There are a number of numerical scales used to rate observing conditions in amateur astronomy. There is a 1 to 10 scale for seeing, and the John Bortle scale for evaluating sky darkness.
However, my observing buddies and I have settled on a scale for evaluating observing conditions based on the first words people say when they look through the eyepiece. Although they're completely subjective, people are remarkably consistant in the words they choose. Also, observers new to the scale seem to immediately grasp the meaning.
It's also a lot sillier than a numeric scale.
WARNING: Minors and people with taste should stop reading now.
|Standard Term||Alternate for polite company||Example|
|What am I looking at?||scope knocked off target|
|Hmmph||I see it||out of focus moon, at public star parties|
|Shitty, Crappy||Lousy||no bands on jupiter|
|Crummy||two bands on jupiter, but nothing else|
|Wow!||quarter moon seen through APO refractor|
|Orgasmic!||"Yesssss!" or "Awesome!"||M13 seen though a 25"|
|Holy Shit!||HS||M42 seen though a 25"|
|Holy Fuck!||HF||On Jupiter: detail inside blue-green festoons, tiny white ovals, dark red spots and detail inside the GRS. Any detail on Ganymede.|
|Holy Fucking Shit!||HFS||Cat's Eye nebula seen through an 82"|
|Totally Fucking Awesome!||TFA||The bridge connecting NGC5194 and NGC5195 in M51, as seen though an 82"|
Erudite psycholgists will recognize this as a Just Noticable Difference scale.
Canadians will notice that we swear just to keep from freezing.
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