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What is happening with Night Vision approach to UFO hunting?

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posted on Jan, 17 2018 @ 11:58 PM
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originally posted by: TheTruthRocks
NV/IR gear is temperature sensitive, so if you were to go out on a night like tonight when it's really cold, you'd need to take measures to keep your scope warm. It still works when it gets cold and the low temperature doesn't damage it, but the sensitivity drops off the colder it gets.

The modern stuff that's available today on the civilian market is way better than what we had in the AF back in the 1980s.


What kind of market is there for the gear? Does one have to go to military surplus stores? Are there used ones available?

It is expensive tech.

As much as I'd like to see the stuff, I can't take that money out of my daughters mouth and closet.


My friends that have done it are largely based out of Las Vegas or L.A. and those cities have people that will take out small groups to the desert for a night, that's how I heard about them.




posted on Jan, 18 2018 @ 12:40 AM
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You can buy NV scopes online from several suppliers. Fleabay also has vendors, but be advised a lot of the 'name' stuff can be counterfeit. My IR experience has been limited to rifle scopes when taking down coyotes in west TX. The brand was ATN and used an illuminator, so one like that would not be good for sky watching. Look here for examples of that stuff:

www.midwayusa.com...

If you're looking to get into this stuff, check with your local library for info on astronomy clubs. If there is a college or university in your area, see what they have cooking. A museum is also a great resource for info on astronomy clubs and activities. There are always really cool people out there who are very into their hobby; they get a lot of joy from sharing their knowledge and equipment with others who are interested to learn more.




posted on Jan, 18 2018 @ 01:56 AM
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a reply to: Scrubdog

hate to beak it to ya but that flying V is a squadron of fighters flying in formation. fighters have IR lights that aren't visible to the naked eye but are to night vision so the pilots can see each other easily. of course when on a mission in potentially non permissive territory they turn them off.

this video's been talked about in the aviation forum plenty of times and debunked.



posted on Jan, 18 2018 @ 02:51 AM
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Yukon Ranger 5x42 is a piece of #. It has a 3.5mm jack that isn't a 3.5mm jack, it's designed only for the Yukon lead yet being a 3.5mm hole you think oh I can put my own lead in there and as soon as you do it breaks and you lose 300 quids worth of equipment. Avoid that #.

I'm on the lookout for something in a similar price range but have yet to find something. I want one that produces the green image, I think they start at around the 800 mark. But I can't really be arsed to invest that much into it. I mean, you capture UFO footage, you put it online and then what? Not exactly sunshine and rainbows from that point on... Cheaper to just go and look at the stars really and for the sake of sanity to keep UFO sightings to yourself (or in close circles, maybe UFO groups).

That said, the ATN X-Sight II Smart HD Optics Rifle Scope 3-14x listed above for $500 looks alright. Does it have capture capability? Not all of them do, so sometimes you need additional equipment to go with it. A lot of vids seem to show a scope pushed up against a normal camcorder lens, that seems like a pretty clunky way of capturing the footage. As Truth says there are certain variables that you have to make sure are right and you could quite easily spend a lot of money on the wrong piece of equipment.


this video's been talked about in the aviation forum plenty of times and debunked.


So, debunked by aviation enthusiasts then, but that doesn't mean it's necessarily so. I mean, they probably don't look at it with 50 years of UFO and similar footage context, do they? Point being, there are a lot of cases (Phoenix lights night for example) where a V shape set of 5 or 6 lights (as seen in that IR video) were seen at a lower altitude flying over. Honestly I think "aviation experts" are silly to not link the two (and Phoenix is just ONE example of hundreds of sightings that involve a V shape set of lights). Whether they are one thing or several individual things flying in formation, the verdict is still very much out on what they actually are. No-one can really claim it either way at this point, not from a piece of shaky video footage.

If phones had similar decent IR tech on board, and lots of folks were out attempting to get footage, I think we'd see this formation a lot more. And then it'd be spotted in the same night in Arizona and also in Africa, and then you'd have to wonder if it really is a set of fighter jets, that are flying around in a V shape over multiple countries many days a week. One of my own sightings involves what I consider to be this thing, which I believe at the right altitude, can be seen with the naked eye (though it's not easy to see). Since that time I've made a point to try and observe flocks of birds at night and I'm failing to see a resemblance in many areas of the comparison.
edit on 18-1-2018 by markymint because: (no reason given)

edit on 18-1-2018 by markymint because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 18 2018 @ 06:27 PM
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originally posted by: Scrubdog
Yes, true.

I understand. I wouldn't be the type ever to leap to the conclusion that what I am seeing are UFOs, and if you've noticed, throughout this thread I have stressed that I don't have the research or analytical skills to really approach it as science.

