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Why does Night Vision not have its own forum?

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#1 alanjgreen

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 04:21 AM

As a simple visual observer who is using a night vision device attached to a Televue eyepiece ( "afocal" ) approach to observing, it seems odd that this is being grouped together with EAA astronomy.

 

In my observing sessions there are no cameras or post processing of images when back inside in the warm.

 

My observing is done at the eyepiece with observing notes taken on paper, even the creation of sketches on paper of what I have seen.

 

Sure, the military night vision device enables me to go beyond the seeing limitation of my human eyes but surely my 20" mirror is doing exactly the same in allowing me to see more than just with my eyeball.

 

I would like to vote for a new forum to be created just for night vision astronomy, if you agree then maybe you can state your own personal position below in this thread?

 

Thanks for looking,

Alan


Edited by alanjgreen, 20 May 2018 - 04:23 AM.

 

#2 OleCuss

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 05:40 AM

1.  I'm guessing that the proliferation of sub-forums has to be somewhat controlled.

 

2.  Both the Night Vision gear and the other NRTV gear utilize electrical power and a screen for viewing.

 

Put the two facts together and I'm guessing (emphasis is guessing) that they have something to do with NV's continued presence within this sub-forum.

 

BTW, a lot of NV users seem to want to evangelize.  They've the idea that others would benefit from doing similar viewing (I think there is merit in the idea).  Isolating the NV discussions in their own sub-forum would (IMHO) mean that very few others would even think about NV let alone explore it.

 

Well, that's my take on it.  And if NV discussions lead with "NV" at the beginning of their title it shouldn't be all that difficult to track the various NV discussions without overwhelmingly pesky irritations from the rest of us.


 

#3 billmagann

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 07:44 AM

I do both, and they are in fact very different. I wonder, however, how many of us do both. I bet it is a fairly high percentage, because we we are trying to see deeper than our eyes alone will take us in both cases.


 

#4 TOMDEY

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 07:49 AM

Sociological factors permeate most everything we do, including our delightful astronomy hobby.

 

Whenever I happily describe the Night Vision views, feel compelled to preemptively apologize for cheating. Especially if waxing lyrical over easily savoring traditionally difficult targets like the Horsehead, Barnard's Loop, central stars in the Ring. And tolerate puzzling comments like, "Well sure, but you didn't REALLY see it... not Directly... which is the ONLY way to really view."

 

Decades ago, I painfully-captured thousands of Deep Sky images on film, hand-guiding for hours on end, each and every one. And now feel resentful/envious over novices doing FAR better with turn-key little telescopes, GoTo, auto-guided,  CCD, filtered, ~false~ color, electronically-processed images.

 

These powerful, evangelical NV guys need to be somewhat controlled, prefix with disclaimer "NV" else irritate the regular rest of us.

 

Sure, Galileo ~saw~ craters on the moon, Saturn's handles and moons around Jupiter. But he used a sinful telescope! He's lucky they only cloistered and censured him. Should have been buggy whipped!  Tom


 

#5 pwang99

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 08:12 AM

Heh... This topic comes up occasionally, and a while ago the mods posted an explanation after deliberating this topic.

 

The points made above are all right: there has to be some control on having too large a proliferation of subforums; having NV in a larger group actually increases the exposure of NV to others; using the NV tag or including "NV" in the subject makes it pretty easy to scan for the topics we care about.

 

Lastly, I think that a major appeal of NV is to solve the same problems that most people use EAA for, namely, to fight light pollution.  So I wouldn't lobby for a separate forum for NV, but rather for "EAA" to be renamed to "DSOs in Light Pollution".  grin.gif grin.gif

 

On a more serious note, though, I am curious what the policy is for discussing use of NV in other forums outside of this one (like normal DSO forum).  I know Eddgie sometimes does the evangelism in that way, and sometimes gets a bunch of flak for it.  But do the mods have a strong position on this?


