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THE TOOLS OF TAKING PHOTOGRAPHS

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D: ASTROPHOTOGRAPHY

THE TOOLS OF TAKING PHOTOGRAPHS

Film cameras have been used for over a hundred years to take photographs of the night sky. They produce wonderfully detailed photos of astronomical objects, with superb resolution, in either black and white or color.
Today’s astrophotographer is less likely than in past years to use a film camera for astrophotography, however. Film requires much longer exposures to be taken, putting stringent requirements on the stability of the telescope’s mount and the steadiness of the air when shooting. Terrific photos can be and are being taken by astrophotographers, but the difficulty of taking the shots, combined with the difficulties of processing them for image enhancement after they are taken, have reduced the popularity of film cameras. For the modern astrophotographer, they are all but obsolete.

Most of us own a digital camera. Today’s cameras have large chips and huge internal memories, and can be used to take wonderful shots of celestial objects. Many celestial objects are difficult to view through the lens and difficult to view in the viewscreen (the Moon and planets are exceptions), so, though an SLR camera is nice, it is not essential.

You can also take photographs through a telescope with a webcam. Webcams are decent at shooting the very brightest of objects—the Moon and planets—but their low sensitivity makes them poor for shooting the other objects in the sky. The use of webcams to shoot the solar system has declined, recently, due to the presence of inexpensive lunar and planetary imagers from Meade and Celestron.

CCD (Charge-Coupled Detector) cameras have also become more affordable for the amateur of late. These have much more sensitive chips and are specifically engineered for the astrophotographer to shoot the Universe through the telescope. They are lighter than most digital cameras and take better pictures, but they require the picture be immediately downloaded to a computer in the field (to a laptop, usually). The universal availability of these sensitive, but low cost, cameras has made the presence of laptop computers at any star party as common as mosquitoes.

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APOGEE CCD DIGITAL CAMERAS

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Apogee High Performance Cooled CCD Camera SysteHigh System, U4000C 2048 x 2048 7.4μ USB CAMERA-STD GRADE MONOCHROMATIC
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Apogee High Performance Cooled CCD Camera SysteHigh System, U4000C 2048 x 2048 7.4μ USB CAMERA-STD GRADE MONOCHROMATIC
Item No. 752-02070
Manuf. No. Apogee D01F-NOSHD-U04022-CMSA

The Alta U4000 and U4000C have a 4-megapixel interline transfer sensor with high quantum efficiency and twice the dynamic range of similar Sony sensors.
 
Our Price: $6,661.00
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Apogee High Performance Cooled CCD Camera SysteHigh System, U4000 2048 x 2048 7.4μ USB CAMERA-STD GRADE MONOCHROMATIC
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Apogee High Performance Cooled CCD Camera SysteHigh System, U4000 2048 x 2048 7.4μ USB CAMERA-STD GRADE MONOCHROMATIC
Item No. 752-02069
Manuf. No. Apogee D01F-NOSHD-U04022-MMSA

The Alta U4000 and U4000C have a 4-megapixel interline transfer sensor with high quantum efficiency and twice the dynamic range of similar Sony sensors.
 
Our Price: $6,661.00
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Apogee High Performance Cooled CCD Camera SysteHigh System, U2000C 1600x1200 7.4μ USB CAMERA-STD GRADE MONOCHROMATIC
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Apogee High Performance Cooled CCD Camera SysteHigh System, U2000C 1600x1200 7.4μ USB CAMERA-STD GRADE MONOCHROMATIC
Item No. 752-02068
Manuf. No. Apogee D01F-NOSHD-U02020-CMSA

The Alta U2000C is a 2-megapixel interline sensor with high quantum efficiency and twice the dynamic range of similar Sony sensors. Low noise and small pixels are ideal for OEMs, biological sciences, microscopy, and fundus imaging.
 
