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My Journey to the Green Side; NV Astronomy

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#26 eastwd

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Posted 31 January 2016 - 10:23 PM

Eddgie, when you use your 3x afocal lens snapped onto the front of your ENVIS lens with your NVD Micro monocular, where do you mount your 1.25" H-a filter?  When I screw an H-a filter onto the front of the ENVIS using the adapter I got from RAF Camera, the H-a filter juts out beyond the front of the ENVIS lens to the point where the clip on connector on the 3x afocal lens isn't long enough to securely snap over the ENVIS and stay securely in place any longer.  I'm hoping to be able to use an H-a filter for both 1x and 3x viewing.  The photo you included in this post you did on a CN recent thread shows what I'm talking about:

 

http://www.cloudynig...phor/?p=6969794

 

I now have all the components for my night vision setup except the most expensive one -- the image intensifier tube. Trying to be ready for when it arrives. Thanks!  



#27 cnoct

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Posted 01 February 2016 - 06:03 AM

Maffei 2, barely seen with my 18" dob and PVS-7.

In the city. In the glare of streetlights.

After 12 years of unsuccessful trying with normal eyepieces. "Drops mic like Neil Degrasse Tyson"

http://www.spitzer.c...e-Hidden-Galaxy


No flatlining with NV!

Congratulations on seeing this one!

Seriously wish all those with 18" + mirrors using NV would take some video's  :ranting: . All videos seem to come from those of use with aperture impaired scopes. 

 
 

Very cool! Probably out of reach for my 11"


You should be fine, my 10" under urban skies allows me to see it and that 10" has a ratty old mirror that's grossly corroded, entire surface is mottled.


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#28 HarknessAstro

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Posted 01 February 2016 - 07:14 AM

I've got an old NV monocular somewhere that I bought for hunting and after reading all of these NV astronomy posts I'm itching to find it and take it out for a spin! To be honest, before reading the CN posts about this alternative use for NV, I had never even given it a thought. Wow!



#29 StarMike8SE

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Posted 01 February 2016 - 08:12 AM

This has been a great thread.  I am itching for one of these.  Saving my pennies!!!



#30 Eddgie

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Posted 01 February 2016 - 08:25 AM

Eddgie, when you use your 3x afocal lens snapped onto the front of your ENVIS lens with your NVD Micro monocular, where do you mount your 1.25" H-a filter?  When I screw an H-a filter onto the front of the ENVIS using the adapter I got from RAF Camera, the H-a filter juts out beyond the front of the ENVIS lens to the point where the clip on connector on the 3x afocal lens isn't long enough to securely snap over the ENVIS and stay securely in place any longer.  I'm hoping to be able to use an H-a filter for both 1x and 3x viewing.  The photo you included in this post you did on a CN recent thread shows what I'm talking about:

 

http://www.cloudynig...phor/?p=6969794

 

I now have all the components for my night vision setup except the most expensive one -- the image intensifier tube. Trying to be ready for when it arrives. Thanks!  

 

It will not clip into place, but tit should engage the splines with sufficient depth to hold the lens in position and allow focus by turning the afocal lens. 

 

I just rap a couple of fingers around the clip-on connector to hold the afocal lens in position.  It is very light, and I use the same hand that is holding the Micro, so easy to do.

 

Be sure that the rear of of the afocal lens does not extend far enough into the filter cell to contact the glass.   The rear lens projects out and is a smaller diameter than the filer cell housing, so it can actually extend past the front of the filter cell.   It will only go in a couple of millimeters, so most filters should be fine because in most cases, the filter glass will be much deeper in the cell than this.

 

Anyway, you are right, it does not clip on, but it will stay in alignment and it should be very easy to hold it in place with a couple of fingers.

 

I use this all the time because it is fast and easy to do.  The Afocal has provided some of the best views of large nebula due to the fast focal ratio of the system.

 

You might find a way to mount a 48mm filter on the front, but now you will be stepping down the lens, and again, the thing that makes the afocal such an amazing performer is that the system is very fast with it in place.

 

If it bothers you though, you can of course use an SLR lens with 2 filter, but in most cases, you are going to reduce the aperture and focal ratio.  The afocal with the H-a between it and the ENVIS has given me by very best views of most larger nebula.  Lots of structure in the California for example.   Best view of Angelfish.

 

Do check that your filter has a glass recessed sufficently deep so that the rear of the afocal lens won't contact the glass.


Edited by Eddgie, 01 February 2016 - 08:30 AM.

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#31 Doug Culbertson

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Posted 01 February 2016 - 04:39 PM

This has been a great thread.  I am itching for one of these.  Saving my pennies!!!

 

It will be well worth the pennies! Remember to ask a lot of questions here after you read that CN article about NV astronomy.


