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Beginner telescopes for night vision astronomy

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#26 Gavster

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Posted 09 May 2019 - 12:18 PM

Thanks for sharing the picture!  Is there a particular kind of filter that is most beneficial for viewing galaxies in light polluted areas with night vision equipment?

Thanks!

Yes a baader 685 long pass. Some people also like the Astronomik 642 filter. But at dark sites I go unfiltered. 



#27 mwaller

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Posted 09 May 2019 - 01:16 PM

This is a bit off-topic, but ...

Can anyone recommend an app that is good for determining viewing conditions - transparency, light pollution, humidity etc?  



#28 Doug Culbertson

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Posted 09 May 2019 - 01:33 PM

This is a bit off-topic, but ...

Can anyone recommend an app that is good for determining viewing conditions - transparency, light pollution, humidity etc?  

As a matter of fact, yes I can absolutely recommend a very good app. Astrospheric can create a forecast for any place, and you can see your local cloud cover, transparency, seeing, etc. even if forest fire smoke is in your area.

 

I have no association with the person who created this app, but it’s one of the coolest and most used apps that I have, right behind SkySafari.   https://www.cloudyni...eric/?p=9250541



#29 mwaller

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Posted 09 May 2019 - 01:59 PM

As a matter of fact, yes I can absolutely recommend a very good app. Astrospheric can create a forecast for any place, and you can see your local cloud cover, transparency, seeing, etc. even if forest fire smoke is in your area.

 

I have no association with the person who created this app, but it’s one of the coolest and most used apps that I have, right behind SkySafari.   https://www.cloudyni...eric/?p=9250541

Oh wow... very cool!  Thanks!



#30 Rickster

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Posted 09 May 2019 - 02:45 PM

Here is another thumbs up for Astrospheric.  Excellent app.



#31 Jeff Morgan

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Posted 09 May 2019 - 04:07 PM

After discussing with my wife last night, this is exactly the conclusion we reached.  I am going to hold off on any telescope purchases for now until we attend some local star parties and see what is visible with what!

lol.gif

 

Just take your NV eyepiece to the star party, almost everyone will be wanting you to put it in their focuser!


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#32 BJS

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Posted 09 May 2019 - 04:17 PM

I see the Seattle Astronomical Society has some programs tomorrow and Saturday night....they look like an active club. 

 

https://www.seattleastro.org/events



#33 mwaller

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Posted 09 May 2019 - 06:15 PM

lol.gif

 

Just take your NV eyepiece to the star party, almost everyone will be wanting you to put it in their focuser!

I was hoping to do this, but I wasn't sure how the telescope owners would react...

 

I don't yet have the TNVC adapter ring, but I do have a Monoloc universal adapter.  The biggest question is whether the polymer insert I have for the Monoloc is the right size to fit over the eyepiece...  



#34 BJS

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Posted 09 May 2019 - 08:41 PM

The timing for you to try out NV is a bit off....its galaxy season.  The winter halpha objects are gone and the summer ones have not risen at sunset.  M104, the Sombrero, and m82, are two galaxies that show well in halpha.  I would try to find someone looking at those two objects if you can.  Otherwise you will probably be best off with no filter for most other galaxies.  



#35 mwaller

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Posted 09 May 2019 - 10:32 PM

The timing for you to try out NV is a bit off....its galaxy season.  The winter halpha objects are gone and the summer ones have not risen at sunset.  M104, the Sombrero, and m82, are two galaxies that show well in halpha.  I would try to find someone looking at those two objects if you can.  Otherwise you will probably be best off with no filter for most other galaxies.  

It's refreshing to hear this perspective.  I popped the Ha filter in front of my 1x objective last night and took a look around... I didn't really see much of anything.  The Ha filter is quite restrictive, and made it much harder to see stars.  When I boosted the gain to compensate, the image got pretty noisy... I was pretty disappointed, actually.  I'm guessing there will be a lot more to see in July and August when the milky way is higher up.  Is that a fair guess?



#36 Jeff Morgan

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Posted 10 May 2019 - 02:09 AM

Galaxies are an extended object, which means as much speed as you can muster. Unfortunately, hydrogen alpha is not the filter for them. Best with no filter (weak light pollution conditions) or with a long pass filter in light polluted skies.

 

Hydrogen alpha is a filter for structure in this galaxy - the Milky Way is alive in the light of hydrogen alpha!

 

Which filter to use depends upon aperture, speed, and target brightness. It is easy to overdo the filter (too narrow a band pass) causing the photon starvation you experienced. Try a 12nm, it is never really a bad choice.



#37 mwaller

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Posted 10 May 2019 - 11:23 AM

Galaxies are an extended object, which means as much speed as you can muster. Unfortunately, hydrogen alpha is not the filter for them. Best with no filter (weak light pollution conditions) or with a long pass filter in light polluted skies.

 

Hydrogen alpha is a filter for structure in this galaxy - the Milky Way is alive in the light of hydrogen alpha!

 

Which filter to use depends upon aperture, speed, and target brightness. It is easy to overdo the filter (too narrow a band pass) causing the photon starvation you experienced. Try a 12nm, it is never really a bad choice.

The Ha filter I have is an Astronomik 12nm.  I will save it for for later viewing.  

Last night, I attached my 3x lens and took a stab at locating a few galaxies.  I convinced myself that I was able to see M51, and two of the Leo Triplet.  Does that seem possible?



#38 BJS

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Posted 10 May 2019 - 07:40 PM

Yes much more to see in the months ahead.  If you want to get a jump on this you can go out after midnight and the summer milky way is rising in the east.  You will see the glowing halpha clouds easily with the halpha filter and the 1x lens.  

