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New NV gear: First impressions and brief observing notes.

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#1 M44

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Posted 03 July 2020 - 03:46 PM

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.

 

Edit:

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. 

Attached Thumbnails

  • IMG_1548.jpg
  • IMG_1549.jpg
  • IMG_1550.jpg

Edited by M44, 03 July 2020 - 05:06 PM.

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#2 Eddgie

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Posted 03 July 2020 - 04:07 PM

Every NV purchase I made is working flawlessly and exceeded my expectations. 

A few years ago   (back when there was only a dozen of us using image intensifiers) I used to always be very nervous when someone committed to buy a night vision device.   I would worry that they would feel like we "Oversold" it and be disappointed with what they got for the money they spent.

 

Since then, just as in your case, we have heard many people express the same sentiment, that it was in fact better than the expectation we set.

 

I am sure that all of us here are happy to hear you are enjoying your new gear and I am pleased to see that you are posting some of your observations.  It isn't that I don't enjoy seeing the amazing images people take, but what I really like to do is read about their perspectives and feelings about what they are seeing now vs what they used to have poor views of, or could never see at all. 

 

Thank you for sharing.

 

Have fun out there!


Edited by Eddgie, 03 July 2020 - 09:41 PM.


#3 Jeff Morgan

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Posted 03 July 2020 - 07:55 PM

Great report!

 

Last summer we had a dinner get together, and despite being one day off full moon, one of my friends (ckwastro) brought his Stowaway. After dinner we had an impromptu session in my back yard, north of Prescott. Looking south into the city light dome, SQM 19.5 would be generous on dark night. With the moon ... who knows. Looking at M4 with a 28 RKE, only two stars were visible - no hint of a cluster. Popping in my Mod 3 ... too many stars to count (I stopped at 30 in the western portion of the cluster).

 

I think you will have a lot of fun with that Stowaway, and smaller aperture have a unique role in showing very large objects and structure. That's important since the NV eyepiece is not a wide field unit.

 

That being said, even in the NV world aperture still matters. While happy to drop down in aperture for framing, I do prefer to get a large scope on most targets.


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#4 RichardHennig

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Posted 04 July 2020 - 04:51 PM

Thanks for the nice description. It’s the rainy season in Florida. Reading your first-light report reminded me of my night-vision observing sessions along the summer Milky Way.

The patch of nebulosity might be Sharpless 112. It is about 1.5 degrees west of Deneb. Also 1 degree north of Sharpless 112 is the larger but a little fainter HII region of Sharpless 115.

Enjoy the views with your wonderful scopes, night vision device, and filter. They show the sky literally in a new light, hydrogen alpha.

#5 The Ardent

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Posted 04 July 2020 - 07:44 PM

The TNVC adapter fits the Pentax XW? I didn’t know that. Is an adapter needed?

#6 M44

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Posted 04 July 2020 - 09:50 PM

Thank you Eddgie, Jeff and Richard!

The patch of nebulosity might be Sharpless 112. It is about 1.5 degrees west of Deneb. Also 1 degree north of Sharpless 112 is the larger but a little fainter HII region of Sharpless 115.
 

 

If Sh112 is 1.5 deg from Deneb, the Tfoc of 40mmXW should be less than my calculated fov 1.6 deg (40deg nv eyepiece fov / 25mag). 

I couldn't fit both Deneb and Sh112, so the true fov should be around 1.4 deg. Good to know. 



#7 M44

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Posted 04 July 2020 - 09:55 PM

The TNVC adapter fits the Pentax XW? I didn’t know that. Is an adapter needed?

Two adpaters + TNVC 48mm filter adapter.

 

https://agenaastro.c...-hta43-t-2.html

https://agenaastro.c...2-m48-t229.html

 

I got two additional TNVC 48mm filter adapters and permanently fixed it to XWs, now they have Televue eyepiece top and a 2" Televue eyepiece cap ($3) fits to cover the lens as the original XW no longer fits. 

 

I can quickly change from one eyepiece to other quickly. 


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#8 Jeff Morgan

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Posted 05 July 2020 - 12:41 AM

The patch of nebulosity might be Sharpless 112. It is about 1.5 degrees west of Deneb. Also 1 degree north of Sharpless 112 is the larger but a little fainter HII region of Sharpless 115.

 

As Alan Green once commented to me, these nebula are like a mushroom patch. Wash away the dirt and the roots are interconnected. Meaning, ID'ing these things can be hard. The errors and omissions in SkySafari don't make the job easier!

 

My guess for close-in to Deneb would be Sh 2-108, the bright section south of Deneb.

 

The OP was sweeping and mentioned moving on to the the Veil complex. -108 is large and in if you sweeping towards the Veil (or the Crescent) it would be the first thing you hit past Deneb.

 

Attached is a view of Sh 2-108 thru my 5" TMB refractor, f/7 prime focus at ISO 3200, 1/3 second, 45 frame average, 7nm h-alpha. From May 26th, sky conditions were SQM 20.5.

