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Night Vision changes everything

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#26 Eddgie

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Posted 11 July 2016 - 12:16 PM

It also works the other way as well.   

I read over and over how people want a bigger scope but worry that the added size will make it less likely to be used or transported so they stay with what they have.

 

When I read this kind of post, I often respond to them by suggesting NV as an alternative to taking on the hassle of the bigger scope and when one does the math on the sale price of their existing scope and the extra money being thrown into a new scope, suddenly even a $3000 NVD MIcro does not seem all that expensive.

 

For many NV is in fact no more expensive than the alternative of buying a very big scope and with NV they will get new and very exiting viewing options that did not previously exist for them.

 

I can see the Horse Head Nebula from my freaking back yard!  I know observers using 16" scopes that say they have struggled to see it well. 

 

Under dark skies, I can see all of Barnar'ds loop and even the finest, fastest Triplet Apo can't do that.    

 

Expense.  I always here that.    Hollow to those that have NV, but because they have not fully understood the whole value proposition,  still a very powerful objection from most traditional observers..


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#27 Eddgie

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Posted 11 July 2016 - 12:26 PM

And of course the expense is often powerfully offset by the great traditional eyepiece purge that tends to follow the Night Vision adaption.   I binoview, so I went from a peak of maybe 20 eyepieces, many of them very expensive Naglers and ES types, to an inventory of three Nagler, My Denk D21s, and a pair of Hyperion Zooms.   I raised more than the price of my less expensive PVS-7 by later selling off stuff I did not use anymore. 

 

Except for solar system, I don't think I have used a traditional eyepiece in 6 months except as an occasional reminder of how much freaking better the view is using NV.. LOL..

 

And the whole "Which is better, an 82 degree or __________ field" dialog on Eyepiece forum.  Here we are using plastic eyepieces with a 40 degree apparent field and yet I hardly ever hear people complaining about it and as the talented Ms Morissette wrote and sang " isn't it ironic, don't you think?"  I do.  LOL.. 


Edited by Eddgie, 11 July 2016 - 12:29 PM.


#28 PEterW

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Posted 11 July 2016 - 12:31 PM

Yes, if you look at the cost curve for reflectors it goes near vertical beyond 16" or so. All NVD needs is speed, aperture sets the magnification. Means you don't attract too much attention at star parties.
If you love galaxies then a big scope and long drives might be your future, otherwise the NVD option is a good alternative.

Cheers

PeterW

#29 Solar storm

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Posted 11 July 2016 - 01:57 PM

I think about what I paid for my refractor/mount/tripod and I cringe.  I am seriously debating on selling them or not.  My new grab-and-go is the PVS 7.  I don't even think about my refractor anymore! :shocked:

 

 

OR......I could sell that and buy a short fast refractor like a TMB 92ss :D


Edited by Solar storm, 11 July 2016 - 02:01 PM.


#30 Doug Culbertson

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Posted 11 July 2016 - 02:03 PM

 

 

I can see the Horse Head Nebula from my freaking back yard!  I know observers using 16" scopes that say they have struggled to see it well. 

 

 

 

I still get excited just thinking about this part. I have owned dobs up to 18", and I had never seen the Horsehead as anything other than a notch in IC 434.

 

Oh, and I had never seen Bernard's Loop before NV.



#31 PEterW

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Posted 11 July 2016 - 03:45 PM

Put an NVD into a fast 18" and invite novices to tell you what they see... Boom, full field horsey, no questions, no inverted vision. There is far more out there though and most of it is quite big.

Peter

#32 Sarkikos

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Posted 11 July 2016 - 06:19 PM

Does Night Vision really change everything?   NV sounds like something I'll definitely get into after more research.  I'm in no hurry.  The universe will be here for a while longer, and so will I.

 

But there are some niches of amateur astronomy that I don't see NV replacing any time soon, if ever.  Solar system:  bright planets, lunar and solar.  I'm not at all into solar, but needless to say, the Sun doesn't need light intensification.  I am into planet/lunar.  Traditional telescopes and eyepieces - binoviewing and monocular - are doing a fine job now for those objects.  Also, NV is at a loss for double stars.  Doing it the old-fashioned way is still the way to go for doubles.

