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Walking on the Moon

The Veil and other summer nebulae


GavStar
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The Veil is one of my favourite objects to view from a dark site. I vividly remember my first views of it at the Isle of Wight last year and I have been keen to see it again. 

Unfortunately this object is completely invisible to me from my garden in London (SQM approx 18) even with my Lumicon oiii filter.

So I’ve been wondering how the night vision monoculars would go with this object, particularly using a large fov. However at this time of year it was going to require an early start.

The forecast looked good for this morning and I decided to give it a shot. I got up at 3.15am and checked the skies - nice and clear! Off I went to setup.

To get a nice large fov of around 5 degrees I decided to use my newly acquired 72mm refractor. It combines really well with my az gti goto Mount and within 10 minutes I was set up, aligned and ready to go.

Straight to the Veil and initial disappointment, nothing really to see. However there was some high cloud around so I hoped that this was the reason.

I moved quickly on to a different target, the North American nebula and wow it just popped straight into the eyepiece with direct vision. Both parts of the nebula were clearly visible and there was nice detail shown within the nebula. I sat there for around 15 minutes enjoying the best views I’ve had of this object - much more ‘in yer face’ than the views I had at a dark site last year.

Then looking at sky safari I noticed an object that I hadn’t observed before - the gamma Cygni nebula. I wasn’t expecting much so I got a bit of a shock when the whole 5 degree fov was filled with nebulosity. 3 parts of it really stood out with a dark channel just under the star Sadr very clear. Also there were several other fluffy patches of nebulosity dotted around the fov. I was very chuffed with this new find. 

Next I went to the Pac-Man nebula. This was an object that didn’t impress me at the dark site last year. I just found it a bit dull. Well tonight it wasn’t any better imo. However I didn’t have the image scale to do it justice - it was just a small blob really. I will make a note to have another look when I have my c11 out to get a bigger view and a fairer assessment of this object.

Finally, I headed back to the Veil and success! The brighter eastern section was very clear and nicely framed in the large fov. The western part was however quite dim. But pleasingly the top of Pickering’s triangle emerged - another first for me. However I did feel that the NV didn’t work as well on the Veil as it did on the other objects tonight.

So a good spring session and a taster for more to come later this year I hope. I enjoyed the grab and go aspect of this setup, particularly given the early start. It will be interesting to see the views with a larger scope (and of course from a dark site with no moon!). 

A few phone pics below, including a picture of the 72mm refractor with the NV monoculars (no balancing issues despite the long length of the eyepiece setup). Order of the object photos is North American nebula, Gamma Cygni, Pac-Man and the Veil.

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Edited by GavStar
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Great shots Gavin, especially the NAN. I think it is a stronger Ha emitter than the Veil which is stronger in OIII towards the bluer end of the spectrum so that may explain some of the differences, plus a little height of course.

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I’m finding night vision a real learning experience ?

Its now clear to me that unlike normal visual which is (often?) one scope, several eyepieces, night vision is several scopes, one or two eyepieces.

I guess I should have a clear out of my eyepieces since for nebulae, galaxies and globular clusters I think I going to be using night vision which only requires 3 plossls maximum. For planets, lunar and solar I will still need my binoviewers and pairs of small size eyepieces but my big widefield eyepieces are of limited use to me now.

Edited by GavStar
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21 hours ago, GavStar said:

I’m finding night vision a real learning experience ?

Its now clear to me that unlike normal visual which is (often?) one scope, several eyepieces, night vision is several scopes, one or two eyepieces.

I guess I should have a clear out of my eyepieces since for nebulae, galaxies and globular clusters I think I going to be using night vision which only requires 3 plossls maximum. For planets, lunar and solar I will still need my binoviewers and pairs of small size eyepieces but my big widefield eyepieces are of limited use to me now.

Has NV replaced normal visual observing for you on nebulae now? It might be fun to do some side by side comparisons at a dark site on some of these targets.

