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Is NV Phonetography REALLY astrophotography?

astrophotography NV
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#1 GeezerGazer

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Posted 14 October 2019 - 11:33 PM

I often look at other forums to see what is going on.  I visit the astrophotography forum more often than other forums just to see the beautiful renditions of nebulae in the various palettes of color from multiple filters of different wavelength.  I often see images of subjects that I have photographed with NV and my phone.  I don't use a lot of fancy equipment, my exposures are short and my camera is my phone, I don't use a guide scope, a computer or even a GEM mount and my images are monotone, with color variance only from changes to white balance when setting it manually.  

 

I started my simple imaging in late 2017 because... my eyes are starting to fail.  I'm not blind by any stretch, but I do not see as well as I used to and after five surgeries on my dominant eye 20 years ago, it has a variety of aberrations.  NV brought a brighter image to my doorstep and has allowed me to see a lot of objects that I had not seen in 20+ years of observation with glass eyepieces.  For that I am very thankful.  Mainly, I observe and photograph nebulae because most of them were not visible or were marginally visible with various OIII or UHC/NPB filters.  NV opened a new realm of observing for me and photographing these objects allows me to see them more clearly... at home, using both eyes, on a cloudy night.  

 

As I look at the long exposure images in the Astrophotography forum, I sometimes wonder what else I am missing, even with NV.  But then I consider our different approach and wonder if NV Phonetography is REALLY just another aspect of astrophotography.  My images are hardly more than snapshots, yet they reveal so much detail when downloaded and displayed on a computer screen.  I've attached two images taken with my two main objectives, an 8" Newt and a Nikon 300mm lens.  AND, I've attached links to two very beautiful, long exposure images of the same objects.  They are definitely worth a look and could easily be considered works of art.  Traditional astrophotography is a very exacting endeavor.  It requires specialized equipment, knowledge of that equipment and of the night sky, and a high degree of patience to make repetitive exposures that must be integrated and processed at a computer.  Multiple exposures totaling 10, 15 or 20 hrs. are not uncommon.  

 

So do "snapshots" of 1/4 second that are integrated (averaged) for 20 seconds in a phone, qualify to be part of astrophotography?  This is not intended to make comparisons; the forms are very different.  And for the most part, there is not really a comparison to be made.  I definitely consider jdbastro's NV images taken with DSLRs or MILCs and relay lenses astrophotography... they are beautiful and detailed.  Does NV Phonetography reach a threshold to qualify as astrophotography?  I would like to hear opinions on this, pro or con.  

 

The first is an image of the Bubble Nebula, NGC 7635, taken using an 8" Newt mounted to a iOptron AZ Pro alt/az mount, 12nm H-a filter with 2x barlow, ISO 2000, 1/2 second exposure, averaged 20 seconds in NightCap camera application in an iPhone XR.  This image was cropped just to increase the size of the Bubble.  You can click on these images for a little better, bigger rendition. 

 

IMG_E3200.jpeg

 

Now, look at the photo in this post, or better yet, click on the Astrobin version... it's pretty spectacular, taking 15 hrs. of integration: https://www.cloudyni...-bubble-nebula/

 

The second image is of the faint and small IC 63 (with IC 59), the Ghost of Cassiopeia, taken through a Nikon 300mm with NV attached, a 7nm H-a filter, mounted on the AZ Pro.  This image was not cropped.  

 

IMG_E5904.jpeg

 

So now, treat yourself to this image of IC 63, requiring 12 hrs of exposure.  Don't be hesitant to click on "like" button.  Then come back and give an opinion with a bit of reasoning.  Thanks and clear skies. 

Ray


Edited by GeezerGazer, 14 October 2019 - 11:56 PM.

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#2 t_image

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Posted 15 October 2019 - 12:02 AM

So now, treat yourself to this image of IC 63, requiring 12 hrs of exposure......

FWIW, you have a link missing......I'm pretty sure you don't mean the NV image is 12hours exposure.

 

I don't find the distinction astrophotography or not really valuable or necessary.

Tech is getting better and will soon shatter the AP paradigm.

As far as your Ghost of Cass, I can rival that with my modded Sony a7s MILC, a 200mm f/2.8 lens on a cheap Alt/Az in a matter of seconds, not minutes or hours....No NVII needed.

 

And IMO the lines get blurry quickly once you start realtime image manipulations.....Then it is just a matter of software. Programs exist that are much better at making images pretty than sharpcap, that can be done realtime, it's just they are less available to many.