 

I'm not sure how all the 1600+ DSO I've observed with my 10" f/4.8 and conventional eyepieces would fare when viewed with NV.  So far, NV seems to excel mostly for large scale DSO and wide Milky Way vistas.  Not that there's anything wrong with that.  Those are the objects I'd most want to observe with NV.

 

I just don't think Night Vision changes everything. :shrug:

 

Mike


Edited by Sarkikos, 11 July 2016 - 06:29 PM.


#33 Solar storm

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Posted 11 July 2016 - 06:45 PM

All I can say is that if you are 32 years old with a young family, going to a dark site is next to impossible.  NV makes observing infinitely more enjoyable in the short time I have used it from an inner city environment.  With the light pollution problem growing in this country, I wouldn't be surprised if more people gravitate to NV for non-solar system targets.


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#34 Sarkikos

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Posted 11 July 2016 - 06:58 PM

Has any company designed NV gizmos specifically for amateur astronomy, and not as an after-thought?  I'm sure there are ways to tweak these systems to make them easier to use out-of-the-box for hand-held as well as interfaced with a telescope.  Better yet, maybe design tubes specifically for astronomy?  

 

I'm not talking about Mallincam or such, or ones designed for AP, or ones that need to be hooked to a monitor/tablet/laptop/iPhone.  I'm talking about visual systems such as we're discussing in this thread.

 

Mike


Edited by Sarkikos, 11 July 2016 - 07:00 PM.


#35 Solar storm

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Posted 11 July 2016 - 07:08 PM

There is the Collins Eyepiece.

http://www.ceoptics.com/ccd/i3.html


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#36 Sarkikos

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Posted 11 July 2016 - 07:47 PM

There is the Collins Eyepiece.

http://www.ceoptics.com/ccd/i3.html

 

Thanks ... but $2995 before necessary accessories?  :thinking:  I guess it's something to think about.

 

We need more developers, manufacturers and vendors - and consumers - to enter NV.  Competition and economies of scale will eventually lower the prices.

 

Mike 


Edited by Sarkikos, 11 July 2016 - 07:48 PM.

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#37 Eddgie

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Posted 11 July 2016 - 09:07 PM

 

There is the Collins Eyepiece.

http://www.ceoptics.com/ccd/i3.html

 

Thanks ... but $2995 before necessary accessories?   :thinking:  I guess it's something to think about.

 

We need more developers, manufacturers and vendors - and consumers - to enter NV.  Competition and economies of scale will eventually lower the prices.

 

Mike 

 

 

Don't count on that.

 

The US Military has purchased hundreds of thousands of night vision devices.

 

If they were ever going to get cheap, it would have been during the peak of production.

 

As for me, I have revisited only a fraction of targets I have previously viewed using congentional eyepieces and in the vast majority of cases, I find that I have easily seen more with the NV.

 

Galaxies, Clusters, Globular all look better. Bright doubles are about the only thing that does not.

 

I use my 12" dob now only for planets and lunar, but with NV for all else.


Edited by Eddgie, 11 July 2016 - 09:13 PM.

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#38 dtripz

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Posted 11 July 2016 - 09:43 PM

As far as planetary goes, folks use the baader ir 685 filter to image clouds on Uranus. I wonder if one used that filter with nightvision and viewed Uranus, would clouds be possible?

In theory, one should also be able to pick up moons of Uranus and Neptune that are typically too dim to see from light polluted locations. Pluto should also be easier to observe and pick out amongst the star fields.

Edited by dtripz, 11 July 2016 - 09:49 PM.


#39 jdbastro

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Posted 12 July 2016 - 01:33 AM

As far as planetary goes, folks use the baader ir 685 filter to image clouds on Uranus. I wonder if one used that filter with nightvision and viewed Uranus, would clouds be possible?

In theory, one should also be able to pick up moons of Uranus and Neptune that are typically too dim to see from light polluted locations. Pluto should also be easier to observe and pick out amongst the star fields.

