cel-les-tial (se-LES-chel) adj. heavenly, divine; of the sky, as defined by Webster. My most recent foray into the world of imagery involves the growing art of amateur CCD imaging. Using a special camera containing a CCD (charged coupled device) attached to a telescope, I can take digital photographs of the many thousands of celestial objects found in the night sky. The moon, planets, and other objects in the solar system are within easy reach, as are faint gaseous nebula and even galaxies far outside our own Milky Way. Many of these objects are far too faint to be seen with the naked eye, but are within easy reach of amateur CCD cameras. My CCD camera of choice is a PixCel 237 manufactured for Celestron by SBIG. It is coupled to a Celestron Celestar Fastar compatible 8 inch Schmidt Cassegrain telescope. This instrument allows very wide field views of the heavens when used with the PixCel 237. In special configurations, this telescope can image at f 1.95 providing exposures generally measured only in minutes or seconds. My mount and tracking platform is an Astro-Physics AP900 GTO German equatorial. This equipment is permanently housed at Darklight Observatory. Although the AP900 mount does allow longer unguided exposures than a standard fork mount, any mount sufficiently aligned on the pole or guided with a separate guide scope can be used to obtain Fastar images exactly like those in my galleries. My "stock" exposure length is only 120 seconds long. The magic of SBIG's Track and Accumulate function, coupled with the phenominal "speed" of the Fastar, makes imagery like mine easy to obtain.
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LUMINANCE CHROMATIC IMAGERY IMAGERY MOSAIC IMAGERY
NEW FASTAR 11 IMAGERY
CELESTRON'S FASTAR AND PIXCEL 237 SYSTEM
DARKLIGHT OBSERVATORY PAGE
A NIGHT AT DARKLIGHT OBSERVATORY
LINKS TO OTHER FASTAR USERS
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HITS SINCE 16. MARCH 1999
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