Charleston Lake
Imaging the Night Sky from Ontario Canada
Astronomical Cameras
CCD and CMOS Cameras
Imaging the sky in the digital age - employing both dedicated CCD Cameras, as well as DSLR (CMOS) cameras.

Our journey into digital imaging began with modified webcams, whereby the exposure duration could be adjusted much longer than the "stock" webcam.

Since then, we upgraded into dedicated Astronomy CCD cameras, and also modified DSLR cameras (CMOS).

At present, we are using an SBIG ST-8300M CCD camera, and a Canon EOS60D DSLR, filter modified for greater sensitivity to specific wavelengths of light.

In all cases, Deep Sky imaging requires long exposure sub-frames to be collected, saved, and then later stacked. The faint objects we are imaging have a small number of photons reaching the camera. But with long exposures, the wells in the CCD or imaging chip will eventually have enough photons to form an image. The stacking process - in it's simplest form, makes true signal additive, while background "noise" cancels, due to the random nature of noise.

For CCD cameras, integration times can be quite long for each sub-frame. Cooling reduces the thermal noise in the CCD chip

For CMOS cameras, such as the EOS60D, the sub-frame integration time is shorter than for CCD, but more images are added to the stack for a long exposure image.

For Planetary imaging, things are completely different than for Deep Sky. The targets are bright, and small, requiring high magnifications. The "Seeing" in our atmosphere causes distortions, so we want a high frame rate, to "Freeze" the seeing.

We use a high speed, small pixel camera by "The Imaging Source" DFK33UX179, a USB3 camera that supports 60FPS full frame, and 240FPS with sub-frame sizes.
Canon CMOS Sensor
Kodak KAF8300 CCD
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