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GavStar last won the day on December 8 2017

GavStar had the most liked content!

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About GavStar

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  1. Where’s the 30mm and 40mm (and 14mm but that’s the dodgy one), Mike? On topic, I have some Pentax XW (3.5, 5, 7, 10, 20 and 30) and Delos (4.5, 6, and 8 ) and they are both equivalent in view quality and comfort (ie excellent). I also have the 3 and 4 delite (don’t want to miss any gaps ) and have been very impressed with these as well.
  2. @PeterW @alanjgreen There is Ha signal in the witch head as confirmed by @ollypenrice in the attached imaging thread So well done Alan, great observation and one I’d like to try replicate soon.
  3. Mark, A great read - I’m very happy to hear that NV has added an extra dimension to your observing. Its going to be interesting to see how you decide to tweak your system to get even better results in the future. I’ve had very good results with my 0.75x AP photo visual reducer in my larger refractors but so far haven’t managed to get a suitable solution for my smaller ones. I’ve got a couple of experiments coming up regarding this and will let you know if I have any success. As you say getting as fast a system as possible is so important and even more important in severely light polluted skies. I always like to get to about f2 (including the 55mm plossl) with my scopes - that’s when I find things like the horsehead start to pop out...so I think the Epsilon is a great option (albeit the star shapes at the edge go rather elongated due to the plossl struggling at the faster speeds) And yes a nice 5nm Ha chroma (or suchlike ) will take out more of the light pollution. Ive also had great results with the NV monocular on its own or with a 3x afocal lens since these run at a super fast f1.2. I often use these as a quick way to assess the transparency of the skies at the start of a session. In my SW London back garden (which does seem to be a bit better than your London observing site) if I can’t see for example Barnard’s Loop obviously then I know it’s not very good and I’m likely to concentrate on star fields, globs and galaxies instead... Hopefully you’ll also get some opportunities to visit a dark site soon - you are very welcome to come along to one of our clubs dark site trips - I’m happy to give you a lift
  4. John, unfortunately I’ve just noticed that actinblack has increased its price for the Photonis 4g by over £1000...
  5. Here you go Paul https://stargazerslounge.com/topic/307103-where-night-vision-tech-works-and-where-it-doesn’t/
  6. Cloudynights is very comfortable with NV users posting in the general deep sky observing section and several NV users do. I also would like to read more reports from you and other big dob users so please don’t stop. I have a newly acquired 16 inch dob that I will be using normal eyepieces with so I am looking for tips and targets.
  7. I really liked reading this post @tooth_dr. Thank you.
  8. Iain, I am as keen as anyone to address the increasing plight of light pollution. I love using night vision from dark sites - it’s such an improvement than using it from LP sites like my back garden. But I don’t think it would be appropriate to restrict its usage. Use of night vision at eg outreach events, would if anything, inspire more people to campaign for dark skies as it would show them some of what they are missing. And from a personal perspective I get a lot of enjoyment from night vision astronomy (it has transformed my enjoyment of astronomy when I’m not able travel or just want a quick 10 mins scan of the night skies before I go to bed) and I’d like more people to experience the thrill of seeing amazing night skies...
  9. If you were using the chroma Ha filter then you were only seeing ha emission for the witch head (of which I guess there may be some albeit very limited) but any of the blue reflection light will be completely filtered out by the chroma filter. How was the view of the witch head with normal glass?
  10. Looks very nice - mine is still negotiating uk customs! @alanjgreen have you got a safety screw on your Borg dovetail bar?
  11. In the recent night vision thread there were some comments about whether night vision works with reflection as well as emission nebulae. This was as a result of some recent posts by @alanjgreendescribing observing the running man nebula with his night vision setup. It’s pretty clear to me based on my observations and understanding (and also numerous comments and observations on cloudynights) that night vision does not work on reflection nebula. This is because the sensitivity of the night vision devices in the blue end of the light spectrum is very low compared with the red sensitivity (even for the photonis intens tubes which do have slightly larger band sensitivity than the Gen 3 tubes). However although classified as a reflection nebula, the running man has some red emission nebula within it as per this link https://www.space.com/amp/40649-running-man-nebula-photo.html