To me there is a clearer line between live 30fps or faster realtime video astronomy and everything else as AP. But that's me. I don't care how others feel, they are free to think differently. I have no use for needless ideology.

 

 

 


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#3 TOMDEY

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Posted 15 October 2019 - 12:15 AM

Nice photos! (Oooops?!) EAA, most especially NV, is relegated to a little table in the back corner of the room... I'm not quite sure why. We capture photons, kick out electrons, amplify them, excite a phosphor, regenerating photons, relay those to a photosensitive array, kicking out electrons, store the data in the form of a digital array, and display it on a monitor or print... for people to view, share, love and enjoy! We are able to do that quickly... very close to ~real time~ even video. The other imaging guys typically labor over a single target for a night and day... often more. The sociology of it could contend that we are cheating... so get the back corner, never center-stage.

 

Related: Pluto is not a planet, so don't call it one, else be reprimanded. At least that's what the ~professional astronomers~ have decreed. Them's the rules!   Tom


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#4 GeezerGazer

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Posted 15 October 2019 - 12:28 AM

FWIW, you have a link missing......I'm pretty sure you don't mean the NV image is 12hours exposure.

 

 

Fixed.  Thanks


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#5 Gavster

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Posted 15 October 2019 - 02:41 AM

Ray,
Our images are photos of the night sky, so yes I think they are covered under astrophotography. Just nowhere near as good as a typical processed long exposure Astro photo!
But I guess I don’t think it matters.
What matters imo is why we take them. For you it’s to see detail which you can’t directly with your eyes. For me it’s to take a quick and easy record of the visual nv observations I have done. The photos have also given me a ‘target’ in terms of improving my nv systems (scope used, monocular used, filter used, eyepiece used etc) to get visual views broadly in line with what the phone images show.
A final point is that I much prefer reading visual observing reports illustrated with sketches, diagrams or representative phone photos. The reports are brought to life and get me thinking ‘I want to observe that!’ (Your ghost of Cassiopeia image has done just that...) The book ‘turn left at Orion’ did the same thing when I was just starting this hobby. The cliche is that a picture tells a thousands words. NV phonetography does just that for me.


Edited by Gavster, 15 October 2019 - 03:00 AM.

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#6 bobhen

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Posted 15 October 2019 - 09:23 AM

You said: “…I don't use a lot of fancy equipment, my exposures are short and my camera is my phone…”

 

The “fancy equipment” you use is a very high tech and very expensive image intensifier.

 

One of the advantages (there are others) of NV is its unrivaled simplicity and ease of use as a visual tool or as an imaging tool. And the combination of capturing details that would be unheard off a few years ago combined with that simplicity cannot be overstated.

 

For the casual imager, there are other much less expensive camera/software systems that can deliver excellent results, albeit with more complications.

 

For the dedicated imager, there are still other options that can deliver suburb results, if one wants to put in the time and the dollars.

 

Bob


Edited by bobhen, 15 October 2019 - 09:24 AM.

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#7 Eddgie

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Posted 15 October 2019 - 10:58 AM

The whole "Classification" thing is kind of convoluted.

 

 

Electronically Assisted Astronomy (EAA) is the use of an analog or digital image capturing device in lieu of an eyepiece at the telescope. Here members can talk about the equipment used, share their observing experiences, and post sketches and images captured with EAA devices.

 

I think image intensifiers actually fit the description of EAA Observing better than EAA camera observing does because from what I can see, the vast majority of non-equipment posts on EAA forum are in fact astro-photos and the "observing" reports seem to be a tiny fraction of the total of posts, and of those, almost 100% of the  "observing experiences" come from people that are observing in real time using image intensifiers. We have hand NV reports from star parties, dark sky locations, front yards, back yards, and people sitting on the curb in front of their house!

 

I have rarely seen a "Description" of observations posted with "EAA" cameras and I have never seen a sketch posted on this forum. 

 

When images are posted, you have to include more data than they require on the freaking imaging forum!!

 

So, I just kind of ignore all of the debates about it all. If I have something to share, I share it.  If someone posts something I am interested in, I read or look at it.

 

I am thankful for CN, but the EAA forum is a confused lot of disparate equipment and imaging discussions.  Most of the actual observing content is posted by NV people I think.  I am not an imager, and while I enjoy seeing pictures people take, I have almost zero interest in taking pictures. I just come here mostly for the observing reports. I love to read reports from new NV owners when they have had their first light!   It is so enjoyable to hear the thrill they share with us!