I am writing a brief for the 9th circuit right now on a fairly important issue, it's certainly not magic, but not everyone can do it. We all have our things that we do well and then things we should defer to people with more experience, training. So, I feel secure enough in saying this isn't an area that I could confidently make determinations unless the damn thing was right on top of me (hey, it's happened to others, right?).

But, I am interested in far more than ufos. I would really like to see meteors, learn the different types. I would like to look at nebula through a scope, look at the moon through a scope, and look at sats and such through the night vision. Hell, I like watching the animals come out at night (I live in the country) at night. So, it's not like I'd sit out there thinking everything was a ufo, nor think the time is wasted if I see only natural phenomena.

Sorry so long but people been so nice.

Once one gets out of the light pollution, and really sees what a "night sky" is supposed to look like, it becomes obvious why the ancients were fascinated with the stars. They feel like they are literally right on top of you in a way that the sun and moon simply don't. Spending time outside at night, outside of light pollution, allows people to do something that I think ancients did almost nightly, and yet we NEVER do. I think there would be any number of fascinating things to see, we just never look up.

Great conversation.


I do applaud the way you are trying to go about this project
It makes so much more sense to learn what the "mundane" stuff is first, as you are doing. Also keep in mind that we may not have identified all natural atmospheric phenomena yet.

If I were you I would go with the Sony A7s range. Coupled with a good lens, you will probably not see that much difference in light gathering ability compared to the kind of intensifiers you can buy for an equivalent price. However, with the A7s range you will get MUCH more resolution (4k 60fps is possible), which could be useful when trying to identify objects. Quite a few meteor observers (including myself) are (or have already) setting up permanent camera systems using the A7s, which run all night and automatically capture/save any unusual events.

You will also have a very capable stills camera for general astrophotography if you wish to use it that way, however the "Sony star-eater" (google it) issue may or may not bother you.

The most important thing to consider where low-light applications are concerned (intensifiers included) is choosing the right lens for what you want to do. I suspect the A7s has more options available in this respect, but I must confess I have no real experience with intensifiers so I can't say for sure. Either way, the fact that meteor researchers no longer bother with intensifiers suggests to me that there won't be any real benefits compared to the A7s.

Going back to lenses, you want one with a large physical aperture. The standard lens for meteors is probably the 24mm f1.4 which has a physical aperture of 24/1.4 = 17.1mm. It's a good compromise between field of view and light gathering for meteors, but if you don't need the large field of view the humble 50mm f1.4 has significantly better light gathering ability with a 35.7mm physical aperture!

This series of articles is a good place to get to grips with the principals involved and astrophotography in general. Table 1 (on the page I linked to) is a useful table to reference when choosing a lens.



posted on Jan, 18 2018 @ 07:04 PM
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"Fighters have IR lights that aren't visible to the naked eye..."

That is true--but not just fighters. They're called formation lights are are incorporated into the upper and lower wings, and forward and aft fuselage. They are typically a small low-intensity strip panel that has IR/UV/standard LEDs.

These are switched on for night operations when formation flight and air-to-air refueling ops are underway. The pilots and crews can see the other aircraft in complete darkness when their nav lights are switched off. The intensity is adjustable so they can be visible to the naked eye from less than a few hundred yards.

It's the aqua-colored lights on the F-18 in this pic:

www.f-16.net...

The LED panels are yellow, rather than green, on certain aircraft.



posted on Jan, 18 2018 @ 10:45 PM
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originally posted by: FireballStorm

originally posted by: Scrubdog
Yes, true.

I understand. I wouldn't be the type ever to leap to the conclusion that what I am seeing are UFOs, and if you've noticed, throughout this thread I have stressed that I don't have the research or analytical skills to really approach it as science.

I am writing a brief for the 9th circuit right now on a fairly important issue, it's certainly not magic, but not everyone can do it. We all have our things that we do well and then things we should defer to people with more experience, training. So, I feel secure enough in saying this isn't an area that I could confidently make determinations unless the damn thing was right on top of me (hey, it's happened to others, right?).

But, I am interested in far more than ufos. I would really like to see meteors, learn the different types. I would like to look at nebula through a scope, look at the moon through a scope, and look at sats and such through the night vision. Hell, I like watching the animals come out at night (I live in the country) at night. So, it's not like I'd sit out there thinking everything was a ufo, nor think the time is wasted if I see only natural phenomena.

Sorry so long but people been so nice.

Once one gets out of the light pollution, and really sees what a "night sky" is supposed to look like, it becomes obvious why the ancients were fascinated with the stars. They feel like they are literally right on top of you in a way that the sun and moon simply don't. Spending time outside at night, outside of light pollution, allows people to do something that I think ancients did almost nightly, and yet we NEVER do. I think there would be any number of fascinating things to see, we just never look up.

Great conversation.


I do applaud the way you are trying to go about this project
It makes so much more sense to learn what the "mundane" stuff is first, as you are doing. Also keep in mind that we may not have identified all natural atmospheric phenomena yet.