Great shots as always. I quite like the one of the Pacman. The shape is very clear to see :) 

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It’s interesting because the results seem to vary. The NAN clearly shows more structure than I’ve seen visually under a dark sky in a 4” scope, but the Veil shows significantly more than the image. Particularly the Western Veil ie the Witch’s Broom is much better defined visually and with separation in the Broom visible.

NV under dark sky will be interesting.

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I’ve posted these before but they were attempted simulations of the visual view in a 4”, done by detuning images. Not exact by any means but a reasonable stab at it.

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55 minutes ago, Stu said:

It’s interesting because the results seem to vary. The NAN clearly shows more structure than I’ve seen visually under a dark sky in a 4” scope, but the Veil shows significantly more than the image. Particularly the Western Veil ie the Witch’s Broom is much better defined visually and with separation in the Broom visible.

NV under dark sky will be interesting.

It's really interesting to see the results. Visually, conditions make such a difference to how much you can see so I'm curious to see if NV is affected to the same extent. Will the Western Veil in NV be much improved by dark skies and good transparency?

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24 minutes ago, Littleguy80 said:

Will the Western Veil in NV be much improved by dark skies and good transparency?

We will have to see, but my gut feel is yes. However, looking at a few images of the different parts, it seems possible that the Eastern Veil is stronger in Ha than the Western, so may well always show better in NV due to its better response towards the red.

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1 hour ago, Littleguy80 said:

Has NV replaced normal visual observing for you on nebulae now? It might be fun to do some side by side comparisons at a dark site on some of these targets.

Great shots as always. I quite like the one of the Pacman. The shape is very clear to see :) 

Yes for nebulae I think it’s probably only NV for me, particularly from my LP back garden. Its effectively the difference between seeing an object such as the North American nebula or not. NV also works effectively when the moon is out so gives me more opportunities for DSO viewing if the skies are clear. Eg the moon was pretty bright when i was viewing yesterday early morning!

Although I will do a comparison at a dark site sometime to see the difference in much better conditions (and with no moon). For open clusters I think I will still use conventional eyepieces sometimes. For example i prefer the double cluster with normal eyepieces even though NV shows many more stars. NV doesn’t show colour and I do like seeing the colour in stars particularly in open clusters.

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16 minutes ago, Stu said:

We will have to see, but my gut feel is yes. However, looking at a few images of the different parts, it seems possible that the Eastern Veil is stronger in Ha than the Western, so may well always show better in NV due to its better response towards the red.

NV Images I’ve seen on cloudynights of the Veil are much better so I’m very hopeful it will be good. But as you say it seems it has some characteristics that are not optimal for NV. I look forward to finding out over the coming months...

Edited by GavStar
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The transparency matters... check some known bright nebs to see how well things will show. Can get crummy nights even under dark skies. The veil part that doesn’t have the bright star always appears the best to me

 

Peter

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  • 1 month later...
3 hours ago, SpaceBass said:

@ gavstar.  I'm about to get a RDF for my 80mm frac/ az-gti and was just wondering which one you have on your 72mm? Looks a nice one..

It’s a vixen one - link attached. For my larger scopes I prefer the Baader skysurfer v but the vixen is smaller and lighter so works well with my smaller scopes.

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/finders/vixen-xy-red-dot-finder-ii.html

For my 72mm frac I also had to purchase this vixen finder shoe to attach it to the scope.

https://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/product_info.php/info/p6752_TS-Optics-Versatile-Dovetail-Mounting-Base-for-Finder-Scopes---Deluxe.html

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3 hours ago, celestron8g8 said:

So you took these with your Phone , was it an iPhone ? Very nice , thanks for sharing . 

Thank you. It’s a Samsung s9 which I use in pro rather than auto mode.

I had a trip to a dark site just over a week ago and took some much better phone pics (in my opinion ?). See the threads below.

 

Edited by GavStar
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