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Next Stargazing Feb 18th
Next Stargazing Feb 18th

Tutorials

  • Aligning a Computerized Telescope for Imaging

    Aligning a Computerized Telescope for Imaging

    Note: For specific instructions on aligning various models of computerized telescopes, see the Aligning a Computerized Telescope section of theTelescope Basics site. Below are general recommendations for aligning for CCD imaging. Most computerized or goto telescopes need to be aligned...

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  • Choosing a Target

    When you first start imaging, you will probably want to take pictures of the objects you are familiar with from visual observing. This will allow you to see your favorite objects in spectacular new detail. Eventually, you might also want...

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  • Finding Celestial Objects

    Finding Celestial Objects

    Computerized telescopes are becoming increasingly popular. These telescopes make finding celestial objects extremely easy. However, there are still many non-computerized scopes out there, and even for users of goto scopes there are some tricks necessary for getting the exact picture...

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  • Capturing Images

    Capturing Images

    The telescope is now focused and we've determined how to find and center a target. Now the fun part! The following section walks you through the basics of taking basic exposures in black and white (the next section covers color)....

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  • Color Imaging

    Color Imaging

    It is recommended that you spend some time taking black and white exposures to learn the basics of focusing, finding, and capturing images. Once you have these techniques down you are ready to start taking images in full color! For...

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  • Capturing Images with a Webcam

    Taking pictures with a webcam can be one of the easiest ways to get into astronomical imaging, and it can yield incredible results. Since webcams are used to image the moon and planets, factors such as light pollution and tracking...

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  • Focusing

    Focusing

    Accurate focus is critical to obtaining high-quality CCD images. One of the many advantages of CCD imaging over film astrophotography is that achieving focus is much easier with a CCD camera. However, there are still some tricks to getting a...

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  • Guiding Tips

    Using a self-guiding CCD camera, the Track & Accumulate function, or a CCD autoguider, involves acquiring a guide star and then calibrating the autoguider in order to make corrections for slight tracking errors. Below are some tips for more easily...

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  • Exposure Times

    Determining the proper exposure time is as much an art as a science. For deep sky imaging, suffice to say that longer is always better, at least until light pollution starts to overwhelm the image. From a very dark location,...

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  • Image Processing Basics

    Image Processing Basics

    So, you have taken your first CCD images and they look pretty good, but you are ready to improve them. Image processing allows you to enhance CCD images using a wide variety of algorithms. However, keep in mind that image...

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  • Image Calibration

    Image Calibration

    Below are the basic steps involved in CCD image calibration. For step-by-step instructions with specific software packages, see the Software Instructions section. Getting Started The first thing that must be done to a raw CCD image is calibration. This is...

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  • Image Display

    Image Display

    The most basic processing step after image calibration is simply altering the way in which the image is displayed so it looks best on your computer screen. Computer screens are limited to displaying 256 shades of grey. This is all...

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