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The G1-2000 camera captures the Sun at day, guides the equatorial mount at night
 Famous astrophotographer Martin Myslivec, awarded the “Astrophotographer of the year 2007” by the Czech Astronomical Society, use the G1-2000 camera for imaging of the Sun chromosphere in the Hα spectral line. The same camera is used to guide his EQ6 equatorial mount at night.

The G1-2000 camera with 1600 × 1200 pixels resolution and 16 bit digitization offers significantly higher sensitivity, resolution and dynamics compared to any TV or Web camera on the market. Exposure time can be set from 1/8000 of second, so it is possible to take images of very bright objects, like is the solar chromosphere imaged through narrow-band Hα filter. Small pixels of the G1-2000 camera can utilize the capabilities of modern high-quality apochromatic refractors.

Images of solar chromosphere taken on June 10th, 2008 (left), image of the Moon captured by G1-2000 camera through Borg 77ED APO refractor (right)

The CCD detector in the G1-2000 camera has dimensions 7.2 × 5.4 mm (8.9 mm diagonal, class 1/1.8 of inch), so its area is 4× bigger compared to typical 1/4 of inch detectors used in TV and Web cameras. Bigger detector area is very useful especially when searching for a star bright enough for reliable guiding. Relatively small pixels (4.4 m) allow detection of quite small mount irregularities even if the guiding telescope has short focal length. Control computer (desktop PC or laptop) is required for G1 camera operation, which on the other side brings the advantage of high computational power available for calculation of guide star centroid with sub-pixel precision. This also enhances guiding precision.

Maximal exposure time of G1 cameras is limited only by detector saturation. Compared to maximal exposure time of TV camera (1/50 or even 1/60 of second), only 1 second exposure, taken by sensitive CCD camera, allows detection of guiding stars many magnitudes fainter. Depending on the mount type and stability and the required autoguiding frequency the exposure time can be tens of seconds.

G1-2000 on the Borg 77ED refractor with Hα solar filter (left), Martin Myslivec and his telescopes (right)

All images on this page are courtesy of Martin Myslivec (http://foto.astronomy.cz).

 
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