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#1 Wildetelescope

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Posted 26 May 2020 - 11:46 AM

My PVS 14 arrived today from Ultimate Night Vision.    So of course we are expecting a weeks worth of storms:-).   However, I will definitely see what there is to see walking around in my back yard tonight:-).    Can't wait to get a clear night and see what I can see.  

 

Cheers!

 

JMD


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#2 spereira

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Posted 26 May 2020 - 12:19 PM

Congratulations!  Great to hear that your equipment has arrived.  Keep us posted on your adventure.

 

smp



#3 Wildetelescope

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Posted 26 May 2020 - 01:08 PM

Congratulations!  Great to hear that your equipment has arrived.  Keep us posted on your adventure.

 

smp

Right now I am getting a kick out of reading the documentation.  Everything you need to know to replace any component in the field;-),  but no directions as to how to turn it on:-). I realize that is obvious, but then so is most every other piece of consumer electronics out there and that does not stop them from publishing quick start guides:-).  It is very evident that this gear is meant for a very different audience and I find the contrast amusing.    

 

JMD



#4 gatorengineer

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Posted 26 May 2020 - 01:13 PM

Hi as someone taking the plunge shortly what did you decide on for gear?  How are you coupling to the eyepiece, what filters and EPs are you planning on using?



#5 Wildetelescope

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Posted 26 May 2020 - 02:11 PM

Hi as someone taking the plunge shortly what did you decide on for gear?  How are you coupling to the eyepiece, what filters and EPs are you planning on using?

Hi! 

   I have interest in using this gear for both traditional NV applications as well as Astronomy.  I also have a nice collection of Televue EPs.  Finally, my primary interest is direct viewing, (although I will undoubtedly put my iPhone to work at some point:-), and I have a wide range focal lengths in terms of scopes.  So it made sense for me to consider a standard PVS 14 configuration, and get the Televue NV pieces for attachment.  As far as the type of tube, etc... I went with the Filmless white phosphor.  Again, this will be dual use for me, and I see a small advantage for having the brighter image.   I also believe that controlling gain setting and use of filters will lead to more than satisfactory images for me.  There have been some convincing data presented here and elsewhere that suggests the thin film option gives a bit better contrast, and it is marginally cheaper, so I think you can flip a coin here.  Others have talked about target specs that they feel are good for this application.  Note, the exact specifications for a given unit fall under the ITAR restrictions, so no posting of them.  However, is reasonable to say that lower EBI, Higher S/N, and higher resolution is the general goal.  Finally, it is very good to have an understanding and supportive significant other:-). My wife's only comment to me was, "If you are going to do this, don't get the Walmart version....."  :-) 

 

Hope this helps!

 

JMD



#6 Wildetelescope

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Posted 26 May 2020 - 02:17 PM

Also, to start with, I will probably work with my 35 mm pan and 17.5 mm Delos.  As far as filters, I have a generic LP filter I might try, but later on, I will likely acquire a narrowband H alpha filter.  The piggy bank needs a bit of time to recover, so that might be awhile.  For now, I will work with what I have got.   Honestly, I will be happy to actually see the Milkyway(when it is up) using the objective that it comes with to begin with.  

Cheers!

 

 

JMD 



#7 bobhen

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Posted 26 May 2020 - 02:54 PM

Also, to start with, I will probably work with my 35 mm pan and 17.5 mm Delos.  As far as filters, I have a generic LP filter I might try, but later on, I will likely acquire a narrowband H alpha filter.  The piggy bank needs a bit of time to recover, so that might be awhile.  For now, I will work with what I have got.   Honestly, I will be happy to actually see the Milkyway(when it is up) using the objective that it comes with to begin with.  

Cheers!

 

 

JMD 

JMD,

 

I know the credit card might need a rest but you really need to consider getting a narrow band Ha filter for nebula (6 or 7 nm) or you will be missing half the fun and a Pass filter for non-nebula objects, even in mild light pollution.

