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New Image Processing Book Available. Ron's recent book, The NewAstro Zone System for Astro Imaging, is back from the printer and ready to ship. The cover is . Ron Wodaski's “The New CCD Astronomy” by New Astronomy Press. . If someone gave me the book to read and I had access to the PDF files. As I strive to achieve the highest level of quality possible in Astronomical CCD imaging, The New CCD Astronomy has been there every step of.

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Astronomy - The New CCD - Ebook download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read book online. Astronomy. "While the popularity of CCD's for astronomical imaging has grown “The New CCD Astronomy sets the bar a notch higher than anything else in print today. download The New CCD Astronomy: How to capture the stars with a CCD camera in your Supposedly, the online version or a downloadable pdf version (as earlier .

Planetarium Software: This type of software is used to map the night sky from any location on the Earth. It most cases, the software below can print our star charts for a night of viewing and will have extensive databases with at least the most popular night sky objects. The SkyX by Software Bisque is probably the most popular planetarium software available. I also use version 6 of this software. The benefit of using TheSky is their extensive database, ability to remotely control a computerized telescope, and work seamlessly with their other popular product, CCDSoft. Their website also has a Hot Fix section for up to date software updates you will have to register. Windows 7 and 64bit OS's are supported.

These names are protected by patents, copyrights, trademarks, and so on. These names are the property of their respective owners. Unless otherwise noted, images were taken by the author. Images contributed by other individuals are attributed individually.

They are copyrighted by their respective authors who retain all rights.

Ccd astronomy pdf the new

About the cover The cover image is built from two different images taken by Tony Hallas. The lower half is a time exposure of the observing field at Sunglow Ranch in Arizona, where Tony, myself, and a number of other imagers and observers spent a wonderful week under the stars in May, Tony walked around to the individual observers and painted their equipment with a red flashlight during the exposure.

The white glowing objects are laptop screens; mine is the second one from the right. The upper half of the image is the Sagittarius star cloud, an area full of imaging opportunities.

It is chock full of practical advice for everyone interested in imaging the objects that populate the skies, night and day. CCD imaging has given me more pleasure than I can possibly describe, and I can only hope that this book will help you do the same.

Unlike many books, this one is more than the paper it is printed on. There is a book web site, and you can also order a CD-ROM with a copy of the web site and the book content for a small fee.

The book stands well on its own, but you will get the most out of your hardearned dollars by checking out the suggestions below. You can download files from the web site that will allow you to follow along with many tutorials. Look for links at the start of the tutorials. The complete text of the book is available online in Acrobat format. Many of the images in the book are shown in color in the online version of the book.

This is especially useful for the content in chapter 7, but many images throughout the book will reveal more information when seen in color. Be sure to take advantage of the free one-year web subscription that comes with the book, and download the Acrobat files!

Your one-year subscription to the web site also includes other benefits. These include additional tutorials, discussion groups moderated by the author, a searchable database of CCD imaging targets, software downloads, and more.

If you bought the book in a bookstore, follow the instructions below to obtain your usename and password. Thank you for trusting me to lead you on the journey to CCD imaging. The trip has been a delight to me, and I hope that I have managed to convey my sense of excitement and wonder in these pages.

If you did not download this book direct from the publisher: Direct downloadrs automatically receive a username and password for the book web site. Other downloadrs need to fax the following information to the publisher to get their username and password: A copy of your receipt Your name, phone, and address in case there are any questions about your request Your email address very important; your username and password will be emailed to you If you have any comments or suggestions, wed love to hear them.

Many of those photons have crossed incredible distances to glide down the barrel of your telescope and strike the light-sensitive pixels of your camera. The photons knock some electrons loose.

The CCD camera counts and digitizes the data, and sends the results to your computer, where you see a picture. An example of a deep, long-exposure CCD image. Figure 1. This image of the Crescent Nebula involves a total of three hours of exposure time through various filters. Not every image has to take that long, of course. The Crescent Nebula in figure 1.

M42 is relatively bright, especially the core, and you can get reasonable results with much shorter exposures. Longer exposures, however, will still bring out more faint detail. Shorter exposures are easier when starting out, and they are a good way to get familiar with the processes involved in CCD imaging. To get good at CCD imaging, youll need to learn a lot of new things.

That challenge is part of what makes CCD imaging something special. There are some things that you might expect to be easy, like focusing, that turn out to be a significant challenge. Chapter 2 is dedicated to teaching you everything you might ever want to know about focusing. There are other things that you might expect to be hard, such as determining the exposure time, that turn out to be easy.

This book will take you through the learning process one step at a time, and tell you what to expect, and how to evaluate your results, so that you can get up to speed and taking images as soon as possible.

The New CCD Astronomy: How to Capture the Stars with a CCD Camera in Your Own Backyard.

The secrets to taking good CCD images are not really secrets. I can think of five things that will make for the best possible CCD images. Long exposures Precise focus A steady mount Precise polar alignment High-quality optics And, if you are a beginning CCD imager, you might as well add number six to the list: A fast focal ratio and a short focal length make it easier to image. It takes nine chapters and hundreds of pages to explore these areas, but it wont be long before you are putting these rules into practice and having a blast with CCD imaging.

