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    Re: Night Vision Scopes
    From: Charles Seitz
    Date: 2005 Jun 29, 21:19 -0400

    I have some experience with night vision light amplification devices.  We
    had a dark tunnel at Frankford Arsenal (Phila, PA) to evaluate them. The 1st
    generation devices such as the Starlight Scope lacked resolution but did
    indeed provide some enhanced night vision capability. I wasn't favorably
    impressed.  The latest devices are quite spectacular; pilots actually use
    them for night flying.
    These devices have a array photosensitive cells that emit electrons in
    response to impinging photons.  A high voltage field accelerates the freed
    electrons onto a phosphorescent screen where the image appears.
    An amateur astronomer friend, who works with night vision technology, signed
    out a third generation night scope to observe a comet.  Looking through the
    scope, the comet tail extended accross the sky and many higher magnitude
    stars were visible.  If I recall properly, the brighter stars were blured
    and didn't appear as point sources.
    You might be able to conduct night sights because the horizon will be
    visible if the device is placed in its direct optical path. The image will
    be somewhat granular and there will also be some bright speckles. So you
    would need to ignore these distractions to estimate where your star is.
    ---  CHAS

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