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Every photon counts...
Welcome to the Moravian Instruments web site devoted to CCD cameras for low light imaging in astronomy and microscopy.

NGC 2237 „Rosette“ nebula in Monoceros

Image taken with G3-16200 camera on 30 cm, f/3.8 astrograph

Total exposure time 31 hours through narrow-band filters

Author: Martin Myslivec

G4 cameras on the BART telescope
 CCD cameras caused revolution in astronomy. Despite amateur astronomers use them mainly to capture images of deep-sky objects in unprecedented details, CCD cameras are behind the inflation of our knowledge of the laws ruling the Universe, which we witness in recent years. (more...)
M83 “Southern Pinwheel” galaxy through 50 cm telescope
 Telescope with 50 cm diameter definitely belongs among big ones, at last for amateur astronomer. When combined with incredibly dark Chilean sky, exceptionally skilled and experienced group of amateur astronomers and last but not least the G4-16000 CCD camera, results are really stunning. Judge for yourselves. (more...)
NGC5128 “Centaurus A” and M83 “Southern Pinwheel” galaxies
 Images of two southern-hemisphere galaxies by Roger Gifkins clearly prove that even small camera can provide great images, of course when in the hands of highly skilled astro-photographer. Roger uses his G2-4000 camera on TOA 150 telescope. But exposure time, needed to capture such deep and detailed images, is counted in tens of hours. (more...)
SIPS v3.7.3 with significant bug fixes released
 Previous version 3.7 of SIPS introduced completely new mechanism of camera driver handling, allowing multiple SIPS instances to work with multiple cameras on the same PC, reconnecting to the predefined camera upon its arrival etc. Unfortunately these updates caused a stability issue when SIPS handled image acquisition. So the main purpose of v3.7.3 is to fix this problem and allow reliable camera control. (more...)
NGC2237 “Rosette” in Monoceros
 We have already seen the NGC 2237 “Rosette” nebula imaged by Martin Myslivec in real colors. Well, almost real colors, as this image was acquired through two narrow-band filers, passing only very small portions of the visible spectrum (deep-red Hα line and blue-green OIII line). But because the nebula shines mainly in these two colors, its appearance is close to how human’s eye could see it. Now Martin added another exposure, taken in near infra-red SII line, which is even redder that Hα line and human eye cannot see it. So, it is not possible present such images in real colors and so-called “false colors” are used instead. (more...)
SIPS v3.7
 Version 3.7 of the Scientific Image Processing System enhances camera handling interface. Internal enhancements would be appreciated mainly by programmers implementing drivers, but there is also new functionality available to users. New SIPS allows to define fixed configuration of cameras, to which should SIPS automatically connect regardless if particular cameras are online or not upon SIPS startup. This feature will be appreciated especially by astronomers using a fixed setup. And as usual, some problems identified in previous versions were fixed, improving overall SIPS reliability. (more...)
The Gx CCD camera drivers for INDILIB
 Standardized software interfaces bring the possibility to use various devices in many programs, providing device manufactures as well as software developers implement particular standard. ASCOM standard for CCD cameras and other astronomy equipment is widely used within the Windows operating system, while a new INDILIB initiative stars to appear as emerging standard in the world of Linux-based operating systems. Libraries and drivers supporting this standard are now available for all CCD cameras of the Gx series, connected through both USB and Ethernet. (more...)
Gx Camera Ethernet Adapter — Standard, Mini and Micro versions
 Gx Camera Ethernet Adapter allows connection of Gx series cameras (models G0 to G4) to the control computer using Ethernet interface and TCP/IP protocol stack (this means over Local or Wide Area Networks). Single Gx Camera Ethernet Adapter contains four USB 2.0 ports and allows connection of up to four Gx cameras at the same time (regardless of the specific series, cameras can be freely combined). (more...)
What can 64 bit operating system do and which driver versions to choose?
 “64 bits” is a new marketing buzz-word in the world of mobile phones and tablets, but it is rather common in the world of Personal Computers. Despite the 64 bit systems are available for many years, especially recently number of newly installed 32 bit systems sharply declines and 64 bit systems dominate. Surprisingly, general understanding what does it mean is very low and particularly baffling is the fact, that 64 bit operating system is (fortunately) perfectly capable to run 32 bit applications. The answer to the question which driver version (32 bit or 64 bit) to install requires understanding of a few concepts. (more...)
G2-0402, G2-1600, G2-3200, G2-8300, G2-2000 and G2-4000 CCD Cameras
