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Galaxies, Cygnus and Sagittarius with a c11 and night vision

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#1 Gavster

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Posted 06 May 2019 - 01:30 AM

This new moon period seems to me to be the last opportunity to have a good DSO observing session before the nights become too light. And as the forecast was suggesting clear all night, I decided to have a bit of a bumper session on Saturday night at a relatively dark sqm 21 site. My plan was to start with a few galaxies then move onto Cygnus which would start appearing after midnight. I thought I may even get a shot at the lovely nebula in Sagittarius despite being a bit low. I also wanted to target some smaller objects I haven’t seen with night vision before, so I needed to get a bit of aperture and therefore decided to use my Celestron c11 sct with a 0.75x focal readucer and 55mm plossl afocally.

It actually turned out to be one of the best observing sessions I’ve ever had. 

 

I’ve observed a lot of galaxies recently. I think my favourites are the whirlpool and the needle. So I started with these...(due to space constraints I’m going to show phone images taken with my huawei P20 Pro in subsequent posts in this thread, which represent close representations to the actual live views through the NV monocular eyepiece)

 

It was clear immediately that transparency was rather good since the eyepiece views of these two objects were the best I’ve seen. I then went for the black eye galaxy which showed the central eye well.

 

By now Cygnus was beginning to appear in the east. I switched to a narrow Ha filter and went  smallish nebulae hunting.

First up, another favourite of mine, the Crescent. I hadn’t seen this at a darkish site before and it was very impressive...Next up other small nebulae in Cygnus that I haven’t seen very often before. So I hit the Tulip, cocoon, bubble, wizard and the cave nebulae. With extra image scale and aperture, I thought it would then be fun to go for some familiar objects to see what extra detail I could get compared with a smaller scope - quite a bit as it turned out..

So i will also show some alternative higher magnification views of the Veil, the North American nebula and the elephants trunk.

 

It’s been a looooong time since I’ve looked at the Dumbbell - too long, it was lovely on Saturday.

 

I now noticed the Milky Way was arching nicely overhead and had a nice scan with the NV monoculars at 1x. This was fantastic with the good transparency and it also showed me that the Sagittarius nebulae were visible to the south just high enough to see through two houses...

So I switched back to the C11 and wrapped up on the lagoon, triffid, eagle (with pillars of creation clearly visible) and swan.

A really fun session on lots on varied and impressive objects, big and smallish!


Edited by Gavster, 06 May 2019 - 02:05 AM.

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#2 Gavster

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Posted 06 May 2019 - 01:47 AM

Galaxies, whirlpool, needle and black eye all at 6 seconds exposure and 50 iso

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Edited by Gavster, 06 May 2019 - 01:58 AM.

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#3 Gavster

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Posted 06 May 2019 - 01:51 AM

Now the crescent and tulip. All 30 second exposures, 50 iso.

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Edited by Gavster, 06 May 2019 - 01:58 AM.

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#4 Gavster

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Posted 06 May 2019 - 01:53 AM

Cocoon and bubble (30 seconds exposure, 50 iso)

 

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Edited by Gavster, 06 May 2019 - 01:57 AM.

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#5 Gavster

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Posted 06 May 2019 - 01:56 AM

The cave and the wizard (30 secs exposure, 50 iso)

 

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#6 Gavster

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Posted 06 May 2019 - 02:09 AM

Elephant trunk and dumbbell (30 seconds exposure, 50 iso)

 

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#7 Gavster

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Posted 06 May 2019 - 02:13 AM

Eastern Veil (30 seconds exposure, 50 iso)

 

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#8 Gavster

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Posted 06 May 2019 - 02:15 AM

Western Veil and Pickering’s (30 seconds exposure, 50 iso)

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#9 Gavster

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Posted 06 May 2019 - 02:17 AM

The wall of North America and Sadr (30 seconds exposure, 50 iso)

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Edited by Gavster, 06 May 2019 - 02:17 AM.

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#10 Gavster

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Posted 06 May 2019 - 02:20 AM

Eagle, Swan, Trifid and Lagoon (30 seconds exposure, 50 iso)

 

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#11 Vondragonnoggin

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Posted 06 May 2019 - 02:29 AM

Amazing pictures!

