Frequently Asked Questions


Q: Why are there only 838 objects in the database? There are many more deep sky objects than that.
A: The database is limited by the ability to obtain accurate distance data on intra-galactic objects. Planetary nebulae are particularly hard to get distance data for. The database will expand in the future, but it is getting hard to find data for new objects.

Q: Where is M13? says the distance to object X is 1300 light-years, but I've seen another reference saying it is only 1000 light-years away. Who's right?
A: Distance estimates for many objects are just that - estimates. The values given in different sources can vary by quite a bit. We have made a determined effort to get information from the most authoritative sources.

Q: Why doesn't Where is M13? have a red, night vision mode for use in the field?
A: Think Astronomy recommends using dark red plexiglas or rubylith film over your laptop screen. LCDs leak a lot of light that software solutions do not adequately control. It you do want to try a software solution, the free Dark Adapted software will set your whole display to night vision mode. This is available for both Windows and Macintosh.