 

#6 TOMDEY

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 09:09 AM

I gota confess that I just Googled "what is eaa astronomy observing?" and get THIS>>

 

"Electronically Assisted Astronomy (EAA) is a new branch of the hobby focused on real-time (or nearly real-time) viewing of astronomical objects (usually deep sky) with an aid of electronic devices. ... My problems with video astronomy are an artificial look of the stars (black halos in hyper mode) and lots of noise."

 

And that reminds me of the time, about 45 years ago, Dr. Judith Piper, astrophysicist and observational astronomer, came to our club and described this magical new device she was using that transformed photons into electrons. It was an array of 32x32 miniscule detectors all on a tiny piece of silicon. That's over a THOUSAND detectors, in this little ~array~, ALL running at the same time! It ran off a computer that looked like a refrigerator on wheels, and had hoses going to it with anti-freeze flowing thru, and big noisy cooling fans that blew the papers off the podium. Judith had attached that to the Meese Observatory Telescope and captured this AMAZING image of Saturn. You could actually ~see~ the rings!

 

There was animated, optimistic talk about how, someday, they would be capturing images of distant galaxies with things like this and how wonderful technology is. Sure, we were amused, fascinated, and just a bit skeptical. But we were also optimistic, avocational astronomers, open to the limitless bounds of science and technology.

 

I remember that night was low humidity. And her plastic ~viewfoils~ were tenaciously sticking together, ironically, from all those excess electrons.  Tom


 

#7 The Ardent

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 09:30 AM

Not enough dynamic range. 


 

#8 star drop

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 12:04 PM

On a more serious note, though, I am curious what the policy is for discussing use of NV in other forums outside of this one (like normal DSO forum).  I know Eddgie sometimes does the evangelism in that way, and sometimes gets a bunch of flak for it.  But do the mods have a strong position on this?

I have seen NV mentioned in the Eyepiece Forum and I do not see a prohibition in the Deep Sky Observing Forum and Sketching Forum statements or pinned threads.

 

The NV tag is available globally on all of the Cloudy Nights Fora so remember to use it and be especially aware of image restrictions in the other fora. As always, if one gets flak from other members utilize the notify moderator button in whatever forum you are posting in.


 

#9 highfnum

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 01:03 PM

NV was part of EAA  because in the beginning there was very few users due to cost 

community has grown but still small 

when it reaches a certain population mass 

it may become its own topic


 

#10 Relativist

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 01:16 PM

Heh... This topic comes up occasionally, and a while ago the mods posted an explanation after deliberating this topic.

The points made above are all right: there has to be some control on having too large a proliferation of subforums; having NV in a larger group actually increases the exposure of NV to others; using the NV tag or including "NV" in the subject makes it pretty easy to scan for the topics we care about.

Lastly, I think that a major appeal of NV is to solve the same problems that most people use EAA for, namely, to fight light pollution. So I wouldn't lobby for a separate forum for NV, but rather for "EAA" to be renamed to "DSOs in Light Pollution". grin.gif grin.gif

On a more serious note, though, I am curious what the policy is for discussing use of NV in other forums outside of this one (like normal DSO forum). I know Eddgie sometimes does the evangelism in that way, and sometimes gets a bunch of flak for it. But do the mods have a strong position on this?


NV is a subset of EAA practice. It’s a specific technology, all EAA needs optics.
 

#11 Jeff Morgan

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 01:19 PM

Back when the last Big Move was made one of the Mods responded to my questions via pm. Basically, two reasons to lump us in with the Camera people.

 

Our NV equipment does not capture an image for some future use and manifestly does not belong with cameras. My NV device is an eyepiece. We belong in the Eyepieces forum, not shuffled off to the obscure corners of CloudyNights. Exiting Rant Mode.

 

1) Post volume. This was the big issue. Then, there were probably less than ten of us doing NV astronomy.

 

2) Work load. Apparently creating a new forum is a lot of extra work, and the mods are volunteers.