Edited by Eddgie, 15 October 2019 - 10:59 AM.

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#8 Jeff Morgan

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Posted 15 October 2019 - 11:41 AM

Is it astrophotography?

 

Yes.

 

But with significant differences.

 

1) It is easy.

2) It is monochrome.

3) Limited exposure times.

4) Relatively poor sensor.

5) No true stacking.

6) No post-processing.

 

And maybe more.

 

It's appeal to me is ease of use. It is intriguing. The interruption to a visual session is minimal enough to make it feasible (though I really need an updated phone and better bracket).

 

However, the noisy sensor results have whetted my appetite to get a "real" astro camera and start doing "traditional" imaging.


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#9 Mike Lockwood

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Posted 15 October 2019 - 12:56 PM

Yes, it is astrophography of an intensified analog monochromatic image.  I see no reason why you couldn't post your images, taken with the CCD camera in your phone, on the CCD forum, after doing whatever stacking or processing that you wish.  Those there might look at you funny or with a bit of disdain, but technically it does fit, and we can see more in short exposures than many imagers can see in much longer ones.

 

In effect, the NV unit just acts like a huge ISO boost, possibly in a particular part of the spectrum.  To me, this is just like a person with a DSLR using it at very high ISO to either record video or images at night while not caring so much about noise.  Both are, in effect, just ways to turn up the gain.

 

Here, in this forum, the restrictions on image post-processing are an attempt to keep images in the state that one might see them straight out of the imaging train, in semi-real time.  This is a holdover from "video astronomy", which in some forms (such as when many images are stacked) is closer to CCD imaging than video astronomy.

 

Now that some, such as the OP, are trying to make better looking images by stacking/averaging, the technique is more like CCD imaging.

 

Really, I think that nightvision should be allowed to float into other categories depending on how it is used.  If it is used for nearly real-time observing, then it is EAA.  If exposures are being stacked, then it is CCD imaging.

 

Likewise "video astronomy" should be treated the same.  If the view is nearly live, it is EAA, if images are being stacked, it is CCD imaging.

 

So, one might propose to reorganize EAA and CCD imaging by setting a delay limit - if what you see is within 1 second or maybe 5 seconds of real-time, then it is EAA, and anything longer is CCD imaging, regardless of how the photons got there.

 

To me, this is a more logical way to organize images.  That's what my moment of clarity just now has made me realize.

 

One might also say:  Release NV from discrimination and acknowledge it for the ISO boost that it really is!  Or, from another perspective, is a DSLR using high ISO really just a nightvision device in disguise?


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#10 Eddgie

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Posted 15 October 2019 - 12:56 PM

Arguably, any picture that was taken for the express purpose of recording the night sky, any portion of the night sky, or any object in the night sky, to, and to these dictionary authors, it would appear that they make no qualification on the equipment and methods used to make those images.

 

 

 

as·tro·pho·tog·ra·phy
/ˌastrōfəˈtäɡrəfē/
noun
the use of photography in astronomy; the photographing of celestial objects and phenomena.

 

 

 

noun
the photography of stars and other celestial objects.

 

 

Astrophotography(noun)

the application of photography to the delineation of the sun, moon, and stars

 

 

astrophotography
NOUN
The use of photography in astronomy.

The last is from the Oxford Dictionary

 

In other words, if you take a picture of celestial objects, it is astrophotography. If you stack up a bunch of mashed potatoes to replicate the Whirlpool galaxy, that is astrosculpture.

 

All of the stuff CN does here is sub-classification. 

 


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#11 t_image

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Posted 15 October 2019 - 03:29 PM

The whole "Classification" thing is kind of convoluted.

 

 

I think image intensifiers actually fit the description of EAA Observing better than EAA camera observing does because from what I can see, the vast majority of non-equipment posts on EAA forum are in fact astro-photos and the "observing" reports seem to be a tiny fraction of the total of posts, and of those, almost 100% of the  "observing experiences" come from people that are observing in real time using image intensifiers. We have hand NV reports from star parties, dark sky locations, front yards, back yards, and people sitting on the curb in front of their house!

 

I have rarely seen a "Description" of observations posted with "EAA" cameras and I have never seen a sketch posted on this forum.