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#32 Doug Culbertson

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Posted 01 February 2016 - 09:19 PM

Using the PVS-7 with a Ha filter in my 11" dob tonight I saw the Horse Head! Not just a notch in IC434, but the whole freaking head! Holy smokes is this thing cool or what?  :D


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#33 The Ardent

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Posted 01 February 2016 - 09:24 PM

:)

#34 Eddgie

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Posted 01 February 2016 - 10:35 PM

Using the PVS-7 with a Ha filter in my 11" dob tonight I saw the Horse Head! Not just a notch in IC434, but the whole freaking head! Holy smokes is this thing cool or what?  :D

Very cool!

 

I just got my first good look at Horesehaed in the 12" dob a week ago.   From my light polluted back yard!

 

Like your report the shape was very recognizable even though the nebula around it was dim.

 

It was much bigger than I thought it would be.

 

Excellent report.

 

I know people often look at the negatives (cost, everything is green, can't change eyepeices) but WOW! can you see some freaking cool green stuff!


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#35 Doug Culbertson

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Posted 02 February 2016 - 06:30 AM

 

Using the PVS-7 with a Ha filter in my 11" dob tonight I saw the Horse Head! Not just a notch in IC434, but the whole freaking head! Holy smokes is this thing cool or what?  :D

Very cool!

 

I just got my first good look at Horesehaed in the 12" dob a week ago.   From my light polluted back yard!

 

Like your report the shape was very recognizable even though the nebula around it was dim.

 

It was much bigger than I thought it would be.

 

Excellent report.

 

I know people often look at the negatives (cost, everything is green, can't change eyepeices) but WOW! can you see some freaking cool green stuff!

 

 

I meant to mention what you noted about the HH. Yes, the head was much larger than I expected, with the surrounding nebula dimmer than I expected. When I saw it I actually laughed out loud. Very exciting!

 

I can't even describe M42 well enough to do it justice, but seeing it in the 11" with night vision was like seeing it for the first time. The Flame Nebula looked like a photograph, only green. 

 

Personally I think that the green is cool. I mean, people are always asking how to see color in DSOs, right?  :cool:


Edited by Doug Culbertson, 02 February 2016 - 06:34 AM.


#36 Eddgie

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Posted 02 February 2016 - 08:47 AM

 

 

Using the PVS-7 with a Ha filter in my 11" dob tonight I saw the Horse Head! Not just a notch in IC434, but the whole freaking head! Holy smokes is this thing cool or what?  :D

Very cool!

 

I just got my first good look at Horesehaed in the 12" dob a week ago.   From my light polluted back yard!

 

Like your report the shape was very recognizable even though the nebula around it was dim.

 

It was much bigger than I thought it would be.

 

Excellent report.

 

I know people often look at the negatives (cost, everything is green, can't change eyepeices) but WOW! can you see some freaking cool green stuff!

 

 

I meant to mention what you noted about the HH. Yes, the head was much larger than I expected, with the surrounding nebula dimmer than I expected. When I saw it I actually laughed out loud. Very exciting!

 

I can't even describe M42 well enough to do it justice, but seeing it in the 11" with night vision was like seeing it for the first time. The Flame Nebula looked like a photograph, only green. 

 

Personally I think that the green is cool. I mean, people are always asking how to see color in DSOs, right?  :cool:

 

 

Yes, much bigger than I had thought it would be even at 53x.

 

I had tried to see it well for 30 years in a dozen scopes under even dark skies.

 

Then, after all that, I get to see it from my back yard using an inexpensive 12" dob.

 

And I agree.. Orion Nebula is outrageous. The amount of detail is quite fabulous. 

 

Happy that you are enjoying it!!!!


Edited by Eddgie, 02 February 2016 - 08:47 AM.

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#37 Doug Culbertson

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Posted 02 February 2016 - 10:48 AM

BTW, just for giggles I tried taking a few shots of M42 through the eyepiece of the PVS-7 with my iPhone. I had enough trouble keeping the camera steady without trying for fine focus, so here's my best shot out of five. While it does not do the actual view any justice, it does show the extent of the nebula and the green color as seen through the eyepieces.

 

M42_zps4xe4qv9e.jpg


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#38 The Ardent

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Posted 02 February 2016 - 02:43 PM

Did you even imagine a year ago, that you would be observing the Sharpless Catalog? As a matter of routine?

#39 Doug Culbertson

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Posted 02 February 2016 - 03:44 PM

Did you even imagine a year ago, that you would be observing the Sharpless Catalog? As a matter of routine?