An example of a short CCD exposure of a bright object M Why not use a film camera? Why not use a digital camera or a video camera? The short answer is that a specialized CCD camera has some distinct advantages over other technologies. There are some specific situations where other types of cameras do a better job than a CCD camera.

Your best choice depends on what you want to accomplish. A CCD camera is better than film because you can be successful with shorter exposures, and you get instant feedback on your technique because you can see the image right on your monitor. And some people prefer the visual appearance of film images. The CCD chips in cameras intended for astronomical use are typically cooled to 25 to 40 degrees Centigrade below the ambient temperature.

This allows you to take time exposures with dramatically less noise. BUT: Digital cameras take superb solar, lunar, and planetary images, especially through large, fast telescopes because they capture more light for shorter exposures.

A CCD camera can take exposures of an hour or more for deep images. BUT: Video cameras are great for live shots of the sun, moon and planets, and for sharing those images with an audience in real time. Film, digital cameras, and video cameras all have their place in the realm of astrophotography. But CCD cameras, with their superb quality, instant feedback, and low noise, are a cut above the others for most purposes.

CCD is much easier than film in many ways. I have the utmost respect for successful film astrophotographers. I rely totally on the CCD cameras ability to help me focus, and to show me immediately if Ive made a mistake. Film imagers have no such luxury. The New CCD Astronomy Chapter 1: Using a CCD Camera If you have already bought a CCD camera, or are in the market for one, you can rest assured that its one of the easiest ways to get incredible images of galaxies, clusters, planets, nebulae, and all the other cool things out there in the universe.

It starts the way any visual observing session would start: setting up the telescope in the usual manner. Most CCD imaging is done with some form of equatorial mount.

Astronomy ccd pdf new the

Such a mount must be aligned to the north celestial pole. Imaging requires a more accurate polar alignment, but there are tricks for getting that done. Most types of telescopes are suitable for CCD imaging, but the mount must track very accurately to be suitable. The CCD camera attaches to the focuser. Most CCD cameras have a 1.

A Newtonian has the eyepiece far up on the tube, and that is where you would mount a CCD camera. Schmidt-Cassegrains, refractors, and many other types of telescopes have the eyepiece holder at the back of the scope, and thats where you put the CCD camera. You attach the camera the same way you would attach an eyepiece.

You can mount CCD cameras in other ways on some telescopes, such as using a motorized focuser or a more secure connection between telescope and camera. Each camera and telescope manufacturer offers different options, so there are many ways to attach a CCD camera. If you need help deciding how best to mount your camera, visit the discussion group for the book.

The camera has cables that connect to your computer. Once the camera is on, you connect to the camera with software that controls the cameras functions. Using the camera control software, you choose settings such as the amount of cooling to use, whether to image with the full CCD chip or just a portion of it, whether to bin join pixels to increase sensitivity, and so on. You may vary these choices during the course of the night as needed. Focusing is the next step. There are many ways to rough focus a CCD camera.

For example, you can use a parfocal eyepiece to get close to focus, and then do critical focusing with the CCD camera in place. Most CCD cameras come with software that allows you to rapidly download a small portion of the image. You can use this visual feedback from the camera control program to evaluate focus as you make changes.

The real trick is learning how to do critical focusing. As mentioned earlier, theres an entire chapter to help you learn how to focus. Even a small error in focus position can affect the image, so its worth taking the time to focus accurately. The more you do it, the better you get at it. You refocus periodically during the night because focus changes with temperature, and sometimes with the physical movement of the telescope.

Once you are focused, its time to point the telescope at the object you want to image. You can do this using a finder scope, or you can use digital setting circles or a goto mount to aim the telescope. The smaller your CCD chip and the longer your focal length, the more of a challenge this will be. Goto scopes are very popular for CCD imaging because they let you put objects on the chip more easily.

However, all goto scopes are not created equal. To put objects on the chip reliably, youll need a first class mount. A little hunting around is common at longer focal lengths. If you have star-hopping skills from your visual observing, you will find them useful for CCD imaging. Some CCD imagers use an autoguider. This is a second CCD chip or camera that is aimed at the same area of the sky as the imaging camera.

The main purpose of autoguiding is to allow you to take the long exposures needed for better quality images. The autoguider takes images at regular intervals, and measures the position of a guide star. The autoguider software then adjusts the mount to keep the guide star centered. If you are using an autoguider, the key step is to find a suitably bright guide star. If necessary, you take a few minutes to perform a guiding calibration.

This allows the autoguider software to learn the speed at which your mount moves to make guide corrections. You then initiate the autoguiding process.

Like focusing, autoguiding is a skill that will take a little time to master. This will give you results similar to taking a single long exposure. A person taking single images might take images of minutes, although this can vary quite a bit. A person taking multiple images might take a bunch of minute exposures totaling minutes to get roughly the same results. When the image is done, the camera shutter closes, and the camera reads out the image from the CCD chip, converts it to digital format, and the camera conFigure 1.