..........

FWIW I agree with your assessment. Most of the usefulness of EAA non NV (ie sharpcap,etc) are more for gear purchasing advice, gear discussions, and sharpcap how-tos........

I enjoy NV observing reports in EAA because you guys have a home here regardless of the type of objects you observed.....

 

I find myself posting my 'EAA' observations made with my non NV EAA gear (sony a7s attached to 40" 4K display)

not in EAA ***,

but instead

mostly in Gen Obs

or Lunar

or Solar

or Outreach

sections of CN because it is more about subject matter viewed (things observed)during my EAA observation sessions

(or who viewed it:Outreach)

and less how I did it,

 

and I find a larger audience with a larger interest in what is observed (realtime) there,

 

than in EAA which I find (non NV) is more concerned with gear used

or with only DSOs

that are slowly revealed at a turtle's pace

("near-real time" whatever, I don't buy it.......-if I have to wait minutesfingertap.gif  to see your pretty EAA 'experience' stacked on a laptop screen,

-that's not 'near' to realtime by my assessment),

and DSOs aren't my usual viewing target anyway.

But more power to the ones that like such EAA method!!!flowerred.gif

I often chase the moving stuff:

  • rare clouds,
  • birds,
  • planes,
  • satellites,
  • ISS,
  • asteroids,
  • meteors,
  • occultations,
  • transits.
  • Lunar anomalies and transitory phenomena,
  • H-alpha Solar proms and features that rapidly change,

The things Sharpcap stacks on a laptop is worthless for,

but those that do visual (majority in the astro hobby) can quickly appreciate, and enjoy my animated GIFs archiving the experience........

So at least for me, that explains the tiny fraction posts thing of obs here in EAA.......

 

***P.S.--I totally understand the "no post processing" to authenticate what comes out of the imaging train,

but that is completely a gear-focused paradigm...

 

For relating an Observation report with supplementary EAA captures,

If I decide to wisely post-process my animated GIFs to make my images [that are reduced and compressed for CN consumption]

enhanced so the are legibly viewable,

so the subject matter (things viewed) are resolvable to CN readers,

[it's not like I am turning the Milky Way purple or adding fake trees into the foreground or anything]

because I am relating an observation report on the things viewed with the supplemental posted animated GIF,

it seems it is a violation of EAA section posting policy,

 

so why again would I post my EAA observations/EAA observing reports here in the EAA section??????

 

But just to be clear, I'm not complaining, I don't see a better solution as I am well familiar with the history of EAA section growing pains from not only being active for 4+ yrs but have read the archived threads and have a sense even prior to my activity here.......

And of course my workaround is no detriment to the community, because everyone is free to peruse the other sections of CN.
The only ones that would miss out on my EAA observing reports are ones that only read the EAA threads......


Edited by t_image, 15 October 2019 - 03:57 PM.

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#12 TOMDEY

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Posted 15 October 2019 - 06:53 PM

And then there's that guy who distilled carrots and consumed a kilo-carrot equivalent in one sitting --- then won the naked eye observing award... readily detecting tenth mag stars just sitting there in a lounge chair. The committee later disqualified him for carrot doping. Even Galileo found himself under house arrest for cheating with those evil pieces of glass in a tube. As the horror movies often point out, "Man was not meant to do unnatural things."    Tom


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#13 GeezerGazer

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Posted 15 October 2019 - 09:02 PM

In other words, if you take a picture of celestial objects, it is astrophotography. If you stack up a bunch of mashed potatoes to replicate the Whirlpool galaxy, that is astrosculpture.

lol.gif roflmao.gif



#14 GeezerGazer

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Posted 15 October 2019 - 09:05 PM

And then there's that guy who distilled carrots and consumed a kilo-carrot equivalent in one sitting --- then won the naked eye observing award... readily detecting tenth mag stars just sitting there in a lounge chair. The committee later disqualified him for carrot doping. Even Galileo found himself under house arrest for cheating with those evil pieces of glass in a tube. As the horror movies often point out, "Man was not meant to do unnatural things."    Tom

Poor Galileo!  watching.gif



#15 Eddgie

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Posted 15 October 2019 - 09:27 PM

lol.gif roflmao.gif

Glad it had the intended effect!   Devil's Tower anyone???


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#16 Eddgie

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Posted 15 October 2019 - 09:38 PM

And Ray, 

 

Image intensifiers actually have a long history in astronomy.  