 

Standard light pollution, OIII and UHC filters really don’t do the job.

 

Knowing what I know now, I wouldn't think twice about selling a deep sky eyepiece to fund the filters. No eyepiece will show you more than a filtered intensifier - no matter how expensive. You could even tell your wife you are selling some astro equipment!

 

Bob


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#8 gatorengineer

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Posted 26 May 2020 - 04:00 PM

Thanks for the feedback. Do you know what brand tube you bought? Right now I have a gen2+ that I am playing with before I take the plunge, see post below. I have a Russell plossl on order and will be threading a 36 Siebert I have. I learned last night that 17mm 82deg was a little to slow. I didn't try it, also suspect that 17 ethos will have light cone issues let me know how it works work.

I ordered an Antila 3.5nm Ha today... Expensive but less than half of a Chroma, a few anecdotals say they might be better than baader.

If/ when I upgrade I will buy a Vyper for the Future potential to use it with a camera lens, debating between photonis and 3G thin film.
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#9 Dale Eason

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Posted 26 May 2020 - 04:47 PM

I second what Bob said about filters.  In my LP skies the 685 long pass is mandatory.  Also mandatory is the narrow band like the 7nm HA if you want to see the emission nebulae.  Without out those the NV is not enjoyable for me in my Bortle 8 skies.  My standard LP, OIII and UHC filters did not add much value.

 

Dale



#10 gatorengineer

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Posted 26 May 2020 - 05:04 PM

When you say 685 bandpass can you identify what brand works for you?

#11 a__l

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Posted 26 May 2020 - 06:01 PM

Note, the exact specifications for a given unit fall under the ITAR restrictions, so no posting of them.  However, is reasonable to say that lower EBI, Higher S/N, and higher resolution is the general goal.  Finally, it is very good to have an understanding and supportive significant other:-). My wife's only comment to me was, "If you are going to do this, don't get the Walmart version....."  :-) 

 

This is all published by enthusiasts. You can compare the characteristics your nv, including with omni IX.

http://aunv.blackice...ions&story=omni



#12 Eddgie

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Posted 26 May 2020 - 06:20 PM

Hi! 

   I have interest in using this gear for both traditional NV applications as well as Astronomy.  I also have a nice collection of Televue EPs.  Finally, my primary interest is direct viewing, (although I will undoubtedly put my iPhone to work at some point:-), and I have a wide range focal lengths in terms of scopes.  So it made sense for me to consider a standard PVS 14 configuration, and get the Televue NV pieces for attachment.  As far as the type of tube, etc... I went with the Filmless white phosphor.  Again, this will be dual use for me, and I see a small advantage for having the brighter image.   I also believe that controlling gain setting and use of filters will lead to more than satisfactory images for me.  There have been some convincing data presented here and elsewhere that suggests the thin film option gives a bit better contrast, and it is marginally cheaper, so I think you can flip a coin here.  Others have talked about target specs that they feel are good for this application.  Note, the exact specifications for a given unit fall under the ITAR restrictions, so no posting of them.  However, is reasonable to say that lower EBI, Higher S/N, and higher resolution is the general goal.  Finally, it is very good to have an understanding and supportive significant other:-). My wife's only comment to me was, "If you are going to do this, don't get the Walmart version....."  :-) 

 

Hope this helps!

 

JMD

There is no ITAR restriction on listing your specs.  It is an ITAR restriction that you cannot export the data sheet.  

 

People have been posting specs for a very long time.  No one has been taken away in the night for it. 

 

Even the US government has published the minimum specs for OMNI IV contract tubes and those tubes will be better than most current tubes, so the specs are no secret.

 

But that does not mean you have to share them. They can still be your secret.


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#13 Wildetelescope

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Posted 26 May 2020 - 06:38 PM

JMD,

 

I know the credit card might need a rest but you really need to consider getting a narrow band Ha filter for nebula (6 or 7 nm) or you will be missing half the fun and a Pass filter for non-nebula objects, even in mild light pollution.