Attached Thumbnails

  • Sh 2-108 TMB 130 PF7.jpeg


#9 GeezerGazer

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Posted 07 July 2020 - 12:16 AM

Congratulations and glad you are having fun!  Great first report... looking forward to many more from you.  You'll find a big difference when you go to more/faster aperture or to dark skies.  Enjoy.



#10 M44

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Posted 07 July 2020 - 04:14 PM

Thank you! I am going to experiment and refine my equipment this year. I see myself going for smaller and faster optics in future, downsizing from 14.5" to 10 or 11 with faster optics. 

 

With 642 long pass, the sky is too bright when Moon is below the horizon and in the sky. I am getting a 685 to see if it helps. 


Edited by M44, 07 July 2020 - 04:16 PM.


#11 Eddgie

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Posted 07 July 2020 - 05:29 PM

Thank you! I am going to experiment and refine my equipment this year. I see myself going for smaller and faster optics in future, downsizing from 14.5" to 10 or 11 with faster optics. 

 

With 642 long pass, the sky is too bright when Moon is below the horizon and in the sky. I am getting a 685 to see if it helps. 

I would not be in a rush to let your 14'5 inch scope go.  It would be excellent for galaxies.


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#12 Doug Culbertson

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Posted 07 July 2020 - 05:37 PM

I would not be in a rush to let your 14'5 inch scope go.  It would be excellent for galaxies.

+1. I have a 10” but bought another 14.5” because of NV. 


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#13 M44

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Posted 07 July 2020 - 06:10 PM

I originally decided on this 14.5" size 10 years ago after discussing with Mr. Zambuto. I did not get a chance to purchase a mirror from him but the reason for choosing 14.5" was to see galaxy clusters like Abell in Leo. 

 

https://skyandtelesc...ling-and-abell/

 

With my 14.5" from my front yard, I repeatedly tried to view them this year but unsuccessful, this was before NV. All I could see was few tiny patches of light.

 

Now spring is gone to see Abell with NV, Hopefully I will be in a better position to see them next year. Thank you for suggestion to keep the 14.5".


Edited by M44, 07 July 2020 - 06:11 PM.

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#14 Tyson M

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Posted 07 July 2020 - 08:13 PM

Nice report, thanks for sharing! 



#15 M44

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Posted 08 July 2020 - 01:23 AM

Thank you Tyson! I will be looking forward to your NV reports in future. 

 

 

Another short session tonight. This time I observed south and south/east of MW. I clearly identified the outline of MW with 6nm H alpha filter. 

 

Wow! So many firsts for me! All the nebula is seen at 1x and very bright with Moon out of the way. Without Skysafari, I couldn't name all the objects I saw tonight. 

 

I started observing nebulosity around Antares. Smart patch of nebulosity seen west of Antares, later I identified it as Sh 2-9. Further west I could detect but not clearly outlined Sh 2-1. Not much to see with 1x. All around Antares I could see faintly glowing patches. Moved on to further south.

 

Here brighter nebulosity known as  IC 4628 observed, hard to miss it. This is the southern most object I could see from my yard. 

Cat's paw was very clear, I will really like to see this with little more mag.  NGC 6357 right above it, easy to see. 

 

Moving north, Ptolemy's cluster was seen but not very bright.

 

All the famous nebulas like Lagoon, Trifid, Omega and Eagle, all are very bright, memorable views. The brightest part of the MW I observed is Sagirarius star cloud. It is glowing brighter than anything else. 

 

I really like this 6nm H alpha filter, it is worth the price I paid and more. 

 

Only annoying thing was when an airplane was in the sky(they are going to land at LAX), it looked like lightning whenever the lights on plane blinks, even when the plane is out of the view. 

 

I am going to explore this region again this weekend with my 92mm refractor. Exciting stuff!


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#16 bobhen

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Posted 08 July 2020 - 06:45 AM

Fun stuff indeed!

 

HERE is a link to an image of the lagoon nebula. Wait for the nebula to get high is the sky and on a good night I can easily see the connecting nebula (to the left in the image) and the patches of nebula off to the left as well.

 

But here is what the power of NV can do. I was also surprised to see the faint connecting nebula (that you can see in the image) that runs from the Trifid down to the Lagoon. It is faint of course, but it is there.

 

I observe in a gray/white zone just outside of Philadelphia, if I can see those faint nebulas you will too. I also use a 6nm Ha filter.

 

Have fun.

 

Bob


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#17 Tyson M

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 11:12 PM

Thank you Tyson! I will be looking forward to your NV reports in future. 

 

 

Another short session tonight. This time I observed south and south/east of MW. I clearly identified the outline of MW with 6nm H alpha filter. 

 

Wow! So many firsts for me! All the nebula is seen at 1x and very bright with Moon out of the way. Without Skysafari, I couldn't name all the objects I saw tonight. 