To follow up on Jeffs point about galaxies....they are tough nv objects.  They are extended objects but small ones.  So the fast f/ratio can work against you...the only way to get a better image scale is to increase aperture....and that of course is difficult in several ways (size, cost etc..).  I find that the edge on galaxies show the best as they seem to have some halpha component to their light output....m82, m104 and ngc891 are all good nv objects.  M51 is decent but the quality of the night can make or break how well the arms show up.  I use a 25" f5 and there are some nights where the nv image is no better than an eyepiece view.  Light pollution is also an issue as the nv unit amplifies all light...dark skies are better if you can get to them.  

I have a 7nm halpha filter and a 12nm.  I find that the 7nm works better for afocal use with an eyepiece and the 12nm seems to be better for the 1x viewing.  Others love the narrower filters for 1x viewing so ymmv.  
Hopefully you can make some connections with you're local astronomy club soon and get some experience with the nv device.


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#39 Jeff Morgan

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Posted 11 May 2019 - 12:40 AM

To follow up on Jeffs point about galaxies....they are tough nv objects.  They are extended objects but small ones.  So the fast f/ratio can work against you...the only way to get a better image scale is to increase aperture....and that of course is difficult in several ways (size, cost etc..). 

 

No getting around it. If galaxies are your passion, large aperture is required. That's true for NV or regular eyepieces.

 

If galaxies were narrow band emitters one could concentrate on those wavelengths (just like h-alpha). But unfortunately, they are broadband emitters. Separating them from light pollution is difficult. Long pass helps, but not the stupendous gains one gets with nebula.

 

Alan Green is doing a lot of galaxy observing and posts prolifically. Read his observing reports.



#40 mwaller

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Posted 11 May 2019 - 12:27 PM

Thanks again for the comments!

Silly question... How do I attach images to my posts?  Do they have to be externally hosted, or can I upload directly?



#41 Mazerski

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Posted 13 May 2019 - 02:37 PM

Attach Images: CN will only accept small size (at least for me) so I do I snippet on PC and save as .jpg. I upload saved PC images.

 

You have to hit the More Reply Options button to get the functions for attaching images... if this is what you are asking.

 

For your disappointment: get up at 3 or 4am and with Ha filter, look around Jupiter to see the summer Nebula- you will be impressed. If you have a 685 or 642 IR, M104, 82, 13, 5 and other globs look great. If you have 642IR and at 4am, use this to see MW clouds and nebulosity associated with Lagoon, Omega, etc.


Edited by Mazerski, 13 May 2019 - 02:46 PM.


#42 Eddgie

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Posted 13 May 2019 - 04:47 PM

The Ha filter I have is an Astronomik 12nm.  I will save it for for later viewing.  

Last night, I attached my 3x lens and took a stab at locating a few galaxies.  I convinced myself that I was able to see M51, and two of the Leo Triplet.  Does that seem possible?

At 3x, you should be able to make out the two cores of the Whirlpool/companion and the brighter spiral feature.  It is tiny, but at about 10 arc minutes (half a degree of apparent field at 3x), it is big enough to positively ID even from red zone sky.



#43 hoof

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Posted 19 May 2019 - 02:08 PM

This is a bit off-topic, but ...

Can anyone recommend an app that is good for determining viewing conditions - transparency, light pollution, humidity etc?  

I've been using this website for years:

 

 http://www.cleardarksky.com/csk/

 

Basically you select a site near where you live or observe, and it will give detailed astronomical conditions for about a day and a half.  In addition, there are links to get local sun/moon data, and light pollution links.  I have permanently bookmarked a site a few miles away and use it regularly.

 

For me, the fact this is simply a website (and an older-style website to boot), means it works anywhere.  I'm one of the few holdouts on a Windows Phone, so apps are out :)  But this website works just fine ;)



#44 mwaller

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Posted 19 May 2019 - 08:25 PM

I just won in auction for the Fujinon style 3x lens... Excited to try that! I also have a Canadian made Newcon Optik 3x on order. This is supposed to be compatible with a PVS-14 has an even larger rear aperture.

#45 mwaller

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 10:13 PM

I was able to try the Fujinon 3x with my PVS-14, and sorry to say, it also causes vignetting. The optical quality is notably better, but I still lose a millimeter or two around the perimeter if my tube screen. Fingers crossed that the Newcon lens is even better...

#46 mwaller

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Posted 04 June 2019 - 06:27 PM

I was able to try the Fujinon 3x with my PVS-14, and sorry to say, it also causes vignetting. The optical quality is notably better, but I still lose a millimeter or two around the perimeter if my tube screen. Fingers crossed that the Newcon lens is even better...

Sadly, the Newcon 3x lens was a disaster with my PVS-14.  Bad vignetting and uneven illumination across the field.  Clearly, it's been designed to work with different optics...



#47 The Ardent

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Posted 04 June 2019 - 06:44 PM

What if you bought this and a $20 FD-C mount adapter?

https://www.keh.com/...nt-lens-55.html

#48 mwaller

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Posted 05 June 2019 - 06:04 PM

The PVS-14 doesn't accept C-mount lenses...I needs an afocal magnifier that attaches to the objective. 

 

What if you bought this and a $20 FD-C mount adapter?

https://www.keh.com/...nt-lens-55.html



#49 The Ardent

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Posted 05 June 2019 - 07:49 PM

That’s why I avoided the PVS 14.

The PVS-14 doesn't accept C-mount lenses...I needs an afocal magnifier that attaches to the objective.




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