This blind astronomer's unique vision brings the night sky alive in wonderful ways
In a small village in Nova Scotia in Canada, is located an observatory that is getting a lot of attention. Not surprising given the remarkable story of the man who is in charge.
The person is Timothy Doucette, a legally blind amateur astronomer, who is the man behind the Deep Sky Eye Observatory. Since the observatory opened in 2016, Doucette has welcomed thousands of visitors from countries as far as Germany and Australia.
The huge demand has led Doucette to expand his grounds to include overnight accommodations for star lovers later this year. There will be campsites, a cottage and bubble tents with clear tops so stargazing is easier.
Doucette says he was fascinated by the night sky from the time he was a child. He was not encouraged to pursue this because of his limited eyesight. He was born with congenital cataracts that were not noticed until he was more than one year old. As a result, Doucette was left with 10% of normal vision.
By the time he was 16 years old, Doucette had undergone many eye surgeries. His vision dropped to 5%. The cataracts had returned. He underwent another surgery to completely remove the lenses of his eyes and to bring his vision back up to 10%.
The removal of his lenses left him with excellent night vision and the ability to see ultraviolet light. This gives him an advantage over the average stargazer.