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APO/Ultrastar Astrophotography Kit

Advanced astrophotography kit photo

Keywords: Astrophotography Refractor


Currently there are 2 requests to borrow this.

The Equipment Library is operating under safe COVID-19 procedures but is undergoing a reorganization.  Capacity for new loans is significantly reduced. It may be some time before you can borrow this equipment.

Please do not submit more than two requests at any one time without Equipment Manager approval. 

 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, who should start with one of our star tracker kits.




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.