Night Vision Astronomy!

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Unitron48 United States of America
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Night Vision Astronomy!

#1

Post by Unitron48 »


I'll get to the title topic in a moment, but first as some of you know we had a change in the primary instrument at Morning Calm Observatory (MCO). More specifically, the 30 inch Obsession DOB was moved on to a new owner, and the 20 inch Obsession Dob took its place. To break it in our Culpeper group took advantage of reasonable skies last evening to host an observing session for some of our newbies, as well as some visitors from Charlottesville Astronomical Society (CAS). It was a little breezy at first, but by 9 pm or so the wind subsided and the skies settled down.

A couple of the newbies wanted some training on their scopes; one with an 8 inch Apertura Dob, and another youngster with a 70mm D, 400mm FL refractor. The youngster (5th grader) introduced himself at our STEM event earlier in the year, and he has become a very enthusiastic member of our group. We kicked off the evening by checking out both Venus and Jupiter...primarily to get their viewfinders properly aligned. We then took a look at Sirius and Rigel, then on to the Orion Nebula. In the process of locating those objects, I gave them a constellation lesson, helping them identify the Winter constellations (Orion, Canis Major and Minor, Gemini, Auriga, Taurus), as well as brighter stars, and deep sky objects located in those constellations.

While I was doing the tutorial with the newbies, the members of CAS arrived. They had visited MCO several times previously to take advantage of the 30 inch DOB, but were quite satisfied with the performance of the 20 inch Obsession. One of the members brought along a Night-vision eyepiece (OVNI-M FOM 2600). This was my introduction to this pretty impressive "astronomical device". For those of you who are unfamiliar with this eyepiece, this link does a reasonable job of describing its capability: https://astronomynow.com/2021/07/29/rev ... -eyepiece/.

I devoted most of the evening with the newbies, but we all had an opportunity to check out several objects using the night vision configuration, including: the Orion Nebula, the Rosette Nebula, the Leo Triplet, and finally the Whirlpool Galaxy. I have to say, I was pretty impressed with the capability to bring out detail and structure with the night vision configuration...at quite the cost, however.

Dave
Last edited by Unitron48 on Thu Mar 16, 2023 7:22 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Night Vision Astronomy!

#2

Post by helicon »


Thanks for the great report on the happenings surrounding the 20" Obsession, the outreach, objects viewed (including the Rosette!) Dave. That night vision eyepiece sounds pretty cool and I'm sure it's very helpful with low surface brightness objects like the Rosette but also really spices up the views of the Orion Nebula....M51, and Leo Triplet...congrats on pulling in the VROD for the day.
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Re: Night Vision Astronomy!

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Post by Bigzmey »


Thanks for the interesting report Dave! As we are loosing dark skies to LP, EAA in one form or another may eventually become mainstream for visual observing. Hopefully, as technology evolves it will become more affordable.
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Re: Night Vision Astronomy!

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Post by Unitron48 »


helicon wrote: Thu Mar 16, 2023 7:00 pm Thanks for the great report on the happenings surrounding the 20" Obsession, the outreach, objects viewed (including the Rosette!) Dave. That night vision eyepiece sounds pretty cool and I'm sure it's very helpful with low surface brightness objects like the Rosette but also really spices up the views of the Orion Nebula....M51, and Leo Triplet...congrats on pulling in the VROD for the day.
Thanks, Michael. Much appreciated.

Dave
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Re: Night Vision Astronomy!

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Post by Unitron48 »


Bigzmey wrote: Thu Mar 16, 2023 7:22 pm Thanks for the interesting report Dave! As we are loosing dark skies to LP, EAA in one form or another may eventually become mainstream for visual observing. Hopefully, as technology evolves it will become more affordable.
Thanks, Andrey! I couldn't agree more. We started doing EAA with the 12 inch LX200 setup in the other ROR at MCO. Has worked out very well!!

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Re: Night Vision Astronomy!

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Post by Makuser »


Hi Dave. Another wonderful report from you. This was another great out reach session for the youngsters and newbie astronomers who attended. And having the CAS members present and demonstrating the Night-vision eyepiece (OVNI-M FOM 2600) with the 20" Obsession DOB must have been a treat for all present. It looks like you and your group got to observe a lot of nice objects including the Rosette Nebula, M42, M51, and the Leo Triplet. Thanks for this well written and fun read observing report Dave. I hope that you have the opportunity to repeat this great work again soon and congratulations on receiving the TSS VROD Award today.
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Re: Night Vision Astronomy!

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Post by Unitron48 »


Thanks, Marshall. Teaching and learning are what this hobby is all about...IMHO.

Dave
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Re: Night Vision Astronomy!

#8

Post by Ylem »


That's great Dave!
We do a lot of outreach at our observatory also, it's a lot of fun!

Congratulations on the well deserved VROD!
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Re: Night Vision Astronomy!

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Post by pakarinen »


I'd really like to try NV, but the cost is way over my astro budget.
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Re: Night Vision Astronomy!

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Post by kt4hx »


Very nice report Dave and well done on helping the newcomers with their scopes. That alone is certainly worthy of the VROD award.

As for NV or EAA, whichever term one wishes to use, it is something I've looked at occasionally. The amount of detail to be seen visually using such technology is impressive. But then again, so to is the cost of entry into that rabbit hole. Agree with Andrey that it may take on increasing importance as we lose more and more of our darker areas. Hopefully if it becomes more mainstream then the cost will drop.
Alan

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Re: Night Vision Astronomy!

#11

Post by John Baars »


Thanks for your excellent report!
Good to see you spent most of your time teaching the newbies with their instruments, although the temptations of EAA were just one telescope away.
Well done! Surely worth a well deserved VROD. Congratulations!
The Night-vision eyepiece is a very impressive and powerful instrument, I hope it will become cheaper in due time.
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Re: Night Vision Astronomy!

#12

Post by Unitron48 »


John Baars wrote: Sat Mar 18, 2023 10:27 am Thanks for your excellent report!
Good to see you spent most of your time teaching the newbies with their instruments, although the temptations of EAA were just one telescope away.
Well done! Surely worth a well deserved VROD. Congratulations!
The Night-vision eyepiece is a very impressive and powerful instrument, I hope it will become cheaper in due time.
Thanks, John. I think we have the CAS guys hooked on using the 20 inch with the NV. We should have more NV sessions in our future.

CAS has access to the 26 inch refractor at the UVA observatory, however when available they have very limited access to number of objects observed.

Dave
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