If I were you I would go with the Sony A7s range. Coupled with a good lens, you will probably not see that much difference in light gathering ability compared to the kind of intensifiers you can buy for an equivalent price. However, with the A7s range you will get MUCH more resolution (4k 60fps is possible), which could be useful when trying to identify objects. Quite a few meteor observers (including myself) are (or have already) setting up permanent camera systems using the A7s, which run all night and automatically capture/save any unusual events.

You will also have a very capable stills camera for general astrophotography if you wish to use it that way, however the "Sony star-eater" (google it) issue may or may not bother you.

The most important thing to consider where low-light applications are concerned (intensifiers included) is choosing the right lens for what you want to do. I suspect the A7s has more options available in this respect, but I must confess I have no real experience with intensifiers so I can't say for sure. Either way, the fact that meteor researchers no longer bother with intensifiers suggests to me that there won't be any real benefits compared to the A7s.

Going back to lenses, you want one with a large physical aperture. The standard lens for meteors is probably the 24mm f1.4 which has a physical aperture of 24/1.4 = 17.1mm. It's a good compromise between field of view and light gathering for meteors, but if you don't need the large field of view the humble 50mm f1.4 has significantly better light gathering ability with a 35.7mm physical aperture!

This series of articles is a good place to get to grips with the principals involved and astrophotography in general. Table 1 (on the page I linked to) is a useful table to reference when choosing a lens.


Really nice of you to take the time to set all that out.

I copy and pasted it to an email and sent it to myself so that I have it for easy reference here in the new future. I'll be following the great advice, that's the way to really break into a new hobby, listen to the people who've been doing it and don't take short cuts.

Much appreciation, now if you can just set out the videos of all the UFOs you captured, we'd really be rolling on this thread.


Kinda funny, I grew up in the west, southern Idaho, actually, driven from So.Id. to Washington/Canada, and down to SLC, Las Vegas, LA and SF at night all the time and yet didn't develop my interests in ufos and sky gazing generally until later after having wife/daughter, so I am not sure I looked up the entire time during those long drives. Could have at least seen some really pretty stuff.

Kind of funny story, I once was driving back from L.A. to SLC throughout the night, got so tired I pulled into a rest area in southern Ut ah and slept for a couple hours. It's only of late that I've thought "man, I offered myself up for the easiest abduction in all time!"

No, I have no clue what the whole abduction thing adds up to, John Mack was awfully persuasive and spent more time with people claiming an experience than me, has the training to read people that I don''t and was 10x as smart as me, (better writer, too, damnit), so who am I to say "It's not possible!"

Rambling now.

Thank you.
edit on 18-1-2018 by Scrubdog because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 19 2018 @ 10:53 AM
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a reply to: Scrubdog

Happy to help.

Unfortunately I'm only just now taking my first tentative steps with video (planning to buy my A7s in the next few weeks now that I've built the PC that it will be connected to), although I've wanted to for years. However, I have been setting up still cameras (DSLRs these days but I started with 35mm film SLRs) and observing visually (mostly during major meteor showers) for nearly 20 years, and I also hunt for atmospheric phenomena like ice halos and other less common phenomena during the day when I get the chance. For major meteor showers I have up to 10 DSLRs running at the same time, covering the majority of the sky. I've caught many thousands of meteors this way, and even more trails from satellites/junk, but never seen or photographed anything that would deserve the label "UFO".

One thing you will find when you start imaging the night sky is that there is lots of junk (random flashes and series of flashes) and satellites up there, so you will need to be able to identify them if you want to rule them out. It's not too hard to do. I wrote a guide showing how to do it some years back, but was using specialized software then that is no longer available, however you can easily do the same with the Sellarium software. If you need any help, give me a shout:

How to view, track, and identify satellites

For the record, I don't think anything *that* unusual is going on up there. I do think, from past experience, that people see relatively mundane things, which they are not familiar enough with, meaning that the mundane explanation is often (wrongly) dismissed out of hand. For example, at times, meteors don't look like meteors, and aircraft don't look like aircraft. Spend enough time observing/studying these things and you will see why. In many cases it's our own inherent failings as observers that let us down, and these failings can not be removed/corrected by experience since they are hard wired in out brains.

A common example of this is when there is a bright fireball/meteor you almost always (if there are enough witnesses) get something like: Witness A says the meteor looked so close, that it probably fell "on the other side of the hill". Witness B also says similar, BUT, witness A and B are separated by 100 or 200 miles! They can't both be right can they!? With well documented/photographed events (which most are now) we can accurately work out the precise path/location of the fireball (using triangulation). Pick any widely seen event (I've investigated dozens), read through the reports/cross reference locations, and you'll see how common this is:

IMO

Why does it happen? Because our brains are hard wired to interpret a bright light as being close (whilst dim lights must be far), and a meteor can be very bright, despite being a long way away. So we often get UFO reports connected with meteors, partly because of the general public's unfamiliarity with them, and partly because of the way our brains are wired.

