New tool may have a niche

From: Judy May (
Date: Thu Oct 04 2001 - 11:14:48 EDT

  • Next message: Richard Crisp: "Re: New tool may have a niche"

    >From the start I will admit that I did not purchase this for visual
    satellite observation.  But after my first impressions, I have a feeling
    it is going to become a regular at my sessions.
       I got a Gen 1 night vision scope for $300.  I bought it mostly to
    view wildlife at night.  At first I was thinking I would want the higher
    quality images of a Gen 2 ($800 extra!), but after settling for the Gen
    1, I can see that it far exceeds my expectations.
       Then, I had a most pleasant surprise as I turned it towards the sky. 
    The view was unbelievable!  I have some light pollution, plus the moon
    was quite intense, but through the monocular fainter stars became
    visible.  The handle of the little dipper for instance, normally hard to
    see here, became quite evident.
       Unexpectedly, I spotted a satellite.  I attempted again and again to
    see the bird with just my eyes, but without success.  The night vision
    made viewing it very easy.
       So why should you pull out a night vision scope when you have a nice
    pair of binoculars?  With the unit I have, the answer is the much
    greater field of vision.  Although the magnification is billed as 3.5X,
    I believe it is much less, and the amount of sky visible in the view is
    fantastic.  A word of caution, however: the star images are not as crisp
    and clear as through binoculars.  And especially towards the edge of the
    field, the image becomes quite blurry.  But for purposes of acquisition
    of a less-than-ideal prediction, a blurry moving point at the edge still
    works.  After centering, the image of the sat amongst the stars is
       I have not taken the time yet to perform more specific experiments
    regarding the exact decrease in magnitude that can be obtained visually
    nor to discern the actual field of view attained in the sky.
       My particular unit is call the "Night Storm" made by "AMTc".  I
    believe there are several mail-order catalogs that sell their products;
    mostly camping, boating, and hunting suppliers.
       I did try a different unit that came from a company in Cleveland
    called Newcon Optics.  I returned that scope to the retailer after
    finding the image intensifier tube to be of vastly inferior quality.  By
    the way, most Gen 1 night vision scopes are imported from Russia or
       Does anyone else have any experience using night vision for satellite
              --- Judy
       _~O  __O        Judy May       
    (*)/---|/-(*)      Life is a journey ...    Enjoy the ride!
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