 

Standard light pollution, OIII and UHC filters really don’t do the job.

 

Knowing what I know now, I wouldn't think twice about selling a deep sky eyepiece to fund the filters. No eyepiece will show you more than a filtered intensifier - no matter how expensive. You could even tell your wife you are selling some astro equipment!

 

Bob

Thanks Bob!  My wife is kind and supportive, but also very smart:-). Don't think that strategy will work:-).  I suspect I will probably be looking at getting an H Alpha filter in the next month or two. Depending on their availability. In any event, I have a hard time parting with gear.  Patient acquisition is pretty much the way I go.   I DO however understand your point about the filters.

 

Cheers!

 

JMD



#14 Dale Eason

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Posted 26 May 2020 - 07:55 PM

When you say 685 bandpass can you identify what brand works for you?

It is not band pass.  But is long pass.  I use Optolong IR 685 for my LP skies to see stars and galaxies that I otherwise could not.

 

Dale



#15 Wildetelescope

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Posted 26 May 2020 - 10:26 PM

Lesson number one.  Night vision monocular and Progressive eyeglasses do not mix!.  However, things sharpen up nicely without the glasses.  

Lesson number two.  Holy cow!   Actually, it is bigger than that.  Holy COWS!  I am amazed at the view through this thing.  The videos that demo this stuff do NOT do them justice.  Maybe is it just my crappy eyesight, but I do not see any scintillation.  I am sure it is there, but it is like I am looking at 4K black and white video.  I just went outside for a quick look around when I took out the dog.  There were some high thin clouds, but I could see a few stars.  Through the NV there were a lot more stars.  The clouds showed a very nice texture that was fun to look at as well.  Viewing with both eyes open was very comfortable, and I could take in the whole available FOV.  The back yard looked like day time and my black/brown dog, who was invisible in the shadows with normal eyesight was visible as if it were daylight.  Amazing.  I cannot wait to pair this with a scope!!

 

JMD


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#16 Jeff Morgan

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Posted 26 May 2020 - 10:53 PM

You are not the first one to want to press your regular nebular filters into service for NV. Not aware of anyone who has gotten good results. To echo what bobhen was saying, you will likely be wasting your time with them. 

 

The 12nm h-alpha is a good performer at a good price point to get you started.

 

You have about 10 days before the next waning moon window opens wink.gif



#17 Wildetelescope

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Posted 26 May 2020 - 11:22 PM

You are not the first one to want to press your regular nebular filters into service for NV. Not aware of anyone who has gotten good results. To echo what bobhen was saying, you will likely be wasting your time with them. 

 

The 12nm h-alpha is a good performer at a good price point to get you started.

 

You have about 10 days before the next waning moon window opens wink.gif

thanks Jeff!  Was not certain if the 12 nm was worthwhile, since everyone is using 7 nm or smaller.  Just the quick look around tonight was eye opening, pun intended:-).  I will check it out.

 

JMD



#18 bobhen

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Posted 27 May 2020 - 06:44 AM

thanks Jeff!  Was not certain if the 12 nm was worthwhile, since everyone is using 7 nm or smaller.  Just the quick look around tonight was eye opening, pun intended:-).  I will check it out.

 

JMD

Bet you want those filters now!

 

For nebula I would suggest starting with a 7 nm and then add a 12 if you travel to dark skies. The stronger the Ha filter the more the stars are attenuated but the more nebula stand out.

 

A 610 or 645 Pass filter for mild light pollution and in heavy light pollution a 685.

 

As an example: I live in a gray/white zone only 8 miles from Philadelphia with extreme light pollution and I use a 6 nm Ha filter and a 685 Pass filter and they keep me very happy. I tried the 610 Pass and the 7nm Ha and like what I’m using now better.

 

Baader 7nm Ha filter for nebula
Baader Long Pass 610, 645 or 685 filters for non-nebula objects and to block light pollution

 

Bob



#19 Wildetelescope

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Posted 27 May 2020 - 07:52 AM

Bet you want those filters now!