Who says you can't use NV gear on planets?

 

I took this video of Uranus a little while back and caught several of its moons:

 

Video of Uranus & its Moons in real-time

 

I did not use a filter in this case.


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#40 pwang99

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Posted 12 July 2016 - 02:43 AM

@Sarkikos You are right that NV doesn't change the zoomed-in views of bright objects.  (Although visual observation of the moons of Uranus is a neat trick... wow!)  It does help on galaxies, and of course is most effective on nebulae.

 

But the reason I said what I said is because NV really provides a magical, wide window into the full context of the night sky.  Last weekend I visually observed the Veil nebula at a measly 3x.  Handheld.  In light-polluted skies.  I put my C11 on it, and even with a nice wide eyepiece and various attempts at contrast-enhancing filters, it didn't "pop" nearly as much - in fact, it was barely visible.  And with NV, after checking out the Veil, I could just glance up at gamma cygni - just because.

 

Prior to this, I was using my telescope to look at various DSOs as "waypoints" in the sky.  With NV, I'm happily exploring the spaces in between and looking at the context of everything.

 

As Solar Storm says, for people with young kids, there are very very precious few observing nights available, and very little time to deal with the hassle of loading up the car, unloading and setting up, and then trying enjoy a few hours of observing, knowing full well you have to pack up and load up and drive back home and get a few hours of sleep before waking up at 6:45 to get the kids ready for school/daycare the next morning.  So for this contingent, the ability to grab a small satchel, walk/bike to a nearby open field or schoolyard or park, and fall in love with the night sky again, if only for an hour a week - that really does change everything!!  :-)


Edited by pwang99, 12 July 2016 - 02:43 AM.

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#41 Sarkikos

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Posted 12 July 2016 - 06:15 AM

 

As far as planetary goes, folks use the baader ir 685 filter to image clouds on Uranus. I wonder if one used that filter with nightvision and viewed Uranus, would clouds be possible?

In theory, one should also be able to pick up moons of Uranus and Neptune that are typically too dim to see from light polluted locations. Pluto should also be easier to observe and pick out amongst the star fields.

Who says you can't use NV gear on planets?

 

I took this video of Uranus a little while back and caught several of its moons:

 

Video of Uranus & its Moons in real-time

 

I did not use a filter in this case.

 

 

I thought there would be exceptions.  That's why I stipulated "bright planets" in my post.

 

:grin:

Mike



#42 Sarkikos

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Posted 12 July 2016 - 06:25 AM

As Solar Storm says, for people with young kids, there are very very precious few observing nights available, and very little time to deal with the hassle of loading up the car, unloading and setting up, and then trying enjoy a few hours of observing, knowing full well you have to pack up and load up and drive back home and get a few hours of sleep before waking up at 6:45 to get the kids ready for school/daycare the next morning.  So for this contingent, the ability to grab a small satchel, walk/bike to a nearby open field or schoolyard or park, and fall in love with the night sky again, if only for an hour a week - that really does change everything!!  :-)

 

Well, you can always leave the wife and kids home.   ;)    You could also go on a Friday or Saturday, or take off the next day and sleep in.  I never go to the dark site unless I'm off the next day.

 

What's more important?  Family, work or observing stuff in the sky?

 

:grin:

Mike


Edited by Sarkikos, 12 July 2016 - 06:27 AM.


#43 pwang99

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Posted 12 July 2016 - 07:14 AM

I think our civilization will have invented aetherdynamical 500c space ships equipped with artificial gravity well before it figures out how to consistently let either parent of young children "sleep in".


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#44 Sarkikos

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Posted 12 July 2016 - 07:27 AM

Wait until they are teenagers.  They will sleep in, alright.  The problem will be trying to get them up!

 

:grin:

Mike


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#45 Eddgie

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Posted 12 July 2016 - 08:35 AM

A lot of people that put planets very high on their list of observing priorities do so because they don't have conditions that let them see very much in the way of  DSOs.

 

I hear this all the time... "I live in the city so I mostly view Planets and Double Stars!"