The same can be applied to any bright "unidentified" light, and without other visual cues to give our brains the necessary information needed to "fill in the blanks", it is impossible to work out the distances involved as an observer/witness. You can only guess if you have a good idea of the true nature of the event. Of course, if you are unfamiliar with atmospheric phenomena, as most are, then you have little or no hope of coming close to an accurate estimate.

So, if you want to understand why people see UFOs, look into HOW people perceive, as well as the nature of the physical phenomena itself. Meteors/fireballs are just a small part of it, but IMHO an important lesson for those who want to investigate the subject, and because they are so well studied, you can find strong evidence that gives insights into the subject of UFOs.

I wish you good luck with the "journey" you are embarking on!



posted on Jan, 20 2018 @ 05:01 AM
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Check out the recent documentary about Charles Lamoureux titled about infrared UFO hunting during night skies, titled 'Nocturnal Lights' (not related, just a fan):

gumroad.com...

He's been shooting night skies for 8+ years using NV gear. He doesn't have the most expensive NV gear (can't afford it yet), but he has tons of experience and a decent setup for a UFO hunter.

Why don't people use things like Sony A7 series?

0. When you shoot in pitch black, the best of NV is still better than the best of A7 (in terms of light recovery, not resolution or detail).

1. Cost(I've been mulling this setup myself for years, but can't afford it yet). This applies to both body as well as optics (esp. long distance tele objectives)

2.Lack of mount for not-insanely expensive NV-gear (most NV gear are view only or with internal recording, you can't just plug in A7 into it)

3. Still not good enough for 60fps video capture in pitch black (night time skies). Yes, it's nice for single shots with 1/4s long exposures on a tripod in pitch black, but shooting video with 1/60 s shutter time, they still don't cut it.

4. Still can't do great video during night time with teleobjectives. When you shoot for a known distance with widest aperture (say f1.2) using a short throw lens, you can do amazing night time photography with A7 series (esp the S-models). However, when you need to zoom into 600-1800 mm length (35mm equiv) you start dropping to f6-f8, range (due to min aperture of the lens and lens extenders you are using). This again cuts down the available light by several multipliers, forcing you to increase your shutter time. What good is it to take a photo of a UFO at 2 second shutter time, when the camera is moving and the object (UFO) is moving? Yes, there are a few Canon / Nikon optics that have wider apertures and which you can use on A7-series (with an adapter), but they cost in excess of $10,000 (used).

I'm hoping that the next generation Sony sensor with HBM2 on-chip memory and next gen DSP will allow for even faster recording using shorter shutter times. However, it still leaves the issues with cost ($$$$$) and mounting, esp. if you want to use NV gear and not shoot with naked A7 by itself.

Time will tell and I probably can't afford it for a few years still, and there's still the issue of glass (and aperture).


edit on 20-1-2018 by Pathaka because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 20 2018 @ 10:57 AM
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Thanks for comparing the two systems Pathaka. Could I ask though, how long could you expect an intensifier to last before it becomes ineffective/needs re-gassing? I suspect that the A7s will have the advantage here since it should last many years if not a decade or two.

What would put me off most, as you eluded to in your post, would be the ease of recording video, as well as the general connectivity of an intensified system. With the A7s it's basically a ready to go "off the shelf" system once you add a lens which is fairly simple even if you have to adapt the lens.



originally posted by: Pathaka
3. Still not good enough for 60fps video capture in pitch black (night time skies). Yes, it's nice for single shots with 1/4s long exposures on a tripod in pitch black, but shooting video with 1/60 s shutter time, they still don't cut it.


"Good enough" will depend on the application, and physical aperture of the optics used for the system. If 60fps does not cut it, then 30fps would double the sensitivity of the system, which should be enough for most applications (depending on optics used obviously).



originally posted by: Pathaka
4. Still can't do great video during night time with teleobjectives. When you shoot for a known distance with widest aperture (say f1.2) using a short throw lens, you can do amazing night time photography with A7 series (esp the S-models). However, when you need to zoom into 600-1800 mm length (35mm equiv) you start dropping to f6-f8, range (due to min aperture of the lens and lens extenders you are using). This again cuts down the available light by several multipliers, forcing you to increase your shutter time. What good is it to take a photo of a UFO at 2 second shutter time, when the camera is moving and the object (UFO) is moving? Yes, there are a few Canon / Nikon optics that have wider apertures and which you can use on A7-series (with an adapter), but they cost in excess of $10,000 (used).


Unfortunately saying "f1.2" with out mentioning the focal length of the lens tells us nothing about the light gathering ability of the lens.