 

For nebula I would suggest starting with a 7 nm and then add a 12 if you travel to dark skies. The stronger the Ha filter the more the stars are attenuated but the more nebula stand out.

 

A 610 or 645 Pass filter for mild light pollution and in heavy light pollution a 685.

 

As an example: I live in a gray/white zone only 8 miles from Philadelphia with extreme light pollution and I use a 6 nm Ha filter and a 685 Pass filter and they keep me very happy. I tried the 610 Pass and the 7nm Ha and like what I’m using now better.

 

Baader 7nm Ha filter for nebula
Baader Long Pass 610, 645 or 685 filters for non-nebula objects and to block light pollution

 

Bob

I can see philly’s light dome from our club’s dark site;-).   We have similar skies. 

 

Jmd



#20 GeezerGazer

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Posted 28 May 2020 - 12:02 PM

Lesson number one.  Night vision monocular and Progressive eyeglasses do not mix!.  However, things sharpen up nicely without the glasses.  

Lesson number two.  Holy cow!   Actually, it is bigger than that.  Holy COWS!  I am amazed at the view through this thing.  The videos that demo this stuff do NOT do them justice.  Maybe is it just my crappy eyesight, but I do not see any scintillation.  I am sure it is there, but it is like I am looking at 4K black and white video.  I just went outside for a quick look around when I took out the dog.  There were some high thin clouds, but I could see a few stars.  Through the NV there were a lot more stars.  The clouds showed a very nice texture that was fun to look at as well.  Viewing with both eyes open was very comfortable, and I could take in the whole available FOV.  The back yard looked like day time and my black/brown dog, who was invisible in the shadows with normal eyesight was visible as if it were daylight.  Amazing.  I cannot wait to pair this with a scope!!

 

JMD

Great to hear the PVS-7 is so fun for you.  The issue of bandpass and long pass filter selection is very subjective based on the degree of LP you commonly observe through, the scope you use, and on your personal preferences.  Selecting a long pass filter is pretty straight forward, but there are considerations not mentioned above.  The 610nm does not show H-a at all and blocks mild to medium LP; a 640nm blocks more light pollution but can faintly show bright nebulosity (like the Lumicon Night Sky filter); the 685nm is for the most severe light pollution and blocks all H-a/nebulosity.  I have both the Night Sky filter at 640nm and the 685nm filter; I use them about equally often, depending on what I want to see.  But all filters block light, so keeping filtration to an adequate minimum means you have an increasingly brighter image.  

 

The focal ratio of your scope also plays a part in your filter selection.  A faster optical system provides a brighter native image which may allow for a narrower pass band filter.  But the more light that is blocked by a filter, the more scintillation will show as the the NVD has to work harder (scintillation is a result of photon starvation in the tube). 

 

The H-a bandpass filters are a bit more complicated.  First, they are available in a wide variety of band widths from 35nm to 3nm... this makes it easier to customize to the conditions through which you commonly observe.  But it also makes it more difficult to know which one is right for your conditions.  The more LP you observe through, the narrower the band width as a general rule.  But there are other issues.  The narrower the band width, the more field stars are attenuated, AND, the more band shift will cause a special type of EoF darkening.  The wider the band width, the less the H-a emission will be visible.  Some observers like to see field stars; some don't care about the field stars and want the nebula to stand out as much as possible.

 

The answer is to read as much as you can about NV filter use and try one you think is right for your scope and observing conditions; the best place to start is found under the BEST of NV thread pinned at the beginning of the forum, then select NV Filters and read the threads there.   My band pass filters include a 12, 8, 7, 6, & 3.5, and previously a 5nm.  I am coming around to the point where I use the 6 or 3.5 often for visual use and the 12, 8 & 6 for phonetography.  When used visually, there is very little that distinguishes a one or two nanometer step between filters.  When I'm at a dark site I may select a filter that shows field stars best, so I go with the 8nm or 12nm, OR, I may want to see very faint nebulosity that often extends away from the main subject, so I go with a 6nm or even the 3.5nm.   But filter selection is largely based on your conditions and preferences and on the focal ratio of your scope.  As suggested by others, a 6-7nm filter is a good place to start under almost any conditions.  Good luck and have fun. 