 

For example, an RTC XX 1390 (Gen II image intensifier) was used with a Celestron C8 to image the coma of 18th magnitude Comet Halley in 1980s and the exposures were not at all dissimilar to today's phone images (2 seconds). 

There are reports of professional astronomers using early image intensifiers even before the 1950s.

 

So, what we are doing is not really new.  We just have much improved image intensifiers, and large amateur telescopes are present in vast numbers, where such a telescope was rare until the Dobson revolution.



#17 GeezerGazer

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Posted 10 November 2019 - 11:47 PM

It is interesting that after I started this post, the Pixel 4 smartphone was released which now has expanded its NightSight mode to include a special Astrophotography mode.  And it does pretty good work... for a phone camera!  The phone is held stationary on a non-tracking tripod.  The mode is automatically selected by the camera, no manual control is permitted.  It will take up to 15 images, each up to 16s long, selects exposure and ISO, automatically aligns and stacks them and corrects with special algorithms to eliminate hot spots.  And somehow, it manages to eliminate star trails using special programing.  Wow!  This phone doesn’t even require a tracking mount!  And, it is called "Astrophotography" mode.  I love it! 

 

I have thought for a long time that camera sensors would equal or overtake NV capability for astronomy in a few years.  It really is already happening with the recent Sony introduction with 500,000 ISO capability.  But smartphones are achieving stunning results with computational photography... using programs and algorithms to adjust results automatically. We live in amazing times with advanced technology moving forward in exponential leaps.  

 

Here's a link to the announcement of the Pixel 4 which shows a demo of the AP mode, just after minute 54 in the presentation:  

https://www.youtube....youtu.be&t=3255

 

This is a little divergent from my initial post in this thread, but it does help to substantiate smartphone astrophotography as a legitimate form of AP.  


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#18 shakafell

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Posted 11 November 2019 - 02:10 PM

Do what you enjoy and stop worrying about other people's definitions.



#19 GeezerGazer

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Posted 11 November 2019 - 06:26 PM

Do what you enjoy and stop worrying about other people's definitions.

Oh, I'm not worried about definitions... and I do enjoy my snapshots.  This thread was started to get other opinions about NV Phonetography... since it's been around a while in this forum.  Overall, I have found increasing acceptance of NV in various CN forums over the past 3-4 years, which was not always the case.  NV Phonetography is but a small segment of NV astronomy... so think of this thread as a check on perceptions.  I also started this thread to acknowledge how NV has helped me stay under the stars with eyesight that is south of perfect.  Others who have read this thread might not remember it in a year, but they might remember that NV can be used as a prosthetic device for failing eyesight.  NV is a powerful tool, whether used visually or for imaging.   I have enjoyed reading the responses here, because they detail reasoning by many NV astronomers, based on use and perceptions, like Mike Lockwood's post #9 and Eddgie's post #16, and from EAA user t image in post #11.  Their opinions are derived from experience and are valuable. 



#20 careysub

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Posted 11 November 2019 - 10:19 PM

Once upon a time astrophotography was an all analog process using chemical reactions to fix astronomical images. Most of us remember those times.

 

And about that "monochrome" thing - it is not like people with astrocameras are producing faithful reproductions of the actual colors of the objects they photograph. Sometimes they do, but very often they are false color images, assigning color values different from the ones they actual recorded using narrowband filters. And if they record in the IR, then they are doing something no different from many NVers using long band pass filters.

 

NV photography is just as much astrophotography as any other way of recording astro images that don't involve sketching.


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#21 FRANC LILL

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Posted 13 November 2019 - 10:48 AM

Hi all,

 

Let me develop here my personal (only personal) point of view in this debate. The matter is more to bring my experience in the conversation rather than establishing anything or show the truth.

 

In amateur astronomy, we classically separate visual observation on one side and imagery on the other. But things are changing with the use of more and more night vision technology. So, currently, a controversy is developing to try to place a border between the visual, the assisted visual and the imagery. The question of at which limit beyond a certain exposure time is there imagery, and below EAA. I do not want to enter here in a endless way.

 

In my practice, observing and sketching, the use of EAA is the natural extension of direct observation of an object by the help of real time imagery. It is an interactive process between observing and detecting by high-tech instruments. It deviates somewhat from the purist observer's approach which consists of a challenge to detect visually very faint lights and glimpses, but which corollary requires a physical and visual capability that is not necessarily given to everyone, especially when comes the old age.