 

As the word is getting out about NV and more people buying the NV eyepieces (whoops!), so perhaps post volume is at Critical Mass?

 

Nothing against the camera folks, what they do takes a lot of skill and dedication. And it is also a fundamentally different activity. But we should be either in Eyepieces, or our own unique forum.


 

#12 Jeff Morgan

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 01:21 PM

NV is a subset of EAA practice. It’s a specific technology, all EAA needs optics.

 

All eyepieces need optics too.


 

#13 TOMDEY

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 02:45 PM

For what it's worth, I keep my NV right is the same case with my other favorite eyepieces... and they seem to get along just fine, no arguments or shunning. They sometimes even mate, which seems to get a lot of harrumphs from the more traditional Hastings and Ramsdens.  Tom


 

#14 Relativist

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 03:04 PM

Back when the last Big Move was made one of the Mods responded to my questions via pm. Basically, two reasons to lump us in with the Camera people.

Our NV equipment does not capture an image for some future use and manifestly does not belong with cameras. My NV device is an eyepiece. We belong in the Eyepieces forum, not shuffled off to the obscure corners of CloudyNights. Exiting Rant Mode.

1) Post volume. This was the big issue. Then, there were probably less than ten of us doing NV astronomy.

2) Work load. Apparently creating a new forum is a lot of extra work, and the mods are volunteers.

As the word is getting out about NV and more people buying the NV eyepieces (whoops!), so perhaps post volume is at Critical Mass?

Nothing against the camera folks, what they do takes a lot of skill and dedication. And it is also a fundamentally different activity. But we should be either in Eyepieces, or our own unique forum.


The overall EAA forum is meant as a catch all. For example, take JBL’s work where he stacks NV and Camera EAA. All are under the EAA umbrella.

One day, hopefully, the EAA subset will grow enough that we can have sub forums for each type. Note that the optimal optical design of an EAA system is common to both. Also EAA is rapidly evolving, and thus we are best served by embracing all types of observing.
 

#15 TOMDEY

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 03:13 PM

Caught in the act !

 

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#16 Jeff Morgan

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 03:50 PM

Caught in the act !

 

I'm reporting you for Eyepiece Porn. shocked.gif


 

#17 MattJ

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 09:48 PM

Thanks for the good laugh!  


 

#18 bdyer22

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 02:35 PM

I like seeing the NV stuff in EAA and don't typically get too caught up in nomenclature or categorization.  I think the distinction here is that we all view using electronic equipment for observation - yes camera folks save pics but it's about seeing and sharing what you saw.  Think on it this way.  If you were to build a device around a camera that condensed and automated all the stacking/stretching then displayed it on a small screen to view similar to an EP or NV devices would it stop being EAA?  Or vice versa display the NV output to a monitor?  Just my opinion. :)


 

#19 GeezerGazer

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 05:42 PM

I have to agree in many ways with Jeff and in some ways with Tom... the NVD is always used as an eyepiece, either with its own objective or with a nose to drop in the focuser/diagonal.  Sure, it uses electronic enhancement, but it does function much differently than an EAA imager.  They each have their place among our gear but they also serve up a different end result.  Of course, the EAA gurus could insist that they function the same, now that NV Phonetography is taking root!  But that is still just taking an afocal photo of the image in an eyepiece.  

 

Tom, I can't believe you took a photo of a NVD screwed onto a TV eyepiece... is that astro-voyuerism? lol.gif  At least there is the TNVC protection between them.

 

To be sure, there are forums within CN that see a very low volume of activity.  NV is growing and vibrant.  Maybe an inactive forum can be eliminated in favor of an NV forum.  OR, maybe I should start posting my NV Phonetography images in the astro-photo forum... then I could actually adjust brightness or contrast as "post-processing!"  


Edited by GeezerGazer, 21 May 2018 - 05:52 PM.

