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Moravian Instruments CCD Cameras
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Cooled CCD cameras for low light imaging in astronomy and microscopy.
Cooled CCD cameras for low light imaging in astronomy and microscopy.

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Marco Burali choose a pair of galaxies NGC4631 and NGC4656 for his latest image. These galaxies are much less known to general public than e.g. the “Leo Triplet” galaxies presented earlier. Still, this sharp image shows beautiful details in the dark lanes made of interstellar material in the respective galaxies as well as irregularities in the galaxy shapes, hinting gravitational interaction with other galaxies.

Marco used his G3-16200 camera on the BRC 250 f/5 telescope. The image was created as combination of 4 hours long luminance image with 3 hour of exposures of color (red, green and blue) images.

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SIPS v3.4.1 "Ryzen Update" -- two times the cores, two times computing speed

http://www.gxccd.com/art?id=510&lang=409
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Hubble Space Telescope deserves the highest praise for the overwhelming number of important discoveries in astronomy, but astrophotographers know this wonderful instruments also due to popularizing of false-color images acquired in narrow bands of the light spectrum. The so-called “HST palette” is often used also by amateurs to assign red, green and blue visible colors to visualize nebulae imaged in SII, Hα and OIII spectral lines (the emission nebulae emit vast majority of light in these three wavelengths only). We call this way of visualizing “false colors”, because the colors used are more or less different from the real “color” of the respective emission lines.

When Remus used his new G4-16000 camera on the Astrophysics AP130GT telescope to image the iconic Rosette nebula through narrow band filters, he also used the HST palette to visualize the nebula. The image was acquired in Malaysia with total exposure time 10 hours. More details are on author’s web site www.celestialportraits.com.

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Dovetail mount adapter for Gx cameras

http://www.gxccd.com/art?id=508&lang=409
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The “Leo triplet” of galaxies consists of M65, M66 and NGC3628. All three galaxies appear very close to each other on our sky, so they fit to single field of view of many telescopes (or to one astrophotography frame). M65 and M66 are the two galaxies on the right side of the image, they are bright enough to be seen even by a small telescope. This is why they were added to the oldest Messier catalog of deep-sky objects. Apparently, the much dimmer NGC3628 was overlooked by astronomers, who put together the Messier catalog. Despite this image does not show this (astronomical images are highly processed to reveal as much details as possible), the NGC3628 is much dimmer compared to M65 and M66 and greater telescopes must be used to observe it. Either way, details of the NGC3628 dark lanes, covering the star-rich center of the galaxy, as well as M65 and M66 spiral structures, can be revealed only by long-exposure photography.
The image below was created by Marco Burali with G3-16200 camera on Takahashi BRC 250 telescope. Marco acquired 3 hours of luminance exposures and one hour for each red, green and blue colors. Visit the http://www.osservatoriomtm.it/public/immagini/394NGC3628_BRC16200LRGB.jpg site see full resolution image.

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Gx CCD cameras now available with a slight touch of color

http://www.gxccd.com/art?id=505&lang=409
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“These three stars are Orion belt, right?” Orion belongs among a few constellations, which can be recognized by non-astronomers (or at last some of them). If the weather is good and light pollution is low, a somewhat brighter patch of the sky, sometimes known as Orion’s sword, appears just under the belt. Small binoculars reveal the possible dispute if the sword is just a group of stars or some hazy brightening of the sky – it reveals a Great Orion Nebula, the brightest glowing interstellar gas cloud visible from the northern hemisphere. This nebula offers really stunning view in large telescope and it is probably the only one bright enough, that a human eye can recognize a trace of colors. But as usual, only a long exposure astrophotography reveals the real beauty of Orion, filled with different kinds of nebulae, shining in different colors and even the dark nebulae, normally visible only as silhouettes blocking light from background stars, glow with reflected light of stars on this beautiful image.
This particular image was created as mosaic of two frames, captured by Pavel Vabrousek with his G3-16200 camera with Kowa Prominar 90/350mm lens. Total exposure time is 11 hours.

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New 8-positions XS external filter wheel for G2 cameras
http://www.gxccd.com/art?id=504&lang=409
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The NGC 6888 “Crescent” nebula in Cygnus is known mainly thanks to astronomical photographs, as it shines almost purely in deep-red color of Hα line and blue-green color of OIII line. The nebula itself was created by intense radiation of the Wolf-Rayet star WR 136 (the massive blue star close to the nebula center). But this exceptionally detailed image shows one more nebula, called the “Soap bubble”, lower left from the Crescent. This nebula was also created when a star ended its live and pushed its outer layer to the surrounding space. This nebula is much dimmer than Crescent. It was discovered only in July 2008 by amateur astronomer Dave Jurasevich.
This image was acquired by Martin Myslivec with G3-16200 camera on 30cm astrograph. The image is captured mainly in two Hα and OIII narrow-band filters, total exposure time in these two filters was 34 hours. But the image is presented in real colors. To get proper color information, standard RGB images with 9 hours of accumulated exposure were also acquired and the resulting image was combined from narrow-band and RGB frames.
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We used slogan “Every Photon Counts” from the time we created our first KAF-0402 based astronomical CCD camera. The latest image of the NGC1333 reflection nebula (the bright blue patch close to the image center), taken by Martin Myslivec with G3-16200 camera on the 30cm f/3.8 astrograph, nicely illustrates what we mean by the phrase. The image contains many more interesting objects beside the NGC1333, especially the Herbig-Haro objects – deep red spots on the top-left part of the image. HH objects are in fact very young stars, still surrounded by gas and dust, from which stars (and possibly their planets) are born. And of course, the image is filled with lanes of dark nebulae, glowing only thanks to ambient light of stars of our Galaxy.

Back to the “Every Photon Counts” phrase. Brownish clouds are very dark and very hard to image, so their appearance is a clear sign, that the image belongs to state-of-the-arts astrophotographs. Martin calculated amounts of photons for various parts of the nebula and his findings are breathtaking. While single camera pixel accumulated just 1.30 photons per pixel per second from the dark patches of the sky (caused by sky glow), the brownish nebula generated just 1.34 photons per pixel per second. This means the dark lanes generate just 24 more photons per pixel during 10 minutes long exposure compared to background sky. We are proud Martin uses our cameras and his beautiful images clearly show that every photon counts. More on this topic on the http://www.hvbo.cz/index.php?id=ngc1333&lang=en web site.

Please note the fraction counts of photons are only statistical averages. Of course, photons cannot be split :).
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