 

EAA approach, accessible to all, can bring a lot of pleasure in the discovery of a thousand and one particularities of the sky. In particular to all mobile observers. No need here for large photographic equipment, no sophisticated mount, no setup time to spend, nor highly developed visual or ophtalmological fitness.

 

More. The must is to keep a record of the observation that allows to generate a document created at the time of observation, that can be used later for a report or as a base for sketching. There is no matter of processing a picture, you go much further, because you proceed in an interactive way by alternating personal observation and real-time imaging to track down some small revealing details.

 

Real-time imaging can be done in the deep-sky domain as well as in the lunar or planetary domains. I have used the smartphone for the moon. For the deep sky, a night vision cam allows me to go beyond the limit of detection of the eye, beyond the frustration that prevents precise positioning of a faint light, of a galaxy arm , a glimpse, a dark area, or detail an area that is percieved surely richer as just a glow. Real-time imagery brings a huge benefit to anyone who does not have an accurate visual ability.

 

Best regards,
Francis


Edited by FRANC LILL, 13 November 2019 - 10:49 AM.

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#22 spereira

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Posted 13 November 2019 - 11:45 AM

... In amateur astronomy, we classically separate visual observation on one side and imagery on the other. ...

I recently read this elsewhere:  "Just saving a file and posting it on CN makes it an image.  There's no getting around it."

 

This sums things up simply for me.  If one is observing, it may be with optics only, or it may be with electronic assistance, either to a screen, or to the eyeball.  The moment one saves a file, it becomes an image.  Maybe one with no post-processing, maybe eventually one with post-processing, but it's an image just the same.

 

I think this description would make life easier for all.  Just observing, observing with electronic assistance, or imaging.

 

smp


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#23 GeezerGazer

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Posted 13 November 2019 - 03:02 PM

I recently read this elsewhere:  "Just saving a file and posting it on CN makes it an image.  There's no getting around it."

 

This sums things up simply for me.  If one is observing, it may be with optics only, or it may be with electronic assistance, either to a screen, or to the eyeball.  The moment one saves a file, it becomes an image.  Maybe one with no post-processing, maybe eventually one with post-processing, but it's an image just the same.

Yes, this does simplify the distinction between AP and visual observing, image file vs. no image file.  For traditional EAA, an image is at least saved on screen, presented for observation... perhaps not saved to a permanent file, but after an image is compiled from the camera sensor, isn't it actually a file at that point?  Isn't looking at an on-screen image that is being compiled from the camera sensor looking at a picture?  With NV, the image is transitory and never saved unless a camera is added to the observing chain to create a saved image file.  EAA & NV provide different ways to see greater detail by collecting or amplifying light, but only one actually saves the image for observation.  If a developed/compiled EAA image on screen is not saved as an image file, is it then considered visual observing, using the simplified distinction?  Or, is it AP, because with traditional EAA, a camera sensor is being used in the process of image compilation?  

 

Using this definition, where is the distinction if using a MILC (Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera) with 500,000 ISO capability, and watching/observing the display at the back of the camera without taking a photo?  The LCD image on the back of the camera is near real time, not quite as fast in processing as an image intensifier, but now within a second or maybe even 1/4 second.  Instead of taking several seconds or minutes to create the image as in traditional EAA, the MILC produces an image on the screen much faster.  Would this be "visual" observing if no permanent image is taken by the camera?  Or is this just a faster form of EAA, where an image is compiled for observation on the LCD.  In the near future, camera sensors will surely exceed 1,000,000 ISO, which will put the image on the camera LCD almost instantaneously.  Would we classify this as visual observing, unless a photo is actually taken?  Like traditional EAA, a camera sensor is being used to collect light and present it for actually taking a picture... if no picture is taken, does it become visual observation?  If so, at what point of processing speed does EAA become real-time visual observing?  OR, is it visual observation already, but one that takes a while to develop?  

 

To me, the lines between AP/EAA/NV and traditional visual observing with glass eyepieces will continue to blur as technology advances.  The old argument about NV not being visual observation (even though it is real time to our eyes/brain) because photons are being converted to electrons, may be the best distinction between AP/EAA/NV and traditional visual observation.  Each of the former methods relying on a completely different technology, but supported by analog observing instruments... telescopes.  

