Abstract

The Blackwell data on the positive-contrast thresholds of the human eye have been cross plotted in luminance values and incorporated into a nomogram for determining whether light sources can be seen either with the unaided eye, or with a telescope. The nomogram incorporates data for the two special cases where the light source is in front of, and beyond the source of background luminance; the former is readily applicable to the general cases and the latter is applicable to the important special cases of stars, planets, and other exo-atmospheric sources. The nomogram allows the effects of aberrations, diffraction, defocusing, and transmission losses in a telescope to be taken into account. The effects of aberrations, etc., in the eye itself are discussed.

© 1967 Optical Society of America

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