Amateur CCD Imaging

August 5, 2002 | Amateur Science | By: Mark VandeWettering

I’ve been interested in CCD imaging for quite some time, but haven’t had the scope + budget to really get involved. Nonetheless, I monitor a couple of CCD imaging mailing lists, and there are occasionally excellent pictures, pictures every bit as detailed as classic Sky Survey images such as those done at Palomar.

NASA thoughtfully provided SkyView, a web based application that allows you to search for images of a given set of coordinates in any of a large number of image wavelengths.

For instance, I dug out
this image of Stephan’s Quintet, a very nice
collection of rather faint galaxies in Pegasus using their DSS2 database.
It shows a number of interesting galaxies.

Browsing around the web for other pictures of this itneresting object revealed a number of other interesting pictures done with fairly modest amateur equipment.

Picture by Dean Johnson

Done with a Celestron C11, an f/3.3 focal reducer and an ST7

Picture by Mike Purcell

Mike’s picture was taken with a 10″ Meade from his driveway. Mike also has the distinction of having been to Grove Creek Observatory, where my friend Jeff and I spent a pleasant week in 1997.

Rob Gendler’s Picture

An awesome color picture of the region. Simply stunning. He apparently sells high quality color prints as well. Worth looking at his other pictures too.

Picture by Al Kelly

Al does fabulous work, this is done with a homebuilt CCD cookbook camera.

Great stuff. I’ll probably toss out some more pointers to interesting stuff in the not too distant future.