Return to the Cloudy Nights Telescope Reviews home pageAstronomics discounts for Cloudy Nights members
· Get a Cloudy Nights T-Shirt · Submit a Review / Article

Click here if you are having trouble logging into the forums

Privacy Policy | Please read our Terms of Service | Signup and Troubleshooting FAQ | Problems? PM a Red or a Green Gu… uh, User

Speciality Forums >> Science! Astronomy & Space Exploration, and Others

Pages: 1
Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Seeing Stars
      #6122190 - 10/07/13 11:18 AM

Our eyes can see the stars. Is there an evolutionary reason (advantage) for this having happened? Or, is the fact we can see the stars just a nice side benefit of the type of vision evolution gave us for other reasons?

Otto


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
PeterR280
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 05/27/13

Re: Seeing Stars new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #6122310 - 10/07/13 12:15 PM

our eyes are sensitive to light. Stars emit light in the visible segment. We happen to be most sensitive to yellow light which is the strongest wavelength for sunlight. that was the evolutionary contribution. If the sun had the strongest emission in infrared, we would be sensitive to infrared.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
GregLee1
professor emeritus


Reged: 07/21/13

Loc: Waimanalo, HI
Re: Seeing Stars new [Re: PeterR280]
      #6122397 - 10/07/13 12:50 PM

Tough question. There might be some connection between star gazing and the development of rod vision for seeing in dim light, and in turn to escaping predators or hunting at night.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
GlennLeDrew
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/18/08

Loc: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Re: Seeing Stars new [Re: GregLee1]
      #6122809 - 10/07/13 03:47 PM

We see stars merely because they happen to be near enough. If our solar system was located in intergalactic space, we would have evolved the same degree of night vision, but all we would see with eyes alone in the night sky, besides the Moon and planets, might be a couple or few little fuzzy galaxies.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Mxplx2
sage


Reged: 09/12/12

Loc: NE PA USA
Re: Seeing Stars new [Re: GlennLeDrew]
      #6123034 - 10/07/13 04:52 PM

I imagine the three-toed sloth can see the stars also with its eyes, and that doesn't seem to have done much for him (or her).

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Jarad
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 04/28/03

Loc: Atlanta, GA
Re: Seeing Stars new [Re: Mxplx2]
      #6123336 - 10/07/13 06:40 PM

We evolved eyes that see in the visible spectrum because those wavelengths are available from the nearest star - the sun. I don't think that seeing distant stars offers much advantage, but since they tend to emit in similar wavelengths as the sun, it's a "freebie".

Note that some animals have evolved the ability to see in infra-red (pit vipers) and ultra-violet (many insects). So there is nothing magic about the human visible spectrum - we could have evolved sensitivity to wavevlengths slightly above or below what we have. It's get harder to go extremely far out of our range due to chemistry - you have to have a chemical receptor that will capture photons of the wavelengths we see. Extremely long waves (radio or lower) don't have enough energy to change a chemical bond, and extremely short waves (x-ray and higher) have so much that they tend to destroy the chemical when they are absorbed, or just pass right through.

Jarad


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Pages: 1


Extra information
1 registered and 4 anonymous users are browsing this forum.

Moderator:  LivingNDixie, FirstSight, JayinUT 

Print Thread

Forum Permissions
      You cannot start new topics
      You cannot reply to topics
      HTML is disabled
      UBBCode is enabled


Thread views: 257

Jump to

CN Forums Home


Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics