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How to do Mono CCD Deep-Space Astrophotography [Video]

Learn the basics of deep-space astrophotography — a brief guide to imaging deep-sky objects with a mono CCD camera.

Learn the basics of astrophotography with a mono CCD camera and understand what goes into capturing the data to make winning astro images. All astronomical images in the video are taken and processed by me.

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In this video I cover the basic ideas behind CCD imaging and how it can best be used to get stunning astro photos. I explain the basics of how a mono CCD is used to get beautiful colour images.

Topics covered

  • The premise of deep sky imaging
  • Software – Free software links and ideas
  • Stacking – Why it is done and how it benefits the imager
  • Components of astro imaging – Camera, telescope, mount, filters, etc.
  • Different ways to image the sky –  DSLR on a fixed tripod, DSLR on a tracking mount with a 300mm lens, DSLR with tracking mount and telescope, monochrome CCD camera with a telescope and tracking mount
  • Data capture –  How a colour image is created from a mono camera
  • Imaging kit
  • Exposure length – What it involves and how it is done
  • Putting it all together
  • Camera / telescope combinations – Field of view and what a difference different focal lengths make
  • Planning a target – Filters, exposure length, and numbers
  • Filters – Different filters, why they are used, and their differences
  • Mosaics – Planning a mosaic if the target is large
  • Other issues to think about – Light pollution, wind, season, moon

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About the author

Sara Wager

Sara Wager is a UK expat. She started imaging when she moved to Spain and it has now seemingly become a way of life! Initially enjoying general photography, she had an article published in a US photography magazine, but stuck firmly to astro imaging and its hardships in every sense.

She is an APOD recipient, winner of the International Astronomy Show 2015, and winner of Astrophotography Website of 2015 in Spain and Europe.

Sara has a home observatory in her garden and has had many published images, some competition wins and written articles for astronomy magazines. She is passionate about what she does as well as feeling a sense of responsibility for passing on help to others.

See more of Sara's work on her website.

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