M42 does not make good night vision phone photos because the core is so bright it just blows out completely if you want to get the surrounding nebulosity. It’s one of those times when your eyes are much better than a camera since the detail shown visually is incredible. At the recent London star event, M42 was what virtually all new NV observers ( @DirkSteele excepted ) kept coming back to because it shows a lot even from extreme light polluted sites. I haven’t shown this phone photo of m42 before. It was taken from a darkish site on the Isle of Wight in October last year (sqm 21.0). It’s not a pretty photo due to the core being blown out but it does show the fainter bits of the nebulosity at the edge. And in particular you can see parts of the running man nebula. I’m sure these are the red emission nebula within the running man that the night vision monoculars can pick up (with the blue bits remaining invisible). Hope this post has been useful. PS my title is not inferring that M42 is a reflection nebula btw - a bit poorly worded from me!!
  12. Looking forward to seeing ‘nothing to see’ in due course
  13. Just got my Panther Mount sorted for 3 scope setup...looking forward to giving these a go together
  14. A very thoughtful post Iain. However, my view is that having a separate night vision section would be unhelpful and a better solution would be just to ensure that posts about night vision make it very clear that this is the technology being used. I only became aware of night vision through one of my fellow walton astro club members @PeterW. If Peter hadn’t introduced me to it, I wouldn’t be using night vision now and with the benefit of hindsight I would be missing out big time. The only other way I could have found out about it was from a forum and on cloudynights nightvision posts are generally made on the EAa forum which I would never visit since it doesn’t interest me. Having night vision posts included in the main observing and equipment sections of SGL allows people to be introduced to this technology without having to search for it in an obscure section. Currently there are only really two members posting about night vision - myself and @alanjgreen. I don’t think many non-NV users would visit a specialist NV section and thus if we were only allowed to post NV reports/discussions in that section, I think it would quickly become a dead section. I hope I haven’t suggested that night vision is ‘superior’ to normal glass observing. I view it as just another option I have in my eyepiece case. I realise that it’s expensive and therefore not an option for many people to acquire but there are still some people who are willing to spend a good amount on scopes and eyepieces (see the eyepiece case thread ). I’d rather have an NV monocular than a case full of ethos eyepieces or an expensive refractor but it’s personal choice. I’ve also done some outreach with night vision (as per my recent report from Regent’s Park) and it really got some people very excited. As Stu says, it does ‘feel’ like normal visual observing and that is I think the thing I most like about it. If it felt electronic and artificial then I don’t think I would do it. I also think that it’s nothing like EAA. I am passionate about night vision and the benefits it has brought for me. But I do also try to be objective about it as well. It’s not a panacea for everything - for example it’s frustrating that I can’t get good views at much more than about 50x magnification. I’d really like to get better image scale on galaxies and planetary nebulae but it just isn’t possible with NV. And it doesn’t do reflection nebulae well (I didn’t see that post that said it did). In summary, I really enjoy it and that’s what my posts are about rather than a critical evaluation of NV versus glass eyepieces. If I hadn’t posted about my experiences with NV then maybe @alanjgreen and @Highburymarkwouldn’t have discovered it - I think they both really enjoy it and to me that’s a real positive.
  15. @PeterW that’s a very interesting video. There is very little scintillation on this one. A key difference is that he was running unfiltered here (since he was looking at starfields rather than emission nebulae) compared with using a narrowband ha filter in the previous one. Maybe this is the reason for the lack of scintillation? Interesting discussion about tube specs in the comments as well - he was using a good tube with a signal to noise of 34. I still find the green colour offputting compared to the white ones I use. Also I would have preferred it if he took his gain down since the sky background is pretty bright even though he’s at a quite dark site. In summary I’m pretty optimistic that my monocukars with the 3x lens will produce similar views - looking forward to trying this out in late summer! Another positive is that given I would be running unfiltered I can use the 3x lens with its standard push on adapter so the vignetting will be minimal (unlike when I’m using a Ha filter for nebulae)
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