 

#20 pwang99

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 06:00 PM

I think my perspective may differ from others on this: I don't care about the technical details involved, but more about the kinds of experiences the tech affords, and perhaps as part of that, what space those technologies create for attaining deeper appreciation.

 

From my personal experience, it's clear that there is such thing as "fostering a connection with the heavens".  I draw a line of distinction between technologies/tools which provide more of that "immediate connection", and tools which don't.  Thus, Night Vision, glass eyepieces, and high-res Virtual Reality goggles all sit on one side of the line, whereas astrophotography and multi-minute long EAA exposures fall on another side.  This is entirely a "human factors" consideration (to borrow a term from my day job of software design): the tools in the "immediate connection" basket are there to help enhance a very visceral, hands-on, immersed spiritual experience.

 

My second basket of tools are concerned with creating an environment or mental space that affords deeper appreciation of the heavens.  This actually cuts a different way.  Media like astrophotographs and documentary movies, and structures like planetariums, are tools that facilitate "going deeper" mentally and intellectually.

 

I know, I'm an odd one.  But that's just how I see it...


 

#21 alphatripleplus

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 06:02 PM

  OR, maybe I should start posting my NV Phonetography images in the astro-photo forum... then I could actually adjust brightness or contrast as "post-processing!"  

That's actually a very interesting idea  - it would also allow you to show what more NightCap Pro can do. Seriously, I say give it a shot! You might raise more awareness of NV as well...,oh,  I mean NVP .wink.gif


 

#22 cbwerner

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 06:25 PM

On a more serious note, though, I am curious what the policy is for discussing use of NV in other forums outside of this one (like normal DSO forum).  I know Eddgie sometimes does the evangelism in that way, and sometimes gets a bunch of flak for it.  But do the mods have a strong position on this?

I am an Eyepieces moderator as well, so speaking specifically to that forum, the discussion of NV is definitely welcome there. It's currently more commonplace in EAA, but very definitely (and officially) welcomed in Eyepieces.

 

Just remember if you decide to post there that cross-posting the same stuff in two fora is not allowed. Thanks!


 

#23 alphatripleplus

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 06:38 PM

To add to what Chris just said, we have occasionally had comments on NV in the Astronomy Clubs and Star Party Forum, which I moderate. Members who do NV at star parties are certainly welcome to post their star party experiences with NV  in that Forum too. I'm surprised that we don't see more NV stories there, as I would assume star parties would be a great way to introduce others to NV.


 

#24 TOMDEY

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 08:24 PM

I'm very excited to try the viewing using ther TerleVue Afocal Adapter AND some kinda imaging further stacked on. Here's my nice JVC HD Videocam... Hmmm... I know that can port to an HDTV as a monitor and record at the same time... But I see no obvious attachment provision or even whether I can turn off the auto-focus etc. Any recommendation for a camera to attach to this?


 

#25 GeezerGazer

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 09:23 PM

I am an Eyepieces moderator as well, so speaking specifically to that forum, the discussion of NV is definitely welcome there. It's currently more commonplace in EAA, but very definitely (and officially) welcomed in Eyepieces.

 

Just remember if you decide to post there that cross-posting the same stuff in two fora is not allowed. Thanks!

 

This is getting a little off topic, but taking NV outside of the EAA forum has met with some resistance in the past.  So, if I go to the eyepiece forum and talk about the NV experience, is it OK to post images from the eyepiece... showing what I can see visually through it, say compared to a glass eyepiece with equal settings on the phone's camera?  And, are there restrictions on post processing like in the EAA forum?  Is it permissible to adjust the brightness or contrast to more closely match what I can see at the NV eyepiece; or, can I post a photo with a statement that the image has "in-phone" post-processing to brighten the target or darken the background?  My post-processing is really minor stuff when compared to astro-photography and only takes me seconds instead of minutes or hours, but it is still processing and not allowed in EAA.  


Edited by GeezerGazer, 21 May 2018 - 09:25 PM.

 


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