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APO/Ultrastar CCD Astrophotography Kit

Advanced astrophotography kit photo

Keywords: Astrophotography Refractor

Description

Note  This item is being serviced and it is not available for check out.

This astrophotography kit is designed for capable amateur astronomers who wish to learn the basics of imaging with CCD cameras.  It is not suitable for beginners, and the borrower needs to understand how to align and use an equatorial mount. Some prior observing or imaging experience with simpler equipment, such as a star tracker and DSLR camera, is strongly recommended.  However, this kit does include a laptop computer with the necessary drivers and the UltraStar camera is a basic, entry level CCD. 

Details

Astrophotography with a telescope and a dedicated CCD camera is not simple. Sucessully imaging requires an understanding of how to polar align a telescope, focus the camera on a star, acquire image data on a laptop in the dark, and finally, process the resulting image data. To keep this activity as simple as possible, this kit includes a laptop with all necessary software and a QHY Polemaster camera to simplify obtaining accurate polar alignment. It does not include an autoguider. The effective focal length of the Meade refractor  with the 0.8x reducer is 384mm. With this (relatively short) focal length the Celestron AVX mount is capable of unguided exposures of at least 60 seconds, possibly longer. The strategy is to take many short exposures then combine ("stack") the images during post-processing with free software such as Deep Sky Stacker.

This kit includes the same 80mm ED APO (apochromatic) refractor with 0.8x reducer/flattener and the same Celestron AVX telescope mount as the Advanced CCD Astrophotography kit, an entry level Ultrastar Color CCD camera with a resolution of 1392 x 1040 pixels (Pixel size - 6.45 x 6.45 um), an older Windows 10 laptop preloaded with the necessary software and drivers, all the necessary cables, and a Li battery power supply.

Currently Loaned out

Requests to Borrow

There are 2 other members with requests to borrow this equipment.