Our Price: $5,278.00
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Apogee High Performance Cooled CCD Camera SysteHigh System, U2000 1600x1200 7.4μ USB CAMERA-STD GRADE MONOCHROMATIC
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Apogee High Performance Cooled CCD Camera SysteHigh System, U2000 1600x1200 7.4μ USB CAMERA-STD GRADE MONOCHROMATIC
Item No. 752-02067
Manuf. No. Apogee D01F-NOSHD-U02020-MMSA

The Alta U2000 is a 2-megapixel interline sensor with high quantum efficiency and twice the dynamic range of similar Sony sensors. Low noise and small pixels are ideal for OEMs, biological sciences, microscopy, and fundus imaging.
 
Our Price: $5,278.00
Buy Apogee High Performance Cooled CCD Camera SysteHigh System, U2000 1600x1200 7.4μ USB CAMERA-STD GRADE MONOCHROMATIC
 

Apogee High Performance Cooled CCD Camera SysteHigh System, U8300C 3448x2574 5.4μ USB CAMERA-STD GRADE MONOCHROMATIC
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Apogee High Performance Cooled CCD Camera SysteHigh System, U8300C 3448x2574 5.4μ USB CAMERA-STD GRADE MONOCHROMATIC
Item No. 752-02066
Manuf. No. Apogee D02F-MG43D-U08300-CMSA

The Alta U8300 uses a medium format 8-megapixel Kodak Blue Plus sensor, ideal for applications requiring a large field of view with a smaller pixel. The U8300C uses the color version of the CCD.
 
Our Price: $4,439.00
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Apogee High Performance Cooled CCD Camera SysteHigh System, U8300 3448x2574 5.4μ USB CAMERA-STD GRADE MONOCHROMATIC
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Apogee High Performance Cooled CCD Camera SysteHigh System, U8300 3448x2574 5.4μ USB CAMERA-STD GRADE MONOCHROMATIC
Item No. 752-02065
Manuf. No. Apogee D02F-MG43D-U08300-MMSA

The Alta U8300 uses a medium format 8-megapixel Kodak Blue Plus sensor, ideal for applications requiring a large field of view with a smaller pixel. The U8300C uses the color version of the CCD.
 
Our Price: $4,439.00
Buy Apogee High Performance Cooled CCD Camera SysteHigh System, U8300 3448x2574 5.4μ USB CAMERA-STD GRADE MONOCHROMATIC
 

Apogee High Performance Cooled CCD Camera SysteHigh System, U1109 2048x506 12μ USB CAMERA-STD GRADE, UV ENHANCED, D02F-MG43D-U01009-UVSA
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Apogee High Performance Cooled CCD Camera SysteHigh System, U1109 2048x506 12μ USB CAMERA-STD GRADE, UV ENHANCED, D02F-MG43D-U01009-UVSA
Item No. 752-02064
Manuf. No. Apogee D02F-MG43D-U01009-UVSA

The Alta U1109 has a back-illuminated full frame spectroscopy format CCD with exceptionally high quantum efficiency across the visible and in the UV. The 12 micron pixels allow high spectral resolution.
 
Our Price: $7,495.00
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Apogee High Performance Cooled CCD Camera SysteHigh System, U1109 2048x506 12μ USB CAMERA-STD GRADE, UV ENHANCED, D02F-MG43D-U01109-UVSA
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Apogee High Performance Cooled CCD Camera SysteHigh System, U1109 2048x506 12μ USB CAMERA-STD GRADE, UV ENHANCED, D02F-MG43D-U01109-UVSA
Item No. 752-02063
Manuf. No. Apogee D02F-MG43D-U01109-UVSA

The Alta U1109 has a back-illuminated full frame spectroscopy format CCD with exceptionally high quantum efficiency across the visible and in the UV. The 12 micron pixels allow high spectral resolution.
 
Our Price: $8,695.00
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Apogee High Performance Cooled CCD Camera SysteHigh System, U230 2048x2048 15μ USB CAMERA, CLASS 1
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Apogee High Performance Cooled CCD Camera SysteHigh System, U230 2048x2048 15μ USB CAMERA, CLASS 1
Item No. 752-02062
Manuf. No. Apogee D07F-MG63S-U00230-MB1A

The Alta U3041 uses a very large format 4-megapixel back-illuminated sensor, ideal for applications requiring large field of view, such as sky surveys and radiology.
 
