Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Rods and Cones

After learning about rods and cones it made an experience I had over the summer make much more sense. This past July I was sitting outside with my friend one night just hanging out and there happened to be a lot of stars in the sky. While I was looking at my friend I kept noticing in the corner of my eye a bright light in the sky. Before looking it seemed to be much brighter than the rest and stood out very much. When I looked directly at the light it didn't appear nearly as bright as I had expected it to be. I found this very odd and even turned my head a few times to try and figure out the reasoning for it. No matter what I did the light looked brightest when I was directly looking at something different. I told my friend what was going on and neither one of us could make sense of it. I assumed I was just kind of crazy.
After learning about rods and cones in class this all makes much more sense now. Cones are located on the fovea which is the center of the back of the eye and these respond best to color and light. Rods, however, are located along the sides and are not only better in peripheral vision but also better at light detection in the dark. It makes complete sense why the light I saw was so much brighter and more visible when I was not looking straight at it, due to the rods in our eyes.

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