Astronomy Cameras

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When looking for a telescope camera, or astronomical camera, the decision can include a myriad of different manufacturers, and different types of camera.  Choosing between the various astronomy still cameras, video cameras, or other specialty cameras, such as All-Sky cameras or a Seeing Monitor, can offer even the most experienced astronomer a great challenge.  While the decision of what type of telescope camera (still, video, or specialty) is usually based on what type of image one wants to capture, as well as their budget; once you’ve decided on an imager for your telescope, you then have to work through the choices within this category.

As always, OPT's knowledgeable staff is here to help you find the perfect telescope camera for your needs.  The decision can include not only the style of telescope camera, but the manufacturer, connection interface, accessory and software compatibility, price and much more.  Allow us to help.  If you'd like to learn more about astronomy imaging cameras, please click the link below.

Unlike traditional cameras, the astronomy camera uses a small, rectangular chip of silicon called a Charge-Coupled Device to gather and record incoming light instead of film.  The silicon chip is a solid-state electronic component comprised of light-sensitive cells called photo-sites.  Each photo-site is its own pixel.  Just one tiny area in a photograph can contain hundreds of thousands of pixels.  When incoming light strikes the photo-site, the photoelectric effect creates and builds an electron charge for as long as exposure occurs.  The electrons are then "stored" in their individual cells until the analog-to-digital converter unloads the array, counts the electrons, and reassembles them into the "big picture" that is sent to your computer. 

Although there's a bit more to it than that, CCD imaging is one of the fastest growing fields of astrophotography.  Unlike traditional film telescope cameras, which only capture about 2% of gathered light, CCD telescope cameras can respond with efficiencies of up to 70% (or more).  This makes CCD cameras amazingly efficient for astronomy applications.  There are a wide variety of cameras available to the consumer market now, from the simple and compact to research grade.  If you are just beginning astrophotography, or you're an advanced professional, OPT can provide the perfect camera for your CCD imaging applications.

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