A Practical Guide to CCD Astronomy (Practical Astronomy by Patrick Martinez

By Patrick Martinez

High-performance charged-couple equipment (CCD) cameras have spread out an exhilarating new window at the Universe for newbie astronomers. This booklet offers a whole, self-contained advisor to picking and utilizing CCD cameras. starting with a no-nonsense advent to CCD cameras, the authors clarify what determines digital camera functionality and show tips on how to use a CCD digital camera and competently calibrate the pictures received. The publication additionally offers a transparent evaluate of the software program on hand for visualizing, studying and processing electronic photographs. eventually, the authors navigate a sequence of key components in astronomy the place astronomers could make the simplest use of CCD cameras. this convenient quantity is jam-packed with useful counsel. It offers a transparent advent to CCD astronomy for rookies and an fundamental reference for more matured beginner astronomers.

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Extra info for A Practical Guide to CCD Astronomy (Practical Astronomy Handbooks)

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While it is being amplified, the signal is filtered so as to limit high-frequency noise. One of the camera's important design characteristics is the choice of signal sampling mode. Since the value to be obtained is the difference between the two levels, the easiest solution consists in digitizing, at a given time, the value reached by the first level, and then waiting until the second level reaches its value; both digital values, therefore, are passed on to the computer, which easily does the subtraction.

19 A thermal image obtained in darkness with a LYNXX CCD camera (the CCD isaTC211) cooled to -35 °C and a 600 second exposure; notice that not all the pixels generate exactly the same number of thermal electrons. 20). uncertainty of this number is V3600 = 60. The image, therefore, would contain a thermal noise of 60 electrons, making the detection of stars, producing a smaller number of charges than that value, impossible. Thus, it is necessary to limit the generation of thermal electrons. With this in mind, the CCD is cooled.

Binning that gathers NXN photosensors per pixel allows the execution of shorter exposures by a factor of N2 to obtain the same signal as an image without binning. Another advantage of analog binning is the shortening of the array's read time: for example, the binning of two consecutive lines allows a time gain by a factor of 2 (there being 2 times fewer pixels to read). But digital binning does not allow any time gain since all the pixels are read independently. The drawback of binning is, of course, the lowering of the array's resolution; in return, the total field is preserved.

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