 

We live at a time when amazing technological advances occur more frequently.  I submit that the vast amount (nearly all) of professional astronomical research being conducted today is not done with glass eyepieces, in what we amateurs consider to be "traditional visual astronomy."  Our field of study is changing.  We can take advantage of technology to enhance what we see, or we can choose not to... our history shows that technology will prevail.  Don't get me wrong, I love my glass eyepieces.  But if I want to see more than they can show, I must visit my arsenal of technology.  If I want to see the Pillars of Creation, the Bubble, or any number of NGC, IC or Barnard listings, I need more than just glass.  The good news... it's still called astronomy.  


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#24 spereira

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Posted 13 November 2019 - 05:10 PM

Yes, this does simplify the distinction between AP and visual observing, image file vs. no image file.  For traditional EAA, an image is at least saved on screen, presented for observation... 

 

The good news... it's still called astronomy.  

Thanks for all your thoughts, Geezer!

 

You seem to have muddled what I was trying to say, just a little bit.

 

My statement:  Just observing, observing with electronic assistance, or imaging.

 

First, any observing with only optics between the object being observed and your eyeball would be called visual observing.

 

Second, I don't want to confuse things with what you call "traditional EAA."

 

You ask: "Isn't looking at an on-screen image that is being compiled from the camera sensor looking at a picture?"

By my "new definition," this would be observing with electronic assistance.

 

You state: "With NV, the image is transitory and never saved unless a camera is added to the observing chain to create a saved image file."

By my "new definition," this would be observing with electronic assistance.

 

You ask: "If a developed/compiled EAA image on screen is not saved as an image file, is it then considered visual observing, using the simplified distinction?  Or, is it AP, because with traditional EAA, a camera sensor is being used in the process of image compilation?"

By my "new definition," this would be observing with electronic assistance.

 

You ask: "Using this definition, where is the distinction if using a MILC (Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera) with 500,000 ISO capability, and watching/observing the display at the back of the camera without taking a photo?"

By my "new definition," this would be observing with electronic assistance.

 

You ask: "Would this be "visual" observing if no permanent image is taken by the camera?  Or is this just a faster form of EAA, where an image is compiled for observation on the LCD."

By my "new definition," this would be observing with electronic assistance.

 

You ask: "In the near future, camera sensors will surely exceed 1,000,000 ISO, which will put the image on the camera LCD almost instantaneously.  Would we classify this as visual observing, unless a photo is actually taken?  Like traditional EAA, a camera sensor is being used to collect light and present it for actually taking a picture... if no picture is taken, does it become visual observation?"

By my "new definition," this would be observing with electronic assistance.

 

You ask: "If so, at what point of processing speed does EAA become real-time visual observing?  OR, is it visual observation already, but one that takes a while to develop?"

My answer would be never, by my "new definition," this would be observing with electronic assistance.

 

You state: "To me, the lines between AP/EAA/NV and traditional visual observing with glass eyepieces will continue to blur as technology advances."

My "new definition" disagrees.  Only observing with nothing but optics between the object being observed and your eyeball would be called visual observing.  All of the other examples above would be observing with electronic assistance.

 

Finally, the action of saving a file creates an image, and hence enters the realm of imaging.

 

Please don't get me wrong on all this.  I'm only putting forth what I believe is a simple definition for visual observing, EAA, and imaging.  You, of course, can have your own opinion on any or all of what I've written here.

 

I believe my simple definition includes all of what we've previously called EAA and NV.  I also believe that it can easily include the new systems arriving now, EVScope, Stellina, etc.  All of them fall into the EAA category, as far as observing goes.  When a file is saved and shared, or saved and processed and shared, then it's imaging to me.

 

Thanks very much for stressing my simple definition, and getting me to think some more!  And, yes, the good news certainly is that it's all called Astronomy!

 

smp


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#25 GeezerGazer

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Posted 13 November 2019 - 07:32 PM

My statement:  Just observing, observing with electronic assistance, or imaging.

"This sums things up simply for me.  If one is observing, it may be with optics only, or it may be with electronic assistance, either to a screen, or to the eyeball.  The moment one saves a file, it becomes an image.  Maybe one with no post-processing, maybe eventually one with post-processing, but it's an image just the same."

With your explanation (above), now it makes sense to me as being all inclusive.  Thank you.  It does make a pretty simple to understand distinction.  With current technological offerings, I can think of no other forms of observing that would fall outside of these three categories.  Nice reasoning! waytogo.gif


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