 

I (perhaps quite wrongly) always interpret this to read "I would like to be able to see DSOs but becuase I can't see very many, I will focus my energies on Planets, which I can see!"

 

Perhaps like me, they found it difficult to find the time or energy to cart off a lot of stuff to darker skies.

 

The point here is that people that are in this posiition may find that NV opens them to a much broader range of observing without having to do the car trip out of the city kind of thing.

 

If Planetary and double star work is really the only thing that the observer is interested in seeing though, there is little value in buying a night vision device unless they want to see in the dark.

 

Just my believe, but I have read this kind of post over and over and over, where people focus on planets not because they want to be mostly focused on planets, but rather because they do not realize that an option that brings dark skies to their back yard exists for them.

 

If you could see the Horse Head Nebula from your back yard, would you Want to see the Horse Head Nebula from your back yard, or would you prefer to look at Jupiter.  If you answer Jupiter to this question, then NV may not be a good investment.

 

But what do you do when Jupiter or Saturn or Mars are to low or seeing is to poor to see them well?


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#46 Sarkikos

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Posted 12 July 2016 - 09:07 AM

I look at planets, the Moon and double stars, but not because I can't look at DSO.  I enjoy viewing all sky objects ... except solar, variable stars, and the junk we send up (satellites and the SST).  I just can't get interested in those objects.

 

I've memorized the locations of all the Messiers and many other DSO.  One of my favorite activities is going out behind the house - or the local golf course or a vacant property nearby - with my Canon 10x42 IS and picking out the Messiers and other old favorites.  Or I'll try to find DSO and double stars I haven't seen before through the binos or my C80ED, with the help of SkySafari Pro on my iPhone.  This despite living in a bright red zone.  

 

Now, if I could see the Horse Head from my backyard - if I had a backyard (I don't, because I own a two-story condo) - would I prefer to look at Jupiter?  Sure, why not?  I've seen the Horse Head from dark sites.  In my opinion, Jupiter is much more interesting than the Horse Head.   One big reason is that Jupiter changes, the Horse Head doesn't.  The changing appearance of the planets has a lot to do with keeping my interest in them.  In a way, the Moon also changes, due to the march of the terminator across its face. DSO don't change much over time.  

 

What do I do when the bright planets can't be seen?  Well, there's always the bright DSO, double stars or the Moon.  I've had my Canon 10x42 IS less than a year, but so far I've logged 145 DSO and 114 double stars from my bright red zone skies.  That's just through 42mm binoculars.

 

I'm playing devil's advocate to some extent here.  But my point is that the deepest deep sky isn't everything.  It is something, but not everything there is to see.  A curious mind is never bored.

 

Mike


Edited by Sarkikos, 12 July 2016 - 09:10 AM.


#47 Doug Culbertson

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Posted 12 July 2016 - 09:39 AM

Mike,

 

I enjoy looking at the planets too, well, Jupiter and Saturn anyway. Other than the 2003 apparition, Mars has always been a disappointment to me. Shoot, I even look at the moon every now and then, especially after a long dry spell of nothing but clouds. This is one reason that I will never give up all of my conventional eyepieces.

 

I'll admit something else too; I still like looking at DSOs through conventional eyepieces because I don't always want to see a green globular cluster (I can't afford a WP device just yet), or I want to boost the magnification on a PN. Not to mention that I just plain like eyepieces, though NV has allowed me to pare down a bit just like the Leica ASPH zoom did.

 

The way that NV has changed everything for me is due to the fact that I am now able to get out on far more nights than I would if I had to set up a telescope; e.g. nights that are mostly cloudy but with some sucker holes, work nights when it doesn't get dark until 10:00, or nights that I just want to see some stuff, but I only have 15 minutes or so. When I consider the above, plus the fact that I have seen objects with NV that I have never seen well with a telescope, NV has indeed been a game changer for me.  

 

On edit: I forgot to mention that NV has also put aperture fever to rest. I had planned to spend money in my retirement on a 16"+ dob when I retire in a couple of years, but I will probably get a WP device instead.


