Finally after a break from work for this long weekend, I got a chance to use my new NV.
I've received few new items earlier this week. A TV 55m Plossl with 67mm corrector/reducer and a Astronomik 6nm H alpha filter(2"). Since I received TV/TNVC PVS-14, I was using the NV with a 2" Astronomik Pro Planet 642 long pass (1x) to observe MW every clear night until now. I really enjoyed the 40 deg view tracing the rifts from south to North and observing glowing parts of the MW. It was good not to have the Moon in the way for MW observing. I am using the new TNVC filter adapter with bigger aperture than the TV adapter which is only 15mm. So the NV objective is getting a full 21mm exit pupil for brighter views.
I gave a break to my 642 filter and attached a 6nm H alpha filter for the first time and I had very high expectations despite the waxing Moon.
My home is north of Los Angeles and I get a good amount of LP from south/west and the northern part of the sky is relatively darker. The access to core of the MW is also limited from my backyard with trees and houses. So I concentrated on the northern part of MW from Cygnus to Cassiopeia.
As soon as I pointed the NV at Cygnus region, the nebulae is appearing every where. I did not try to identify each one of them instead I just observed as they come in my 40 deg. fov. I can clearly see the dark and brighter portions with good contrast. Only at the edge of the fov, they disappear. Turning toward south, I could see glowing regions of MW which were not visible with a 642 long pass.
Last night. Finally I took out my refractors to observe afocally with TV55mm with 67mm corrector attached and a Pentax XW 40mm. With 92mm Stowaway, the stack is easily manageable and the Gitzo tripod doesn't have to extend fully. With 67mm at 9x and 4 deg fov, all the nebulae (NA, Pelican, Veil) showed with good contrast and no averted vision is necessary compared to unaided visual observing. I never had views like these even compared to nebula observing I had a few years ago at a dark sky location. Many patches of brighter and darker portions I did not recognize even with Skysafari 6 plus. Navigating was very easy at 9x.
I thought the views could not get any better, then I put the NV eyepiece in TOA 130 and now at 15x and at 25x, the nebulae showed with greater contrast and sharp edges but navigating was not easy with higher image scale. At 1.6 deg with 40mm XW, I see a small glowing patch near Deneb which I could not identify. I could fit the western part of Veil nebula end to end in this fov and it looks like a picture. TOA is giving me much more details and with better contrast than with 92mm Stowaway as expected.
I pulled out a second session between 2:30 and 3:30am to observe Cassiopeia. I used only 92mm Stowaway with 67mm for afocal observing and at 1x. First I used 1x with 6nm and I continued to trace all the nebulae from Cygnus to Cassiopeia. I never did nebula observation at this part of the sky before. So I was surprised to find the continuous glow from Deneb to Cassiopeia and below. The Pacman is bright and shows a distinct shape. The heart and soul nebulas are recognizable but couldn't trace the edges, maybe a little more mag is required.
Reading this NV forum helped me greatly in getting the right gear and I thank you all. Every NV purchase I made is working flawlessly and exceeded my expectations. Now I could use my favourite Pentax XW eyepieces with TV/TNVC PVS-17. I prefer them to TV eyepieces in this range for their light weight. If I could have only one eyepiece with afocal, that would be TV 55 plossl with 67mm corrector/reducer.
The current stable of my scopes with NV will help me see much better than unaided visual observing. The only improvement I could think of is having a faster scope with good aperture, something like a 10" f/3 to utilize the full 21mm exit pupil of NV objective. But that has to wait as I recover from the purchases I made last few weeks.
At the end of the session at 3:30am, I was pleasantly surprised to see Mars was up on east with its bright beautiful orange/red color. I admired the naked eye view of Mars for few minutes. Looks like my location will have fabulous viewing conditions and visibility without obstructions during this summer.
Edited by M44, 03 July 2020 - 05:06 PM.