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Legally Blind Amateur Astronomer Can See the Night Sky Better Than You

Despite being born with congenital cataracts and having just 10 percent of a normal person’s vision during the day, when the night comes amateur astronomer Tim Doucette can see things most of us cannot.

When he was just a teenager, Doucette underwent an operation that removed the lenses from his eyes, and widened his pupils, in order to improve his weak sight. A normal person’s pupils automatically adjusts according to the amount of light coming in, but Tim’s are always open, letting in a lot  of light. During the day, everything he sees is extremely bright and overexposed, even when wearing glasses to protect his eyes from the light. His vision is about 10 percent that of the average person. However, at night time, everything changes…

The first time he noticed the special side-effect of his operation was when he first took off the bandages from his eyes. “I just had the bandage removed from one of my eyes, and looking up at the Milky Way and it was like a curtain had been lifted, it was just amazing,” Doucette remembers. At first, he actually thought he had a detached retina, as he was seeing millions of bright spots, but soon realized he was looking at the stars of our galaxy. 12 years ago, Tim’s wife, Amanda, who is also visually impaired, bought him a telescope and he took up astronomical observing as a hobby.

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