By Patrick Martinez
High-performance charged-couple equipment (CCD) cameras have unfolded a thrilling new window at the Universe for newbie astronomers. This publication offers an entire, self-contained consultant to picking and utilizing CCD cameras. starting with a no-nonsense creation to CCD cameras, the authors clarify what determines digital camera functionality and show easy methods to use a CCD digicam and properly calibrate the pictures received. The booklet additionally offers a transparent evaluate of the software program on hand for visualizing, studying and processing electronic pictures. eventually, the authors navigate a sequence of key parts in astronomy the place astronomers could make the easiest use of CCD cameras. this useful quantity is filled with useful suggestions. It presents a transparent creation to CCD astronomy for beginners and an necessary reference for more matured novice astronomers.
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Additional resources for A Practical Guide to CCD Astronomy (Practical Astronomy Handbooks)
The electric charge's exact value is the difference in voltage between these two levels. The average voltage of the video signal is about 10 V; hence, its variations, while the pixel's electric charge is at a maximum, are in the order of only 1; the measurement's accuracy we want for this signal is in the order of a dozen microvolts! To be able to amplify the signal, it is necessary to lower the variations to around 0 V; this is what electronics engineers call removing the DC component. This can be done by subtracting a continuous, perfectly stable voltage, precisely adjusted to the video signal's reference value, or by reading the signal through a capacitor.
Notice, in the lower right-hand corner, the signal caused by electroluminescence. It is this phenomenon that limits the camera's exposure time. Electroluminescence On certain CCDs, the output amplifier emits a very weak light, sufficient to create charge in pixels at the array's corner near the amplifier (the corner of the first pixel read in the first line read). Like thermal electrons, these charges are subtracted once the dark image has been removed, but they generate a noise of the same value and can bring about a saturation of the pixels concerned.
Finally, the lower the desired temperature, the more the camera body's insulation and cooling system become complex and the more the camera loses sensitivity in the red. The CCDs used in mass market video cameras are not confronted with this problem: each image is exposed for 1/25 s, which limits the number of thermal electrons generated. And since the scenes filmed provide a lot of light, the thermal noise is negligible compared to the photonic signal. It is not necessary, therefore, to cool these CCDs.
A Practical Guide to CCD Astronomy (Practical Astronomy Handbooks) by Patrick Martinez