September 30, 2011

Enjoying God’s Creation: Take time to focus

It was a perfect night for viewing! Pristine, crisp skies. No moonlight. No breeze. Low humidity. Superb conditions for star gazing. My telescope was primed, collimated and already set up in the back yard. 006

Darkness couldn’t come fast enough. So, imagine my disappointment – after all the waiting -- when my first peek at Jupiter was nothing but a fuzzy mess.  

WHAT !?!

I fiddled with the focus knob and double-checked the eyepiece. Then, I ran down the check list:
  • I had collimated my telescope.
  • I had allowed ample time for the scope to acclimate. 
  • The eyepieces were clean and free of smudges.
  • My eyes had adjusted to the dark.
Something was very wrong. A properly collimated telescope should produce a nice, crisp image – not this optical slurry!  Grrrrrrrr… Maybe the primary or secondary mirrors had been damaged while in storage or needed cleaned? Perhaps there was more atmospheric disturbance than I realized?

Unfortunately, there was little I could do to improve the situation in the dark, so I gathered my gear and headed back inside. *pouty face* It wasn’t until a few days later that I discovered the real problem.


Yep. A visit to my eye doctor confirmed that my vision had seriously slipped!

what I see without glasses

I’ve been walking around in a sickening fuzz, and I couldn’t see the problem… because I don’t SEE correctly to start with. The slip was gradual, and it took a long time before it became so bad that I simply could not bring things into focus any longer.

The good news is my eyes are healthy, so they have the potential to see better.  With the right vision prescription, incoming light will focus through the corrective lens and onto the proper point in my eye resulting in a clear image and proper perspective. Without correction, the light scatters, falls short of the proper focal point leaving everything I see blanketed in blur.

No matter how much I tinker with the alignment in my telescope, or twist the focal ring on the eyepiece, as long as my own vision remains uncorrected, I will never achieve an accurate focus. I’ll miss so many details and be blind to the fullness and depth of beauty that lies cloaked in the far reaches of the sky. Targets that could be brought into view will remain just out of reach or be distorted beyond detection.

Taking time to get the focus right is key to happy viewing, and that starts by making sure that my eyes get a healthy adjustment from a regular check-up.

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, 
the author and perfector 
of our faith.” 
Heb. 12:2



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