For example let's compare some lenses using the numbers you mentioned. You didn't mention what focal length for the f1.2, so I'm going to assume it's a 50mm lens, which is considered to be "fast" if it has a f1.2 focal ratio.

So to get the diameter of physical aperture of a 50mm f1.2 it's : 50/1.2 = 41.6mm and the aperture area in mm squared (pi*r squared) = 1359.2 mm squared

To get the diameter of physical aperture of a 600mm f6 it's : 600/6 = 100mm and the aperture area in mm squared (pi*r squared) = 7854.0 mm squared

To get the diameter of physical aperture of a 1800mm f8 it's : 1800/8 = 225mm and the aperture area in mm squared (pi*r squared) = 39760.8 mm squared

This means the 600mm f6 gathers 5.8 times (7854/1359.2) more light than the supposedly fast 50mm f1.2.

Or, in the case of the 1800mm f8 compared to the 50mm f1.2 (39760.8/1359.2), the 1800mm f8 gathers a massive 29.3 times as much light!

The real problem (besides cost) of long lenses like this is support! At such long focal lengths every vibration/shake is magnified so you need a very sturdy tripod and head (significant $$$) or your footage is going to be very shaky!



posted on Jan, 21 2018 @ 04:37 PM
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a reply to: FireballStorm

I knew I could get some great info here.

It is kinda daunting how little I know (I know more now!) and what all goes into both the set-up and then what one sees.

I plan on doing whatever I end up doing right outside my backdoor, that's my real advantage is that, already being out in the country, darkened out totally, I can simply sit with my laptop wired into it, and can cross-check anything I see versus what is to be expected that night. I can check ATC from those websites that have real-time radar of every flight in the country, which is something I like doing anyway any time I see a "heavy" up there, seeing if it a inter-continental flight or something, I could check whether a meteor shower of some type is expected that night, or log-on to other star-gazing clubs and see if there have been reports of a bright meteor somewhere else, too.

So, I always figured I wouldn't be out there "alone" so to speak. I could near always check what else is happening near me and see if others know/identify what's going on.

I am so bad with the constellations it's absurd. "Orion." And "Big Dipper" drains me of the knowledge I have. If one "star" is 5x brighter than the others, I'm pretty confident that I'm looking at Venus. One that's tinged red? Mars.

That's it.

I know that there's a website to check out when the I.S.S. will pass over, and a couple others for more mundane satellites. Those should help considerably.

But, the big point is that people simply don't look up anymore at anything at all in the night sky. People in cities don't even SEE a night sky, and people elsewhere are all in reading on their phones. Whereas until just 100 years ago, people had no choice but to look out at the night sky. When one is truly removed from light pollution, you can't help it, the stars feel like they are pounding down on you and you immediately recognize why the ancients were obsessed with it.

Years ago, I was in Hattiesburg MS (about 60,000) when Katrina roared through. The most amazing thing about the aftermath was walking outside at night during the weeks afterward, seeing the Milky Way and stars everywhere, not realizing they were there all long, but just drowned out.

I want to get back that connection and teach my daughter about it. If I see a giant 2 mile long triangle shaped craft glide slowly over like the one that people reported heading straight at Bush's Texas place, that's all well and good,too. So long as they leave me on the ground. Ha!



posted on Jan, 21 2018 @ 09:43 PM
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originally posted by: Scrubdog
a reply to: FireballStorm
It is kinda daunting how little I know (I know more now!) and what all goes into both the set-up and then what one sees.


Don't be too daunted. There is a lot to learn, but the internet is a great help as long as you choose what you read carefully.



originally posted by: Scrubdog
a reply to: FireballStorm
I plan on doing whatever I end up doing right outside my backdoor, that's my real advantage is that, already being out in the country, darkened out totally, I can simply sit with my laptop wired into it, and can cross-check anything I see versus what is to be expected that night. I can check ATC from those websites that have real-time radar of every flight in the country, which is something I like doing anyway any time I see a "heavy" up there, seeing if it a inter-continental flight or something, I could check whether a meteor shower of some type is expected that night, or log-on to other star-gazing clubs and see if there have been reports of a bright meteor somewhere else, too.


It would be nice if it was always that simple. Most of the time it is, but in the case of meteors, not every meteor belongs to a known shower. Outside of the peak times of meteor showers, sporadic (or random) meteors will tend to dominate. I'd highly recommend trying to observe as many meteor shower peaks as you can, so you can get familiar with the various types of meteor and their characteristics, and be able to directly compare shower members with sporadics. It will also give you a chance to compare meteors with satellites and aircraft, which can also easily be confused with meteors in certain circumstances by inexperienced observers.