Our Price: $44,300.00
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Apogee High Performance Cooled CCD Camera SysteHigh System, U3041 2048x2048 15μ USB CAMERA, CLASS 2, UV ENHANCED
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Apogee High Performance Cooled CCD Camera SysteHigh System, U3041 2048x2048 15μ USB CAMERA, CLASS 2, UV ENHANCED
Item No. 752-02060
Manuf. No. Apogee D07F-MG63D-U03041-UV1A

The Alta U3041 uses a very large format 4-megapixel back-illuminated sensor, ideal for applications requiring large field of view, such as sky surveys and radiology.
 
Our Price: $36,995.00
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Apogee High Performance Cooled CCD Camera SysteHigh System, U3041 2048x2048 15μ USB CAMERA, CLASS 1, UV ENHANCED
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Apogee High Performance Cooled CCD Camera SysteHigh System, U3041 2048x2048 15μ USB CAMERA, CLASS 1, UV ENHANCED
Item No. 752-02059
Manuf. No. Apogee D07F-MG63D-U03041-UV0A

The Alta U3041 uses a very large format 4-megapixel back-illuminated sensor, ideal for applications requiring large field of view, such as sky surveys and radiology.
 
Our Price: $41,995.00
Buy Apogee High Performance Cooled CCD Camera SysteHigh System, U3041 2048x2048 15μ USB CAMERA, CLASS 1, UV ENHANCED
 

Apogee High Performance Cooled CCD Camera SysteHigh System, U3041 2048x2048 15μ USB CAMERA, CLASS 2
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Apogee High Performance Cooled CCD Camera SysteHigh System, U3041 2048x2048 15μ USB CAMERA, CLASS 2
Item No. 752-02057
Manuf. No. Apogee D07F-MG63D-U03041-BB2A

The Alta U3041 uses a very large format 4-megapixel back-illuminated sensor, ideal for applications requiring large field of view, such as sky surveys and radiology.
 
Our Price: $36,995.00
Buy Apogee High Performance Cooled CCD Camera SysteHigh System, U3041 2048x2048 15μ USB CAMERA, CLASS 2
 

Apogee High Performance Cooled CCD Camera SysteHigh System, U3041 2048x2048 15μ USB CAMERA, CLASS 1
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Apogee High Performance Cooled CCD Camera SysteHigh System, U3041 2048x2048 15μ USB CAMERA, CLASS 1
Item No. 752-02056
Manuf. No. Apogee D07F-MG63D-U03041-BB1A

The Alta U3041 uses a very large format 4-megapixel back-illuminated sensor, ideal for applications requiring large field of view, such as sky surveys and radiology.
 
Our Price: $41,995.00
Buy Apogee High Performance Cooled CCD Camera SysteHigh System, U3041 2048x2048 15μ USB CAMERA, CLASS 1
 

Apogee High Performance Cooled CCD Camera SysteHigh System, U43 2048 x 2048 24μ USB CAMERA, CLASS 2
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Apogee High Performance Cooled CCD Camera SysteHigh System, U43 2048 x 2048 24μ USB CAMERA, CLASS 2
Item No. 752-02055
Manuf. No. Apogee D10F-VS90S-U04320-MN2A

The Alta U43 uses an exceptionally large format monochrome 4-megapixel full frame front-illuminated sensor. Its large pixels give it very high full well capacity, making it ideal for applications high dynamic range
 
Our Price: $34,995.00
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Apogee High Performance Cooled CCD Camera SysteHigh System, U43 2048 x 2048 24μ USB CAMERA, CLASS 1
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Apogee High Performance Cooled CCD Camera SysteHigh System, U43 2048 x 2048 24μ USB CAMERA, CLASS 1
Item No. 752-02054
Manuf. No. Apogee D10F-VS90S-U04320-MN1A

The Alta U43 uses an exceptionally large format monochrome 4-megapixel full frame front-illuminated sensor. Its large pixels give it very high full well capacity, making it ideal for applications high dynamic range
 
Our Price: $45,995.00
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