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#21 Wildetelescope

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Posted 28 May 2020 - 01:11 PM

Great to hear the PVS-7 is so fun for you.  The issue of bandpass and long pass filter selection is very subjective based on the degree of LP you commonly observe through, the scope you use, and on your personal preferences.  Selecting a long pass filter is pretty straight forward, but there are considerations not mentioned above.  The 610nm does not show H-a at all and blocks mild to medium LP; a 640nm blocks more light pollution but can faintly show bright nebulosity (like the Lumicon Night Sky filter); the 685nm is for the most severe light pollution and blocks all H-a/nebulosity.  I have both the Night Sky filter at 640nm and the 685nm filter; I use them about equally often, depending on what I want to see.  But all filters block light, so keeping filtration to an adequate minimum means you have an increasingly brighter image.  

 

The focal ratio of your scope also plays a part in your filter selection.  A faster optical system provides a brighter native image which may allow for a narrower pass band filter.  But the more light that is blocked by a filter, the more scintillation will show as the the NVD has to work harder (scintillation is a result of photon starvation in the tube). 

 

The H-a bandpass filters are a bit more complicated.  First, they are available in a wide variety of band widths from 35nm to 3nm... this makes it easier to customize to the conditions through which you commonly observe.  But it also makes it more difficult to know which one is right for your conditions.  The more LP you observe through, the narrower the band width as a general rule.  But there are other issues.  The narrower the band width, the more field stars are attenuated, AND, the more band shift will cause a special type of EoF darkening.  The wider the band width, the less the H-a emission will be visible.  Some observers like to see field stars; some don't care about the field stars and want the nebula to stand out as much as possible.

 

The answer is to read as much as you can about NV filter use and try one you think is right for your scope and observing conditions; the best place to start is found under the BEST of NV thread pinned at the beginning of the forum, then select NV Filters and read the threads there.   My band pass filters include a 12, 8, 7, 6, & 3.5, and previously a 5nm.  I am coming around to the point where I use the 6 or 3.5 often for visual use and the 12, 8 & 6 for phonetography.  When used visually, there is very little that distinguishes a one or two nanometer step between filters.  When I'm at a dark site I may select a filter that shows field stars best, so I go with the 8nm or 12nm, OR, I may want to see very faint nebulosity that often extends away from the main subject, so I go with a 6nm or even the 3.5nm.   But filter selection is largely based on your conditions and preferences and on the focal ratio of your scope.  As suggested by others, a 6-7nm filter is a good place to start under almost any conditions.  Good luck and have fun. 

Thanks a lot!  that is a lot of good information.  The PVS 14 is indeed exceeding my expectations.  My back yard conditions are pretty close to what Bobhen describes(the northeast is essentially one big light dome from DC to Boston:-)  To start out with, I have coming a Baader 685 pass filter,  and a generic 12 nm H alpha filter.  I think that will be reasonable to start with, fully understanding that eventually I expect to get a 6 or 7 nm H alpha as well as other possible things.  I tend to take the slow and steady approach to figure out what I need and how I will use my gear.  Often that results in a second iteration of trying different gear, but I find that I learn more along the way.  Tomorrow and Saturday are looking like they might clear up around here so I am looking forward to getting a proper first light.

 

Thanks everyone for your support and encouragement.

 

Cheers!

 

JMD


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#22 GOLGO13

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Posted 28 May 2020 - 01:53 PM

Glad to see someone in my area has NV! Congrats.

 

Unfortunately, while I live very close to Maryland, I often live pretty far from most folks in the state.