 

I started observing nebulosity around Antares. Smart patch of nebulosity seen west of Antares, later I identified it as Sh 2-9. Further west I could detect but not clearly outlined Sh 2-1. Not much to see with 1x. All around Antares I could see faintly glowing patches. Moved on to further south.

 

Here brighter nebulosity known as  IC 4628 observed, hard to miss it. This is the southern most object I could see from my yard. 

Cat's paw was very clear, I will really like to see this with little more mag.  NGC 6357 right above it, easy to see. 

 

Moving north, Ptolemy's cluster was seen but not very bright.

 

All the famous nebulas like Lagoon, Trifid, Omega and Eagle, all are very bright, memorable views. The brightest part of the MW I observed is Sagirarius star cloud. It is glowing brighter than anything else. 

 

I really like this 6nm H alpha filter, it is worth the price I paid and more. 

 

Only annoying thing was when an airplane was in the sky(they are going to land at LAX), it looked like lightning whenever the lights on plane blinks, even when the plane is out of the view. 

 

I am going to explore this region again this weekend with my 92mm refractor. Exciting stuff!

I do plan to pick up likely a high spec OVNI and write some reports here eventually.  Just bought a ton of other stuff I've been itching to buy. 


Edited by Tyson M, 10 July 2020 - 11:17 PM.

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#18 M44

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Posted 11 July 2020 - 02:23 AM

Another memorable session. Only 30 min but I enjoyed every minute of it. 

 

This time I used 92mm refractor / Televue 67mm (9x)with Astronomik 642nm long pass to observe MW Galactic center , Tea pot and surroundings. 

 

With 4 deg fov, I could fit both Lagoon and Trifid nebulas as well as two tiny globulars(I couldn't identify, nothing on sky safari). The nebulosity is not expansive like with 6nm H alpha views but smaller and brighter.  Both Omega(Swan) and Eagle nebulas are observed with a different shape than with H-alpha. 

 

M22 is bright and at decent scale even at 9x.  My last observation of M22 was with my dob when it was very low on south/west few years ago. The brightness with 92mm refractor/NV matches that with dob view I suppose.

 

M28 is very tiny. Just random scanning provided rich field views. 

 

I bought Astronomik 642 as my first filter. For any one new to NV, I highly recommend to go with this filter before 7/6nm H alpha. It will provide plenty of quality observations at 1x or 10x. 

 

After 30 min of observing, I am able to identify Lagoon nebula with naked eye and could trace the MW all the way to Deneb. Is it my imagination or familiarity of the sky after observing with NV? 


Edited by M44, 11 July 2020 - 02:28 AM.

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#19 Jeff Morgan

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Posted 11 July 2020 - 11:08 AM

With 4 deg fov, I could fit both Lagoon and Trifid nebulas as well as two tiny globulars(I couldn't identify, nothing on sky safari).

 

Yes, NV astronomy has a habit of out-stripping common star atlases. Being able to see all of those new objects is a terrible problem to have grin.gif

 

After 30 min of observing, I am able to identify Lagoon nebula with naked eye and could trace the MW all the way to Deneb. Is it my imagination or familiarity of the sky after observing with NV? 

 

Objects are always easy to see the second time around. It's a function of learning. For example, in my pre-NV days the first time I saw the HorseHead was when someone showed it to me in a 22" scope. Having learned what to look for, I was the able to get it in my 10" scope. 



#20 M44

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Posted 11 July 2020 - 11:18 AM

Yes, NV astronomy has a habit of out-stripping common star atlases. Being able to see all of those new objects is a terrible problem to have grin.gif

 

 

I never used goto and I always star-hop when I want to see a new object, usually takes 5 to 10min.

 

So with Visual astronomy, I do star-hop on sky for a new DSO and with NV I do star-hop on maps, sky safari and on internet when I see a DSO.



#21 Jeff Morgan

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Posted 11 July 2020 - 04:09 PM

I never used goto and I always star-hop when I want to see a new object, usually takes 5 to 10min.

 

So with Visual astronomy, I do star-hop on sky for a new DSO and with NV I do star-hop on maps, sky safari and on internet when I see a DSO.

 

I use DSC's now, I would think star hopping would be a challenge for NV - too many stars!

 

However you get there, pick up Bracken's Astrophotography Sky Atlas. $30 well spent.

 

Uranometria is great for it's dark nebula depictions, an area where SkySafari falls woefully short.

 

BTW, there is a trick for SkySafari - it will not render nebula with a magnitude of "Unknown". But if you know the designation you can Search it and it will display.



#22 M44

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Posted 12 July 2020 - 02:27 AM

Here is my attempt to take a first NV pic:

Lagoon and Trifid: 

TOA 130 f/7.7, TV 67mm Plossl and 6nm Astronomik H alpha.

15x, 2.6 deg.

Attached Thumbnails

  • IMG_1564 - Edited.jpg

Edited by M44, 12 July 2020 - 02:28 AM.



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