I have an interesting paradox that has puzzled me for some while. Perhaps if I
explain it here, someone will have some hint as to why this puzzle exists?

Sometime last year, Marco mentioned that he doesn't start noticing the Milky
Way until he gets a star count that gives an LM around 6.0. I believe Robert
Lunsford said something similar? They both often will achieve LM's on dark
nights in the upper 6's and above. My normal limiting magnitude that I can get
from a very dark sky location from this method is at best around 6.0 to 6.1.
In my case, I begin to perceive the milky way when my LM is near 5.2. These
observers can see dimmer stars than I on a routine basis, but don't notice the
milky way until they get a 6.0 sky. It puzzles me as to why I can't see the
dimmer stars but am able to perceive the milky way with a brighter sky than
these individuals with the apparent better eyesight. 

At first I thought that my difficulty would lie in the area that some of the
dim stars in my star count are too close together and I'm not able to split
them for the count. But in some star count areas, there aren't any close stars
that would effect my star count that much and still give me an LM near 6.0.  I
routinely get a near 6.0 sky no matter where I make the count. I assume it has
something to with physiology...but can't seem to grasp in what way? Perhaps
the overall color of light from the Milky Way is easier for me to perceive and
still not able to pick up on dim stars all that much? Any one with any ideas
as to why?


------- End of Forwarded Message