 

lots of detail.

 

waytogo.gif


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#12 TOMDEY

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Posted 06 May 2019 - 03:21 AM

Those are all great! I believe your C11 was operating at around F/3.5?    Tom



#13 Gavster

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Posted 06 May 2019 - 03:34 AM

Those are all great! I believe your C11 was operating at around F/3.5?    Tom

Thanks. Yes that’s right.



#14 cnoct

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Posted 06 May 2019 - 03:41 AM

Gavster, 

 

While near the Crescent, did you manage the Soap Bubble? Hoping for an image but any observing notes would do as well.



#15 Gavster

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Posted 06 May 2019 - 03:45 AM

Gavster, 

 

While near the Crescent, did you manage the Soap Bubble? Hoping for an image but any observing notes would do as well.

No sorry, I didn’t know about this one. Will have a look next time.



#16 GeezerGazer

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Posted 07 May 2019 - 11:01 PM

Gavster, those are great images.  I especially liked the Wizard! 

 

Cnoct... thanks for asking about the Soap Bubble... have you ever seen it visually, using NV?   I had not known of it either.  But strangely, I previously corresponded with Dave Jurasevich, it's discoverer.  Gavster, here's a link to some info about it:  

 

https://www.noao.edu...tml/im1059.html

 

So I went back to a previous image (not a very good one, sorry) I took last year of the Crescent using a Nikon 300, ISO 320,1/2s averaged for 25s with an iPhone 6+ and marked it with an arrow to show the approximate location of the Soap Bubble Nebula. At least it shows where to look for the Soap Bubble with a longer focal length!  Thanks again Cnoct.  BTW, my image is probably reversed. 

 

IMG_E2673.jpg


Edited by GeezerGazer, 07 May 2019 - 11:23 PM.

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#17 MattJ

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Posted 09 May 2019 - 07:30 PM

Gavster, Fantastic images!  I really enjoy looking closely at them.  Is it correct that these were all at about 38x?  How much scintillation was visible at the eyepiece?  Did you view M101 with this setup?  I'm curious how this would look with your C11 and NV.  



#18 Gavster

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Posted 10 May 2019 - 01:57 AM

Gavster, Fantastic images!  I really enjoy looking closely at them.  Is it correct that these were all at about 38x?  How much scintillation was visible at the eyepiece?  Did you view M101 with this setup?  I'm curious how this would look with your C11 and NV.  

Thanks Matt. Yes all at 38x. I’ve not been into galaxies much in the past but the extra image scale of the c11 has changed that quite a bit. I’ve had a fun galaxy season!

In terms of scintillation I have manual gain so dial the gain down a bit to remove it so that it’s not noticeable for me. Using unfiltered for galaxies has less scintillation that when viewing nebulae with narrowband Ha filters.

I didn’t view m101 at the weekend but did view it in February from the same site. Maybe transparency wasn’t quite as good then as this weekend. M51 gave nice views but m101 was a little disappointing. 6 second exposure phone pic below.

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#19 descott12

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Posted 10 May 2019 - 07:43 AM

Fantastic images. A few probably dumb questions from somebody with very little knowledge of NV:

1) You mentioned exposures in your pictures - I was under the impression that NV was a live view - no stacking or long exposures....what am I missing?

 

2) You seem to be in a nice dark site. I live in a bortle 6 or 7 zone - would NV be worthwhile for me? I can't see anything normally. That I why I have loved EAA. But if I could see anything close to your images, then I might consider digging my money pit a little deeper.

 

3) Finally, how did you capture those images? Just an iPhone pointed down the eyepiece or do you have a more stable arrangement?

 

You have really gotten me interested in NV...



#20 cnoct

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Posted 10 May 2019 - 09:17 AM

 

Cnoct... thanks for asking about the Soap Bubble... have you ever seen it visually, using NV?  

 

 

Only during very short periods of image intensified imagination, which I must confess counts as little more than imagined. 

 

There are a couple NV images I've thought to have captured it in, those however turned out to be noise events, coinciding with the location of the nebula. 