In that respect you've likely picked a good time to embark on a project like this as there are at least a couple of favorable predictions for strong or above average activity for certain showers over the next few years. The first is this year's Perseids, which should be a slightly better than average year. In a good year you can expect well over 100 per hour, and many to be bright. Next year is also a Taurid swarm year, which could turn out to be the best for quite a few decades, and it should be mostly Moon free as well! Both these showers have very different characteristics, although they are both quite long duration (so can be observed for a few days around their peaks, especially the Taurids, which doesn't tend to have a well defined peak), and both are good producers of fireballs.

After that, we have a few years where not much is predicted (but don't let that stop you observing - there's always the chance of surprises, and keep your ear to the ground for last minute predictions as well) but in the early-late 2020's, the predictions start to look promising again, with a storm of up to 100000 meteors per hour (best case scenario) predicted in May 2022.

Aircraft could pose problems too, particularly the military type, which might be hard to positively ID. If you don't live close to an airport, it's worth traveling to one and positioning yourself a few Km away, with a view of the incoming flight path, so you can get a feel for how they look when they are heading more or less directly towards you (a large cause of misidentifications). It sounds like you already have some experience with aircraft which you can use to your advantage. I have to admit it's not my strongest point, but I'm sure you can find good advice from some members on here.




originally posted by: Scrubdog
a reply to: FireballStorm
I am so bad with the constellations it's absurd. "Orion." And "Big Dipper" drains me of the knowledge I have. If one "star" is 5x brighter than the others, I'm pretty confident that I'm looking at Venus. One that's tinged red? Mars.


Download Stellarium as I suggested and you should soon start to see what is what up there. You are certainly not alone here. I still sometimes struggle to make out what I'm looking at, but I have gotten better over the years.

Tip: Once you have Stellarium installed, fire it up, enter your location, and find the pole star. It's pretty much all on it's own, and all other stars will appear to rotate around it gradually as the night progresses due to Earth's rotation. So zoom out a bit and advance the time in hour increments. Observe hoe the sky rotates, and you should be able to identify the approximate center of rotation/Polaris. Or you could just hit "F3" and type "Polaris" and hit enter.

Now hit "F3" again and type "Ursa Major" and hit enter. You'll be taken to the big dipper. Now try advancing the time in hour increments again, and observe how the end two stars (Dubhe and Merak) in the bowl of the big dipper always point towards Polaris. So now, if you can find the big dipper, you should always be able to find Polaris, and from there, you can get your bearing in the sky, and work out where other things should be.

Learn how to "star hop" like this and things will get a lot easier. As a more advanced exercise, try finding the constellation Cassiopeia (which has a "W" shape to it), and use the stars Epsilon Cas and Ruchbah to point you roughly to where M31 (The Andromeda Galaxy) is. It can help to find Mirach which is a bright orangy-yellow looking star in the constellation Andromeda. I find it helps to make a quick diagram with a few stars, unless I have a laptop close by. However, it's not always a good idea to use a laptop as it can destroy your dark adaption, and make it hard to identify faint objects which are already hard to see. The astrophotgraphy site I linked to in a previous reply has some excellent advice on this topic.


Continued in the following post..



posted on Jan, 21 2018 @ 09:44 PM
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originally posted by: Scrubdog
a reply to: FireballStorm
I know that there's a website to check out when the I.S.S. will pass over, and a couple others for more mundane satellites. Those should help considerably.


Between heavens-above.com and calsky.com (and Stellarium) you should be able to find and track most satellites and I also keep a close eye on aerospace.org for any upcoming reentries. It's important to update the TLEs (orbital data for satellites) in the Stellarium plugin to the latest available when you want to try to observe reentries especially, and you may also need to manually add them. Feel free to U2U me if you need any help.



originally posted by: Scrubdog
a reply to: FireballStorm
But, the big point is that people simply don't look up anymore at anything at all in the night sky. People in cities don't even SEE a night sky, and people elsewhere are all in reading on their phones. Whereas until just 100 years ago, people had no choice but to look out at the night sky. When one is truly removed from light pollution, you can't help it, the stars feel like they are pounding down on you and you immediately recognize why the ancients were obsessed with it.


So true! But make sure you venture further than your porch (especially for meteors), or you will miss out on what is happening in over half the sky. If you are already somewhere where there is very little light pollution then that will help immensely, but meteors like to hide if you give them the chance, so find a good observing spot with minimal obstructions to block you view of the sky.




originally posted by: Scrubdog
a reply to: FireballStorm
Years ago, I was in Hattiesburg MS (about 60,000) when Katrina roared through. The most amazing thing about the aftermath was walking outside at night during the weeks afterward, seeing the Milky Way and stars everywhere, not realizing they were there all long, but just drowned out.


I heard the stories!



originally posted by: Scrubdog
a reply to: FireballStorm
I want to get back that connection and teach my daughter about it. If I see a giant 2 mile long triangle shaped craft glide slowly over like the one that people reported heading straight at Bush's Texas place, that's all well and good,too. So long as they leave me on the ground. Ha!


