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What does "low light night vision" mean? With regards to night vision equipment.


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On some warm summer nights when the sky is clear I enjoy star gazing with my 8 x 40 binoculars. Sometimes I end up tracking satellites. Larger, higher light grabbing binoculars tend to be too heavy to be hand held while laying back in a lounger.

Someone mentioned low light night vision monoculars to look at the night sky. But I always thought that these required an infra red source to illuminate the object to be viewed. So is there a difference between low light night vision and ir illuminated monoculars?

It was mentioned that there are monoculars that have built in ir illuminators and those that are built to multiply the objects light.

Are there any star gazers who uses these devices?

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;-) They work real well... countless stars from an urban location. Satellites, lots of shooting stars. The catch, you need the highest spec unit you can find, cost a few Ethos.  A long pass filter (to eliminate the visible light pollution) really helps with stars. Hydrogen alpha filter brings galactic nebulae out. 
Of course this is NOT using an IR illuminating.... as we can see even supernovae don't light much up!
They are an invaluable for urban observers, though not for everyone. Not so good on galaxies.
The view is green and twinkly, but you get used to it. Just do your homework before trying, low end units will not work very well at all.


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  • 1 month later...

For heavier binoculars, a tripod is almost essential for rock steady views, I even mount my 8x40's if I'm going to be using them for  longer sessions.
A steady image is far superior over my  handheld  image, and my tripod allows so much articulation, its more than comfortable when using the right chair?

As stated, NVG's, Image intensifiers or just  something with image stabilisation will not be a cheap option if you want the best from them.
I remember an old image intensifier that I once  had access too for some night work?  the image was green, and it whined a little, due to the electronics ( sure their better constructed and silent these days)  but I remember it not being the sharpest  view. Little did I know for the first three nights, you could focus it, once you knew how! In focus it was amazing for the job I was undertaking, but looking at the Stars was not such a great idea, they were just flares of light.

Some Years ago now, a friend bought an image intensifier to my attention, as he was having an issue with it? A clean set of batteries did the trick, or so he thought, but it too just needed a little focusing ( a bit like the focus ring on a skywatcher finder scope? ( that knurled ring is not just for decoration!) but this thing lit up the way ahead, as if there was a light on my head, yet still in complete and  total darkness, no-one else could see me :glasses6:
Now that you have bought the subject to may attention, I may just have a little  look around to see whats available these days.


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The latest stuff turns night into day regardless of treecover and cloud cover., awesome for astronomy as well. You can also get "white" as an option green, the reports of what the americans are making are pretty awesome. You won't be able to get one over here, but (slightly lesser) stuff that's still pretty amazing for astro usage does appear on some hunting secondhand sites. It's fun covertly walking around starparties as well.





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