I can honestly say that I did not. I have said before that this has redefined astronomy for me.
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#40 The Ardent

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Posted 02 February 2016 - 04:01 PM

Another paradigm shift for me: following the imaging forums to compare views of H-a targets. I'm tickled when they report "x hours" of data when I see it in real time.
Of course there's no comparing the level of detail in a multi hour image vs real time NV... But often I can look at a published image and say I saw this feature, or that dark lane, or....

Edited by The Ardent, 02 February 2016 - 04:02 PM.

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#41 Eddgie

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 08:41 AM

Another paradigm shift for me: following the imaging forums to compare views of H-a targets. I'm tickled when they report "x hours" of data when I see it in real time.
Of course there's no comparing the level of detail in a multi hour image vs real time NV... But often I can look at a published image and say I saw this feature, or that dark lane, or....

 

Yes, the first time I saw the Swan nebula, which I think was my first H-a target, I was hooked.

 

Even from my light polluted yard, the swan was easily visible in my C14 or 12" dob, but mostly I just saw the little honker himself with a hit of nebular glow around it.   With the Micro, I saw that the Swan floats on a big pool of nebular water.

 

As you say, when I looked at very long exposure images, I see that this area exists, but seeing the extent of it in real time was nothing short of utterly delightful.

 

For me though, the bigger paradigm change was the liberation from the small box imposed by event the smallest of new generation refractors.  People are using telescopes with 50mm and 60mm aperture, but even these lock you out of a sky that is stupendously glorious.

 

Sweeping across the Milky Way at Unity and seeing these giant structures of gas populating our local arm of the Galaxy has been for me, one of the most enthralling things I have ever done.    Barnard's loop even under Mag 5 skies is spectacularly large.    By itself it is one of the most remarkable sights in the sky.

 

When you see it in the same field with Orion complex, the Horse Head, the Flame, the Cone and the Anglefish Nebula, it fundamentally changes your perspective of the local galaxy.

 

I have become enamored with big field observing.   The most thrilling observing I have ever done.

 

I credit Cnoct's amazing Youtube videos as the inspiration.   No offense intended to him, and I am sure he understands when I say that as great as his videos (and now JDBastro's) are, there is nothing like seeing it for yourself.


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#42 Doug Culbertson

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 09:40 AM

 

Another paradigm shift for me: following the imaging forums to compare views of H-a targets. I'm tickled when they report "x hours" of data when I see it in real time.
Of course there's no comparing the level of detail in a multi hour image vs real time NV... But often I can look at a published image and say I saw this feature, or that dark lane, or....

 

Yes, the first time I saw the Swan nebula, which I think was my first H-a target, I was hooked.

 

Even from my light polluted yard, the swan was easily visible in my C14 or 12" dob, but mostly I just saw the little honker himself with a hit of nebular glow around it.   With the Micro, I saw that the Swan floats on a big pool of nebular water.

 

As you say, when I looked at very long exposure images, I see that this area exists, but seeing the extent of it in real time was nothing short of utterly delightful.

 

For me though, the bigger paradigm change was the liberation from the small box imposed by event the smallest of new generation refractors.  People are using telescopes with 50mm and 60mm aperture, but even these lock you out of a sky that is stupendously glorious.

 

Sweeping across the Milky Way at Unity and seeing these giant structures of gas populating our local arm of the Galaxy has been for me, one of the most enthralling things I have ever done.    Barnard's loop even under Mag 5 skies is spectacularly large.    By itself it is one of the most remarkable sights in the sky.

 

When you see it in the same field with Orion complex, the Horse Head, the Flame, the Cone and the Anglefish Nebula, it fundamentally changes your perspective of the local galaxy.

 

I have become enamored with big field observing.   The most thrilling observing I have ever done.

 

I credit Cnoct's amazing Youtube videos as the inspiration.   No offense intended to him, and I am sure he understands when I say that as great as his videos (and now JDBastro's) are, there is nothing like seeing it for yourself.

 

 

Well said, both of you. I have a hard time putting into words the impact of pointing the PVS-7 at Orion with a Ha filter and only using 1x and seeing objects that I have never seen through a telescope in over 25 years of observing. I did not even know that the Angelfish nebula existed, but there it was. I was looking toward the Tallahassee light dome when I was observing the Orion complex for the first time with this device, yet Bernard's Loop was easy, and I could see the entire loop as seen in photographs. One thing that I forgot to mention was that while I was seeing all of the nebulosity in M42 that is seen in photographs, the Trapezium wasn't burned out as it is in photos.

 

When I first saw the California nebula, which I had never seen in a telescope before, I was amazed at how big it is, and that it was just hanging there, so obvious that one wonders why it can't be seen with normal vision. Add the 3x magnifier and so much structure is revealed that I gasped out loud. The same reaction came from looking at the Rosette, the Cone, and the Heart and Soul with Ha and the 3x magnifier. Some of these objects looked way better at unity or 3x than through the telescope just because of the sheer size of the objects.


