Why Deep Sky Eye ?
My name is Tim Doucette. I am legally blind, meaning I only have about 10% of my eyesight. I was blind for the first year of my life due to cataracts (a clouding of the lens of the eye). Seems the first six months of a baby's life is when the eyes develop. Missed the boat on that one :)
The easiest way to explain it to the techies is: If your eye is a 10 megapixel camera, mine only has the resolution of a 1 megapixel camera. Give me enough magnification (telesope) and I will see what you see, in fact in some cases better.
Why? In the 70's cataract surgery involved removing the lens of the eyes, which not only provides magnification but filters out certain wavelengths of light such as Utraviolet & Infra-red. Oh and did I mention that my eyes are for the most part permenantly dialated? So yes, I have super night vision and I have to wear sunglasses most of time, exept at night of course. Many 'Deep Sky' objects emmit tiny amounts of this light, which is filtered out by the lena of the eye. Ain't got one of those. Missed the boat again you say? Not really. My retina seems to be extra sensitive to light and hence I'm able to see faint 'Deep Sky' objects which most people cannot, hence 'Deep Sky Eye'. How much? That's a project for another day.
Time and Space
I have been fascinated with space for as long as I can remember. On my 12th birthday my parents bought me my first telescope. I was amazed when looking at the moon and was hoping someday to buy a camera adapter to be able to take photos, but the camera adapter had gone out of production by the time I went to order it. A small dream put on the shelf for awhile.
Even though I could only see a few bright sky objects, I still enjoyed gazing at the moon.
Little did I realize I lived in probably one of the darkest sky sites in North America, Quinan, Nova Scotia.
A small village in no man's land, 30 minutes from Yarmouth. Unfortunatly due to my eye condition, I was only able to see a few bright sky objects.
The curtain is lifted !
In the early 90's I had undergone surgery to cleanup scar tissue and remove the remaining parts of the lenses of my eyes, because my vision was getting worse. My left eye was done first. I can still remember when I got home at night, I stepped out of the car looked up at the sky, opened my eyes and said, "I think I'm having a detached retina". After a minute, I realized that was the 'Mily Way Galaxy !!".
My life, My Starry Wife !
Putting Astronomy asside for nearly 15 years, in the summer of 2002 my wife wanted to buy me a 4.5 inch reflector telescope to view the opposition of Mars. She had been after me for years to find a hobby. Little did she know she would be opening Pandor's Box! $300 turned into ~$.
The Observatory !
I have been doing astrophotography now since 2004. It is has been evolving and continues to evolve. After hitting 100 entries in my journal, I realized it was time for a more permanent setup. The POD (Personal Observatory Dome) by SkyShed was my original choice. I would have to wait just over a year from the time of ordering it, to receiving it. A few weeks before delivery a friend of mine offered to sell me his Explora-Dome observatory already pre-built. It was a deal too good to pass up.
UPDATE: 2015 Deep Sky Eye 2.0
My family and I have recently moved to Quinan, NS where we have started an Astrotourism business. Follow our blog for more information.