#23 Wildetelescope

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Posted 01 June 2020 - 06:31 PM

Thanks for the feedback. Do you know what brand tube you bought? Right now I have a gen2+ that I am playing with before I take the plunge, see post below. I have a Russell plossl on order and will be threading a 36 Siebert I have. I learned last night that 17mm 82deg was a little to slow. I didn't try it, also suspect that 17 ethos will have light cone issues let me know how it works work.

I ordered an Antila 3.5nm Ha today... Expensive but less than half of a Chroma, a few anecdotals say they might be better than baader.

If/ when I upgrade I will buy a Vyper for the Future potential to use it with a camera lens, debating between photonis and 3G thin film.

I have the Vyper housing and an L3 filmless Tube.  Posted a few first images with just the Monocular native magnification with no filters.  I live in an orange/red zone so I was impressed with the increased number of stars that I saw.   Not making out much else, but I suspect that is to be expected with no filters.   Have seen a lot more meteors than usual with this thing.  And there is a lot more moving around up there than one would notice otherwise.   I am waiting for my final adapter to do afocal, which should come this week.   I found the Televue fonemate and adapter to attach to the eyepiece of the monocular to be pretty solid.  I have an iPhone XR, and had it attached horizontal relative to the ground and it was very sturdy.  the Monocular was mounted to a manfrotto tripod and I was able focus and adjust parameters on the screen in nightcap with no problem at all.  My young son had a ball taking pictures too.  

 

Pretty fun and a light weight combination for travel.   Thinking about getting the 3x afocal lens for the monocular.  

 

Cheers!

 

JMD



#24 Wildetelescope

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Posted 15 June 2020 - 09:28 AM

My PVS 14 arrived today from Ultimate Night Vision.    So of course we are expecting a weeks worth of storms:-).   However, I will definitely see what there is to see walking around in my back yard tonight:-).    Can't wait to get a clear night and see what I can see.  

 

Cheers!

 

JMD

The last of the Televue adapters arrived this week so I went out and took a quick look around with my 12 nm Ha filter and my Baader IR 685 pass filter.  To do this I mounted my Monocular on my Manfrotto tripod so I could easily pan around.   There was a thin layer of high clouds in parts of the sky, so things were not perfectly ideal, but beggars can't be choosers.   The IR pass filter was frankly amazing with respect to looking at the star fields.  The view of my sky went from barely being able to see all the stars in the Big Dipper to what I remember the sky looking like in Hawaii at 9000 ft.   It was that stark a contrast.  

 

When I put the 12 nmHa filter in and looked at the area round Lyra and Cygnus  I could definitely make out light and dark patches that correspond to the Milky Way.   This may not sound like a particularly resounding affirmation, but one needs to keep in mind that I live in a red/white zone and frankly have NEVER seen any evidence of the existence of the Milky Way from my yard.  At first I was concerned that what I was seeing were some of the high level thin clouds.  However, when I looked and some of the pictures I took and played with the contrast, it became clear that it was indeed the Milky Way.     I did take some iPhone pictures but the focus was not optimal.  Need to work on that.  I expect that I would benefit from a more Narrow Ha filter in my yard.  However I am looking forward to going out to my club's dark site.   Next step is to put the monocular on my 35 mm Pan and look at some things through a scope.   

 

Cheers!

 

JMD


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#25 Eddgie

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Posted 15 June 2020 - 10:28 AM

 

When I put the 12 nmHa filter in and looked at the area round Lyra and Cygnus  I could definitely make out light and dark patches that correspond to the Milky Way.   This may not sound like a particularly resounding affirmation, but one needs to keep in mind that I live in a red/white zone and frankly have EVER seen any evidence of the existence of the Milky Way from my yard. 

To see the Milky Way, you use your long pass filter.

To see nebula in the Milky Way, you use your narrow band filter.  12nm is to wide for nebula in light polluted skies, but a 650nm or 690nm should provide stunning views of the Milky Way even very red zone skies.. The great rift and many other smaller rifts should be easy.




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