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#43 Eddgie

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 09:57 AM

Yes, this has been an ongoing point of mine.  Many of these objects are quite large and even the smallest telescopes really can't capture their magnificence, if you can even see them at all. This is often difficult for those that don't live under very dark, clear, and dry skies. 

 

It is the scale of things that has really stunned me.   Hard to appreciate it until you see the sky at Unity.

 

I see you are getting good use out of the 3x magnifier.   I have some very nice SLR lenses, but I keep gravitating back to the 3x.  It is just so light and fast and simple.  Mag on, mag off.

 

I probably do 90% of my observing using just the PVS-7 and 3x.   So much to see.


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#44 Doug Culbertson

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 10:49 AM


 

I probably do 90% of my observing using just the PVS-7 and 3x.   So much to see.

 

Same here, so far. There is so much to see, and this is just so easy to take out and start observing. Really the ultimate grab and go setup. I've had small refractors on alt/az mounts, etc. all for the sake of getting out and observing quickly. Those rigs couldn't show me a fraction of what I have seen in the couple of weeks that I have had the PVS-7.

 

BTW, I did finally get a lanyard on my device. :)



#45 Eddgie

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 11:39 AM

Good news on the Lanyard.  One drop of a PVS-7 put a glowing doughnut in the edge of the field.     Learned my lesson.

 

These days, I would recommend a decent night vision device as being far more complimentary to a dob than a small refractor.   You get big field views impossible to get even in the smallest refractor, and you get a view in the dob that pretty much doubles the aperture.

 

I know that people resist the price of NV gear, but when you can take a 10" scope and challenge a 20" scope, or turn your back yard into a dark sky, the price to me suddenly seems downright cheap.



#46 Doug Culbertson

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 11:48 AM


I know that people resist the price of NV gear, but when you can take a 10" scope and challenge a 20" scope, or turn your back yard into a dark sky, the price to me suddenly seems downright cheap.

 

I agree. The price was a bit tough to swallow at first, but I have come to realize that this is the best money that I have ever spent on astronomy. OK, this and my Teeter dob, but you get my drift. Actually, I believe that I could be completely happy with just the night vision device, a 3x magnifier and a couple of filters if it came down to it. Pretty soon I expect to whittle my eyepiece collection down to my Leica zoom and 2x Powermate for the moon and planets. My last session with the dob I was never even tempted to drop in any conventional eyepieces once I aligned my DSCs.

 

I think that I mentioned early on, or in my first thread, that my home was once a dark site, but it is becoming more and more light polluted. I have been unable to find a darker site that I can drive to, at least not where I wouldn't be arrested for trespassing, so we had been contemplating selling our place and moving to another county where it would be darker, but it would also add another half hour to our commute to work. The PVS-7 was much less costly and way more convenient than moving, not to mention that I still wouldn't see the Horse Head through my 11" even from a darker site!


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#47 PEterW

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 02:03 PM

More happy customers... Welcome to the green side... We have nebulae! ;-) Anyone fancy making us up a logo!?

Cheers

Peter
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#48 Doug Culbertson

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Posted 08 February 2016 - 10:25 AM

Another clear night, at last, and another couple of hours of unity observing with the Ha filter. This time I picked up the Flaming Star Nebula in Auriga, and I don't know how the heck I missed that one during my previous sessions. Since I was just kind of sweeping around at the time, my first thought was "I don't remember the Heart and Soul being that big!", then I actually looked up with the Mark I eyeballs and realized where I was.

 

So many Sharpless objects that I am going to have to print out the whole catalog to take out with me.



#49 PEterW

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Posted 08 February 2016 - 02:28 PM

There is no catalog map, you'll want to strip out the tiny ones and the faint ones, then add what's left to a printed chart. I have done this on an ad hoc basis using the Triatlas as the base map. I have also printed off colour inverted DSS images which neatly turn red nebulae into blue.. Which show up perfectly under red Astro torches. There are some good overview charts at Reiner vogels pages... Go digging. http://www.reinervog...harpless_e.html
The interstellarum deep sky atlas plots quite a few, but there are some missing things I have had to lovingly pencil in.

Happy hunting!

Peter

#50 Doug Culbertson

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Posted 08 February 2016 - 02:37 PM

Thanks Peter. As you said, I was unable to find any sort of map of Sharpless objects, only the catalog of objects. I appreciate that link!

 

FWIW, if you use Sky Safari, I found this site that has three Sharpless sky lists (from SH 2-1 to SH 2-100, 2-101 to 2-235, and 2-239 to 2-312)  that can be imported to Sky Safari. I think that I will do that once I get home and can do that on my iPad.


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