It looks like a disaster! Fear not; cally take some test exposures to find out how long of there is a good image lurking under all that noise. This is the longest exposure you can take of a given object, and it varies with declination.

The Figure 1. The same image as above, after image reduction. At this point, you are focused, you are pointing at the object you want to image, and now all you have to do is take a long enough exposure to get the image. Various factors can limit the longest exposure -- skyglow, mount capabilities, whether or not you are guiding, etc.

Astronomy the new pdf ccd

A fully-processed image of NGC There are enough variables in CCD imaging that you will often need to take a moment to check the image. Is it well focused? Is the object of interest centered properly? Did the autoguiding work OK? Did the mount track accurately? If anything goes wrong, you can see it right away and fix the problem.

You can then take another image if necessary.

When you have a satisfactory image or sequence of images, you find another object and do it all over again. Either before or after your imaging session, you will take some special images. These are called bias frames, dark frames, and flat-field frames. These images record the noise characteristics of your camera and optics. Later, during image processing, you will use the special frames to clean up your regular images in a process called image reduction.

The noise is largely gone, and what remains is a pretty cool image. Finally, you will use various image processing tools to brighten, darken, sharpen, smooth, crop, sum, average, resize, colorize and otherwise process the images to make them look their best. CCD imaging really is magic!

CCD Exposures An image can take anywhere from a few milliseconds to a few hours to capture. Bright objects like planets, the moon, and the sun are often imaged with the shortest possible exposure times. Some cameras may not have short enough exposure times, and you can use a filter to cut the brightness, just as you would use a moon filter to cut the brightness for visual observing of the moon.

These include bright nebulae like M42 and Eta Carinae and galaxies like M However, many of these bright objects also have very dim details, so it also pays to take long exposures of such objects. You will need to use special techniques to preserve both the brightest and dimmest details of the object. This is explained in detail in chapters 3, 6and 9.

If you image in color, most cameras require a filter wheel with red, green, and blue filters. You take an image through each color filter, and then use software to combine them to create a color image. This is called an RGB image.

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You can also combine a white-light luminance image with the red, green, and blue images. These are called LRGB images. Chapter 7 will get you going with color imaging. When you are starting out, you will probably begin with short exposures.

As you learn more about how to control the mount, the camera, and the software involved, you will enjoy the many improvements that come from taking longer and longer exposures.

This can take the form of long single exposures, or combined exposures that are the sum or median of many shorter exposures. For more information about the relative advantages of long exposures and combined exposures, please see chapter 3. A comparison of a long exposure left and a short exposure right. When it comes to imaging the dimmest deep-sky objects, long exposures are best.

Images of 5, 10, even 30 to 60 minutes can be used for such objects to reveal subtle details clearly. Supports Windows, Mac and Linux and has a few more catalog add-ons available. CyberSky 5 is a run of the mill planetarium program. It offers the standard features in that the night sky can be viewed at any date in time.

While not the prettiest program out there, this serves two main purposes: it keeps the price down and speeds up the program.

The New CCD Astronomy - IceInSpace

Most new programs use Open GL for that real sky look but comes at the ex pence of computer processor usage, graphics usage and memory usage. I tested this program and found it does what it is supposed to do. It is Windows only program but will run om XP, Vista, and 7 in both 32 bit and 64 bit modes. Specialty Observing Programs: These programs are not full featured planetariums, but specialize in specific objects. DeepSky - I had a chance to use this software and it does a lot.

While not as smooth or cohesive as TheSky, it does do several things well. With a bit of a learning curve, one gets a list of available targets for the evening so a plan can be made. An image of the object is available so you have an idea what the target is; so when ready, you can view its location on their built-in chart, send the target info to your goto system and enjoy.

Pdf astronomy new the ccd

From the, note of what you see can also be performed. It keeps a detailed log, and you can share online. Be sure to give it a go! It has imbedded maps, listings of major Lunar features, and Lunar time tables for anything you want to know. It's a program designed to provide information on the four Galilean moons of Jupiter - and does it well. Heavenscape software has a nice program called Satellite Tracker.

This program allows full control of a Meade or Celestron computer controlled telescope to track the orbiting satellites - like the International Space Station and various communication satellites. Halley - Electronic Catalog of Comets. This is a Windows program that maintains a current list of by database. It includes a fast search and export to ECS format. It provides accurate UT as well as Sun and Moon rise and set time and much more.

The program includes the current sun, moon, eclipses and ephemerides for all the planets, minor planets and comets. DeepSky - This program is a large and useful program. A quick setup to tell the program where you live will allow it to list available DeepSky objects in view for the evening.

There is also an observers log and an optional add-on for telescope control. Click on an object of interest and you are presented with a DSS image. You can view a Moon map and create custom star charts. CCD Control and Imaging Software: This will be the longest list as there are many of these types of programs available.

I will keep the descriptions short for this list.