Edited by Doug Culbertson, 12 July 2016 - 09:41 AM.

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#48 Eddgie

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Posted 12 July 2016 - 10:22 AM

W

 

I look at planets, the Moon and double stars, but not because I can't look at DSO.  I enjoy viewing all sky objects ... except solar, variable stars, and the junk we send up (satellites and the SST).  I just can't get interested in those objects.

 

I've memorized the locations of all the Messiers and many other DSO.  One of my favorite activities is going out behind the house - or the local golf course or a vacant property nearby - with my Canon 10x42 IS and picking out the Messiers and other old favorites.  Or I'll try to find DSO and double stars I haven't seen before through the binos or my C80ED, with the help of SkySafari Pro on my iPhone.  This despite living in a bright red zone.  

 

Now, if I could see the Horse Head from my backyard - if I had a backyard (I don't, because I own a two-story condo) - would I prefer to look at Jupiter?  Sure, why not?  I've seen the Horse Head from dark sites.  In my opinion, Jupiter is much more interesting than the Horse Head.   One big reason is that Jupiter changes, the Horse Head doesn't.  The changing appearance of the planets has a lot to do with keeping my interest in them.  In a way, the Moon also changes, due to the march of the terminator across its face. DSO don't change much over time.  

 

What do I do when the bright planets can't be seen?  Well, there's always the bright DSO, double stars or the Moon.  I've had my Canon 10x42 IS less than a year, but so far I've logged 145 DSO and 114 double stars from my bright red zone skies.  That's just through 42mm binoculars.

 

I'm playing devil's advocate to some extent here.  But my point is that the deepest deep sky isn't everything.  It is something, but not everything there is to see.  A curious mind is never bored.

 

Mike

 

Well then, I won't debate it further.  If you don't think you would see value in it, then I would suppose there is no point trying to convince you that you would. It may be that it simply will not provide you with enough enjoyment to justify the purchase.

 

It sounds like you are happy where you are and I can respect that.


Edited by Eddgie, 12 July 2016 - 10:57 AM.


#49 Sarkikos

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Posted 12 July 2016 - 10:28 AM

My largest aperture now is a 10" f/4.8 Dob.  I've seen over 1600 DSO through it at yellow zone sites.  I have at least 2000 DSO objects - mostly galaxies - left to see, without going to darker sites.  (I do not enjoy long road trips.  My longest drive to a dark site has been two hours.  One hour is more acceptable to me.)  I estimate it will take several more years to see all those objects.  So the 10" will be good enough for awhile yet.  This is without spending several thousand dollars for NV gear.

 

The weight and bulk and height of larger aperture has long since cooled my aperture fever.  I don't want to own any Dob that requires a ladder to look through the eyepiece.  In fact, I don't even want to stand up.  Ideally, I want to remain seated at all positions of the scope, as I do now with my 10" Dob.  So those factors alone will limit the maximum aperture I'll ever own.  I figure that about 14" or so will max it out.

 

Even if I do get NV gear - which I probably will, eventually - I'll still want a larger scope.  Aperture can improve the view of planets, the Moon and double stars, as well as deep sky. 

 

Mike


Edited by Sarkikos, 12 July 2016 - 10:37 AM.


#50 Sarkikos

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Posted 12 July 2016 - 10:34 AM

Well then, I won't debate it further.  If you don't think you would see value in it, then I would suppose there is no point trying to convince you that you would.

 

Everyone has there likes and dislikes, and it sounds like you are happy where you are.

 

That is very good....

 

:scratchhead:  Now when did I say I don't see the value in NV?  I have said that it brings something valuable to amateur astronomy, allowing a greater appreciation of the deeper deep sky, especially at the large scale view.  

 

And I never said I didn't like NV.  But I have said that there is more to amateur astronomy than deep deep sky.  

 

I have many interests in this hobby.  NV will add to my appreciation of astronomy, but I don't see it as replacing everything I do now.  I'm sure it won't.

 

Mike


Edited by Sarkikos, 12 July 2016 - 10:36 AM.



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