I'm sure your daughter will appreciate the beauty of the heavens if given the opportunity, but I wouldn't hold my breath too long for the star blocking giant. Just be aware of our perceptual limitations, and then you'll know how to put the "theory" to the test should an unusual situation occur!

edit on 21-1-2018 by FireballStorm because: clarification



posted on Jan, 22 2018 @ 03:46 AM
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a reply to: Pathaka

Charles joined here I had a few things to say re his videos but he threw his toys out of the pram and hasn't been back guess he didn't like being told the truth


You don't need high magnification to prove an object in the sky is not Mog from Zog, the A7S has many advatages over NV gear which have already been mentioned.

A 70-200 f2.8 which a lot of keen amateurs & semi pro/pro photographers have would be a good choice also the video quality of the A7 III is very good in low light although not the same as the A7S/S II it is 42 mp compared to the A7S 12 mp so you could crop video and stills.

This video starts at 25,600 iso f8 1/50th and 400% zoom no where near its max of 409,600 I have seen video at 102,400 & 204,800 that was a lot better than NV video.



Lots of reasonable well priced lenses with a decent focal length at f8 or better could be bought without having to spend 1000's of $/£

Taking HD video of very low resolution NV screens is pointless.

Lots of youtube ufo hunters will stick with NV because low quality means they can keep making BS claims and keep the revenue coming in.



posted on Jan, 22 2018 @ 08:14 AM
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a reply to: Scrubdog

Almost forgot to add:

If you can set up two cameras which are separated by at least 10 Km (and up to around 50 Km), which are pointed at the same patch of sky, then if you catch an object, you can use software to compare the footage, and work out very useful info which can be used to ID the object. With two cameras triangulation becomes possible, and you can work out the orbit/altitude/trajectory/relative velocity, all of which can be used to classify the object. This would solve the problem of being able to ID a sporadic meteor, amongst other things.

This is the principal behind how fireball monitoring networks work. You could use a less expensive/lower rez camera (like a Watec WAT-902H2) as a second camera to keep costs down a bit, but each camera would need it's own PC/laptop with internet connection, which is necessary for accurate time keeping, otherwise you won't get accurate info when you compare/analyze footage. You would also need fast enough lenses with each camera so that at least a handful of stars are recorded, otherwise the software will have trouble with the analysis.

Whilst it would take some extra work/investment to set up such a two camera system, it would give you THE best possible data, and in the case of something truly unusual being captured, the evidence from such a system would be hard to refute. Keep in mind though, there are many such systems set up around the world that have been running for years (decades in some cases), but none have caught any "2 mile wide craft" as far as I'm aware!



posted on Jan, 22 2018 @ 08:44 AM
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originally posted by: wmd_2008

Taking HD video of very low resolution NV screens is pointless.

Lots of youtube ufo hunters will stick with NV because low quality means they can keep making BS claims and keep the revenue coming in.


Very true.

You also have to wonder why, if "finding the truth" is so important to UFO researchers, none have bothered to set up multiple camera networks as I described above. The tech to do this has been available for a long time, and if small groups of meteor enthusiasts are capable of doing it, then the UFO enthusiasts should be able to also. Sadly, I believe your conclusion that "they don't want irrefutable data as it would hurt their real agenda" to be correct.

It would be nice to be proved wrong, and hopefully Scrubdog can blaze a trail that others would follow, but there is bound to be resistance from those who want the status quo to continue.



posted on Jan, 22 2018 @ 02:39 PM
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I just remembered one more small (but good) reason to go with the A7s, if there were not enough already.. COLOUR!

Perhaps not essential, but colour can give clues as to the nature of an event. It could be a great help with things like drones and Chinese lanterns which might otherwise be hard to ID. Not only that, but colour images/footage looks a lot prettier than the monochrome green which intensifiers produce, IMHO.


edit on 22-1-2018 by FireballStorm because: clarification



posted on Jan, 22 2018 @ 06:18 PM
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originally posted by: Scrubdog
Darn it, y'all. I am hitting the "Youtube" thing, and putting in the url, and yet my videos all go to black. I blog on a couple other sites and have been able to cut paste easily. Hopefully the links are easy enough for you to manage, and I do apologize.

Again, the best triangle I have seen is here: www.youtube.com...



The problem with what you tried to do is that ATS only needs the video code entered into the dialog box.

You hit "YouTube" and it says, "YouTube video! 'OK''?" and you hit "OK". The next dialog box pops up. This is the video ID that it is asking for: v=XevJR7biQE8 (just the bolded part! Leave off the "v=" part).

Your previous post has the whole address link between the [ video ] markers (the codes are provided by using the YouTube button) which is why it shows up as black!

Now you can embed vids with the best of them!

