CCD Deep Sky Astrophotography Images Section

Imaging with solid-state detectors complements astronomical photographs taken with standard film with repeatable spectral response, high-resolution images of small objects, the ability to pull very dim objects out of the sky fog, and greater speed with slow focal ratios. Images here are taken with the SBIG 237 and more recently the ST7E. They are with a 6" f/3.6 Schmidt Newtonian and my homebuilt 12.5" f/5. This provides about 1.2 arcseconds per pixel with the 12.5 inch and the 7E. I had to completely overhaul my mounting, drive, and optical tube assembly to get sharp images with the CCD. This was because the CCD sensor is 1/10 the size of 35mm film, and reqired much finer tracking, focusing and stability than anything I've tried before. Presented here is the most recent work with these cameras from the authors Observatory in Payson, Arizona.

My Observatory in Payson

Images of the 12.5" Newtonian

Viewing the images properly.

Except for the shots of telescope hardware, the remaing images are all astronomical. It is extremely important to make certain your monitor is adjusted properly or in specification to see the images clearly. The background brightness of the sky in all images should appear as a dark or medium grey shade, not black. If the left side of the image blends with the black border on this page, adjust your monitor up in brightness to the medium dark grey background. If the image is too dark, you will miss all the faint nebulosity.

Using the Adobe Industry Standard Calibration Chart Method:

Below is the industry standard Adobe greyscale monitor calibration chart. Adjust the brightness of your monitor if needed (usually upward as weve seen from experience) such that all the darkest squares can be seen distinctly from eachother as separate shades.


Calibration Chart

Image Library

Payson Aurora Page


Emission Nebula

Reflection Nebula

Planetary Nebula

Globular Clusters

Open Clusters


Moon and Planets

CCD Equipment (old)

Research topics on selected objects:

1. CCD-1: Images of deep sky objects taken during full moon

2. CCD-2: First images of two very faint comets

3. CCD-3: Fixing Light Pollution Gradients

4. Luminance Layering for Bright Objects

5. Finding Skiffs new Planetary

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