Stellar Visibility Against Limited Background Illuminations – Watching Stars in Passage Graves
Kieran Simcox
Nottingham Trent University
Daniel Brown
The human eye is a versatile observing tool that can detect faint stars during night time conditions. Such observations are more challenging during twilight conditions, important times during which the first visibility of a star in the year through naked eye observation can be determined, referred to as heliacal rising. There is evidence that detection rates would be enhanced when constraining the field of view to a section of the sky.
This is a progress report of a project exploring the naked eye visibility in context of passage graves such as the Seven-Stone Antas and contribute to the research field of archaeoastronomy and cultural astronomy. It intends to modify theoretical work carried out by Schaefer including a limited field of background brightness. We will explore the possibilities of testing the findings using an existing experimental setup. We will apply basic definitions of magnitudes and spectral energy distributions covered in 1st year astronomy with physiological explorations of the human eye.