That is a cool vid! See what BASS had to say above.



posted on Jan, 22 2018 @ 10:29 PM
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FIREBALL STORM

"Colour"

Are you Canadian? British?

I am originally Canadian, immigrated here with my parents when I was 10, and was made the "centre" of attention for the way I spelled and talked.

Canada has great night skies with the Aurora, but it's got to be summer to stand outside, and - unfortunately, doesn't get dark until 11:00 p.m. in my former home of Edmonton.


WMD

Apparently you don't understand. Hunting for "UFOs" places a premium upon keeping what you're seeing "unidentified," and so you're taking a great deal of the allure out of it if you too carefully id what you're looking at.


Kinda funny, tonight I was out just eye-balling things. I near convinced myself that the 7 sisters were actually blinking at me. It's a weird optical trick to low-light (I guess) where I could see them as much brighter if I wasn't looking directly at them. If I focused upon the cluster, it dimmed out of view, only to reappear again in my side vision or if I looked away.

Not being used to it, I was like "Mother ffff'ers! They know I'm looking!!" And then realized what was going on after a second. Beautiful cluster.

****

I have cut and paste all of Fire's recommendations, and many of the others. I am going to go through the net and get an estimate on what it will all cost. I am counting upon the night vision to give me at least a 10 ft heads up on the Eastern Diamondback and Copperheads that like to make their rounds through the grass out here in Main Snake Highway USA that is our back property, being that it's surrounded by woods on 2 sides and a gigantic pond down below. Either than or bring the smart dog out, dumb one will get bit, smart one will keep everyone from being bit.

Watching "How the Universe Works" on the Science Channel right now, might be the best show on all of TV.

edit on 22-1-2018 by Scrubdog because: (no reason given)








edit on 22-1-2018 by Scrubdog because: (no reason given)

edit on 22-1-2018 by Scrubdog because: (no reason given)

edit on 22-1-2018 by Scrubdog because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 23 2018 @ 09:46 AM
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originally posted by: Scrubdog
FIREBALL STORM

"Colour"

Are you Canadian? British?

I am originally Canadian, immigrated here with my parents when I was 10, and was made the "centre" of attention for the way I spelled and talked.

Canada has great night skies with the Aurora, but it's got to be summer to stand outside, and - unfortunately, doesn't get dark until 11:00 p.m. in my former home of Edmonton.


UK 52N here. It probably makes sense to locate yourself a bit further south if possible. The closer you get to the Equator, the longer the summer nights, and the darker they are since the Sun dips further below the horizon (try comparing locations in Stellarium). Do you go on vacation in the summer? If so, try traveling to somewhere around 30N for the Perseids and use darksitefinder.com to find a as good an observing site as you can. You'll be more likely to see the best that the shower has to offer that way.

Even here @ 52N summer time is a bit useless for serious astrophotography, although the Perseids are just about doable. Depending on how cold it gets for you in the winter, you might be able to get away with observing if you jump into multiple sleeping bags. I can usually stand down to about -15C with 2 sleeping bags + warm coat and a few more layers, although my wife struggles!


originally posted by: Scrubdog
Kinda funny, tonight I was out just eye-balling things. I near convinced myself that the 7 sisters were actually blinking at me. It's a weird optical trick to low-light (I guess) where I could see them as much brighter if I wasn't looking directly at them. If I focused upon the cluster, it dimmed out of view, only to reappear again in my side vision or if I looked away.

Not being used to it, I was like "Mother ffff'ers! They know I'm looking!!" And then realized what was going on after a second. Beautiful cluster.


You've stumbled on a trick that is often used for visual astronomy. It's called "averted vision", and it works because at the back of the eye, in the center, is where the optic nerve is connected to the eye, and there are not many photo-sensitive cells there so it's a bit of a "blind spot". If you avert you vision, so that the object you are looking at is not centered, then you can make out much fainter objects than if you were to stare straight at them.

The other effect that it sounds like you're seeing is something called astronomical scintillation, which is usually stronger with decreasing elevation in the sky, and the brighter/more "point like" light sources.

Good to hear you're pricing up the kit already. Ebay/used is the best bet, but be patient and always ask questions. Be careful you don't get an A7s that has been heavily used, read descriptions very carefully, and study the provided pics. I always check that the seller bought the DSLR when it was new. With lenses it's not so much of a concern, but there is a danger of getting bad copies that have off-center elements, so talk to the seller and make sure it won't be a problem - not all sellers will have tested as critically as is required for astrophotography, so unless you are sure that the lens performs well with stars, make sure you can test and return if necessary.

Have you decided on what lens you want? Personally, if I wanted more than 1 focal length I would buy two primes rather than one zoom. But even if you are only planning for one focal length (at least to start with), take your time and choose carefully.

As for me, I'm going to be buying my A7s or A7sII and lens, if I can find some attractive used deals over the next few weeks!




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