 

It's been an extremely challenging PN for me, hoping others have greater success smiley-char145.gif

 

Here's recent unfiltered shot, at ~ 11x, in which I was trying to be a bit more precise in locating it:

 

gallery_139776_8407_2779292.jpg

 

gallery_139776_8407_124767.png


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#21 Gavster

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Posted 10 May 2019 - 09:58 AM

Fantastic images. A few probably dumb questions from somebody with very little knowledge of NV:

1) You mentioned exposures in your pictures - I was under the impression that NV was a live view - no stacking or long exposures....what am I missing?

 

2) You seem to be in a nice dark site. I live in a bortle 6 or 7 zone - would NV be worthwhile for me? I can't see anything normally. That I why I have loved EAA. But if I could see anything close to your images, then I might consider digging my money pit a little deeper.

 

3) Finally, how did you capture those images? Just an iPhone pointed down the eyepiece or do you have a more stable arrangement?

 

You have really gotten me interested in NV...

Thank you! :)

1) yes NV is a live view through an eyepiece very similar to a normal glass eyepiece. But to take a photo of the live views you need to have some exposure time. I am to take images that give a good representation of the actual eyepiece views. Since the eye is generally pretty good at picking out detail I find the best representation me are done by low iso (to have minimal noise) and longer exposures. The images I show are single exposure, no stacking and no post processing.

2) Yes these photos are from a darkish site (sqm 21). NV is fantastic from dark sites but still really great from LP sites such as my sqm 18.5 London back garden due to the filtering used (Ha and long pass).

3) I use a Televue fonemate attached to my pvs-14 NV monocular using the tnvc adapter. I use a tracking mount and a huawei p20 pro phone which enables me to use a specialist mono lens with exposures up to 30 seconds.

Hope that helps.


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#22 Jeff Morgan

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Posted 10 May 2019 - 10:19 AM

I live in a bortle 6 or 7 zone - would NV be worthwhile for me? I can't see anything normally. 

 

Oh yes!

 

NV is a real game-changer. I actually get better results from my Bortle 5 (becoming 6) backyard with NV than I get at my Bortle 2 site with a conventional eyepiece.

 

Of course, NV works even better under a dark sky. But it makes that long drive optional, not mandatory. Amazing how much more astronomy you do when that happens.

 

As you datamine this forum, you will find lots of examples of guys getting great results from deep in the light dome. For example:

 

https://www.cloudyni...-san-francisco/


Edited by Jeff Morgan, 10 May 2019 - 10:20 AM.

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#23 Gavster

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Posted 10 May 2019 - 10:26 AM

Here’s an example of the crescent nebula taken from sqm 18.5 - 20 seconds exposure 

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#24 descott12

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Posted 10 May 2019 - 10:26 AM

Oh yes!

 

NV is a real game-changer. I actually get better results from my Bortle 5 (becoming 6) backyard with NV than I get at my Bortle 2 site with a conventional eyepiece.

 

Of course, NV works even better under a dark sky. But it makes that long drive optional, not mandatory. Amazing how much more astronomy you do when that happens.

 

As you datamine this forum, you will find lots of examples of guys getting great results from deep in the light dome. For example:

 

https://www.cloudyni...-san-francisco/

This is really very cool. I kind of ignored all this NV stuff (just out of ignorance more than anything) but after seeing some cool shots it might be nice to actually see something "live" thru the eyepiece rather than on a computer screen.

I will definitely do some research and see what people are using.  I have an Evolution 8. Any advice on what I might want to look for equipment-wise? I do alot of EAA and capture some nice images from that so this would be for purely visual use.



#25 Gavster

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Posted 10 May 2019 - 10:41 AM

This is really very cool. I kind of ignored all this NV stuff (just out of ignorance more than anything) but after seeing some cool shots it might be nice to actually see something "live" thru the eyepiece rather than on a computer screen.

I will definitely do some research and see what people are using.  I have an Evolution 8. Any advice on what I might want to look for equipment-wise? I do alot of EAA and capture some nice images from that so this would be for purely visual use.

I really like my c11 edge with 0.7x edge reducer and 55mm plossl used afocally with my NV monoculars (I use a pvs-14). So I think your evolution 8 would be just fine!




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