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APO/ZWO Advanced CCD Astrophotography Kit


Keywords: Refractor Astrophotography

Currently there are 3 requests to borrow this.

This astrophotography kit  is designed help capable amateur astronomers develop the skills requried to image deep sky objects. It is not suitable for beginners. Some prior observing or imaging experience with simpler equipment, such as a star tracker and DSLR camera, is strongly recommended. The borrower needs to understand how to align and use an equatorial mount. 

The borrower must supply a laptop computer and install the necessary software to operate the camera and associated equipment.  

The kit includes a Meade Series ED APO (apochromatic) 80mm refractor, a Celestron Advanced VX telescope mount, and a capable ZWO color CCD camera.  Beginner astrophotographers are encouraged to consider requesting and using our Star Tracker/DSLR kit or the the entry level (but capable) "APO/Ultrastar Astrophotography Kit",  prior to requesting this kit.


This kit includes a 12 megapixel ZWO ASI294MC Pro cooled camera (pixel Size: 4.63µm) with a 0.8x reducer/flattener, all the necessary cables, and a Li battery power supply.  It does not include an autoguider. The strategy is to take many short exposures then combine ("stack") the images during post-processing. A QHY Polemaster camera simplifies obtaining accurate polar alignment. The short effective focal length of the system (384 mm with the provided 0.8x reducer/flatener) allows unguided exposures of a minute or two, which must be reviewed and then stacked during post processing with free software such as Deep Sky Stacker.

Note: Please note that a computer (not provided) is needed to use this astrophotography kit.

The Meade Series 6000 80mm APO triplet refractor uses extra-low dispersion optical glass to provide excellent color correction, contrast, and sharpness. The specifications below are from the vendors' website.

Meade Series 6000 APO 80mm refractor


Series Series 6000 APO Refractors
Focus System 2.5" Dual Speed Rack & Pinion, zero image-shift, dual speed 10:1 focuser
# of Elements 3
Experience Level Intermediate, Advanced
Clear Aperture 3.1"
Optical Design Apochromatic Refractor
Focal Length 480mm
Focal Ratio f/6
Focuser Mechanism 2.5" Dual Speed Rack & Pinion, zero image-shift, dual speed 10:1 focuser
Assembled Product Dimensions 15.5" x 4.5" x 6"
Assembled Product Weight 6.9 lbs.

Celestron Advanced VX Mount


Tripod Leg Diameter 2"
Mount Height (Max) 1626 mm (64")
Mount Height (Min) 1118 mm (44")
Weight Capacity (Max) 30 lbs
Tripod Weight 18 lbs (8.16 kg)
Weight of Counterweights 1 x 12 lbs


ZWO ASI294MC Pro Camera


Camera technical details

Sensor: 4/3″ SONY IMX294 CMOS
Diagonal: 23.2mm
Resolution: 11.7Mega Pixels 4144X2822
Pixel Size: 4.63µm
Bayer Pattern: RGGB
Shutter:Rolling shutter
Exposure Range: 32µs-2000s
ROI: Supported
Read Noise: 1.2e @39db gain
QE peak: TBD
Full well: 63.7ke
DDRIII Buffer: 256MB
Interface: USB3.0/USB2.0
Adaptor: M42X0.75
Protect window:AR window
Dimensions: 78mm Diameter
Weight: 410g
Back Focus Distance: 6.5mm
Cooling: Regulated Two Stage TEC
Delta T: 35°C-40°C below ambient
Camera Power consumption: 650mA at 5V
Cooler Power consumption: 12V at 3A Max
Working Temperature: -5°C—45°C
Storage Temperature: -20°C—60°C
Working Relative Humidity: 20%—80%
Storage Relative Humidity: 20%—95%
Max FPS at full resolution:
10Bit ADC
4144×2822 19fps
14bit ADC
4144×2822 16fps
more resolutions are in software, support customize resolution.



Currently Loaned out

Requests to Borrow

There are 3 other members with requests to borrow this equipment.