Hello and Astronomy Tips For The Blind

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  • Member since
    December, 2013
Hello and Astronomy Tips For The Blind
Posted by Astronomy Moon on Monday, December 02, 2013 11:50 AM

Hello, I am Astronomy Moon; I am new both to this forum and astrononomy in general. I am interested in star gazing, but am registered blind. I was recently given a basic refractor telescope (I obviously can't see which particular type) and I am visiting this site primarily for general star gazing tips for the blind and also to get some recommendations of good introductory astronomy books for beginners (written in brail obviously).

I live in London (in the UK), so there is quite a lot of ambient light which makes it difficult to see all the little dots in the sky (stars and planets etc). Fortunetly as I am blind I can't see this light pollution so this shouldn't get in the way of star gazing. Can anyone reccomend;

1. Best places in UK for star gazing.

2. Best time for star gazing (presumably night time?)

3. What is the best way to configure the telescope that enables the blind to see the stars. Please give quite clear instructions as I am not particularly well versed with the lay out of telescopes and obviously I can't see what I am doing.

4. My friend (also blind) advised me of a trick which involved poking a pin hole in a sheet of paper            and having the outline of the image projected on the another piece, he said you don't need to be able to directly see to able to do this? I have poor listening skills so if anyone could expand on this it would be very appreciated.

Any help with this would be greatly appreciated. I look forward to your posts and to getting involved with this exciting new hobby.

Thank you, Astronomy Moon.

  • Member since
    December, 2005
Posted by Oliver Tunnah on Monday, December 09, 2013 11:52 AM

Hello and welcome Astronomy Moon.

It really depends on how blind you actually are. Partialy blind people should be able to stargaze.

1) Away from the city really. Even 10 miles away from a major population centre provides a decent sky. But the truly best places in the UK are those that have been internationally recocgnised. Galloway Forest in Scotland. Kielder Forest in Northumbria (Though anywhere in the Northumbria national park is recomended!) Exmoor and Sark island.
This site might be of use. http://www.darkskydiscovery.org.uk/

2) Night is obviously a good place to start, but there is much you can do in daylight hours.

3) Not sure about this really. Someone with better knowledge might be able to help.

My advice is if you are really serious about astronomy then join a local astronomy group and then they can help and advise you face to face in real time. Also most groups have their favourite places to observe and doing it in a group can help you also.

  • Member since
    October, 2007
Posted by Aratus on Monday, December 09, 2013 1:38 PM

There are several organisations who bring astronomy to the blind, but it rather depends on specialised equipment.    There are those who have turned astronomical images into a texture.    It is possible to turn live images into a tactile display.   The use of CCD cameras can display astronomical objects on large screens, if the objects through a telescope are too dim, or lack contrast.   A lot depends of the level of sight a person has.

The location, or time of the day is not an issue, I wouldn't have thought.

You would need help, as has has been mentioned, an astronomical club with a bit of imagination and know-how would be able to help.



Location:  North West Devon, UK


Celestron Nexstar8i (8" SCT).

Celestron Skymaster binoculars 15x70

Other:0.63 & 0.33 correctors. X2 & X4 barlow.

Imagers: Meade DSI & Celestron NexImage.  Canon EOS 550D



  • Member since
    December, 2013
Posted by Astronomy Moon on Saturday, December 14, 2013 5:41 AM

Thanks guys, this is a great start, I  have checked out the link and it seems helpful.

  • Member since
    December, 2013
Posted by Astronomy Moon on Saturday, December 14, 2013 5:43 AM

Thanks guys, this is a great start. I checked out the link and it seems helpful, I agree it might be well worth venturing all the way to Scotland for some star gazing as I am fairly serious about taking this up as a hobby. 

If anyone else has any further tips, that would be very appreciated.

Thanks, Astronomy Moon

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