 G2 series of small format CCD cameras uses high sensitive, low noise OnSemi Full-Frame and Interline-Transfer CCD detectors. While high-speed USB 2.0 interface allows plug-and-play operation and ensures download time within a few seconds, optional Ethernet interface provides camera connection to practically unlimited distance. Advanced analog electronics ensures uniform frames without artifacts and very low read noise. Efficient, regulated two-stage Peltier cooling keeps detectors frozen to minimize dark current. Compact and robust camera head integrates all electronics, mechanical shutter and optional internal filter wheel. Various threaded and bayonet adapters enable attaching of the camera to almost any optical system and numerous accessories like autoguiding cameras, off-axis guider adapters, external filter wheel etc. allow tailoring of the imaging system to almost every application. (more...)
External filter wheels for Gx CCD cameras
 The ability to capture individual exposures through various filters is one of the key features of the cooled CCD cameras, regardless if being used for scientific research or for astronomical photography. This is why the Gx CCD cameras were designed to include the filter wheel inside the camera head and to integrate filter wheel control into camera control from the beginning. When more than 5 or 6 filters are necessary or the filter wheel has to be used with G4 camera, the filter wheel is too large to be placed inside the camera head. External filter wheel is then the only option. (more...)
Off-Axis Guider adapter for G2 CCD cameras
 Guiding of telescope mount is a necessity for really long exposures even if a high-quality mount is used and mass produced “cheap” mounts require guiding even for short exposures. Guiding camera repeatedly images a selected star or a star pattern. Computer calculates differences in measured position and performs slight corrections to the mount to compensate for mechanical irregularities and other factors, e.g. refraction. Guiding camera can be attached to separate guiding telescope or off-axis guider can be used to feed the guiding camera with the light gathered by the main telescope, used for imaging. If the guider camera uses the same optics as the main imaging camera, it is crucially important to divert the light for it before the light reaches the filters. Numerous filter has so low light transmission (e.g. photometric B or UV filters, narrow-band filters etc.), that they effectively disable guiding with the exception of a very few very bright stars. (more...)
Back focal distances of Gx cameras
 Gx CCD cameras are available in many variants. There are small guiding and planetary G0 and G1 cameras, cooled G2 series, large format G3 and G4 series. G2, G3 and G4 cameras are provided without filter wheel and with internal or external filter wheel. These variants have different mechanical dimensions and naturally offer different back focal distance. (more...)
Large format G4-9000 and G4-16000 cooled CCD cameras
 Cooled CCD cameras of G4 series contain detectors with 36 × 36 mm area, which is 50% more than photographic “full-frame” format. G4 camera dimensions are the same like dimensions of G3 series. Also camera handling, software control, power supply and connection to the host PC using fast USB 2.0 interface is the same like in the case of G3 cameras. Filter wheel for 50 × 50 mm square filters (round filters of 50 mm diameter cause vignetting on such large CCD chips) cannot be placed inside the camera head due to limited space. But it is possible to connect external filter wheels for 5 or 7 large filters to the G4 camera, the camera head already contains connector for external filter wheel control. (more...)
G3-11000, G3-16200, G3-1000 and G3-6300 CCD Cameras
 Large format CCD cameras of the G3 series are designed for up to 24x36 mm (photographic “full-frame” format) CCD detectors. G3 series inherits from G2 cameras — camera handling, software control, power supply and connection to the host PC using fast USB interface is the same. Design of both series is very similar and although G3 camera head is naturally bigger, it contains all mechanics and electronics and offers only power and USB connectors. As like in the case of G2 cameras, G3 head contains mechanical shutter and integrated filter wheel for five 2-inch filters. Read noise is also limited only by CCD itself so G3 series surpasses competing products. Precisely regulated cooling achieves detector temperatures up to 50 °C below ambient temperature. (more...)
Moravian Instruments is now ISO9001 certified company
 Moravian Instruments quality management system successfully passed the certification, which confirmed that it complies to ISO9001:2001 standards. (more...)
G0 and G1series of imaging/guiding cameras
 The G0 and G1 series of CCD cameras is based on Sony ICX CCD detectors. Cameras are powered from the USB so they are connected to the PC with only single cable. Standard “Autoguider” port allows the camera to directly control telescope mount. G0 cameras are similar to ordinary 1.25" eyepiece. G1 camera head is somewhat bigger, because it contains cooling fan, which significantly reduces CCD dark current. G1 cameras are also equipped with standard CS-thread adapter, so they are compatible with various CCTV lenses, microscopes and other devices. (more...)
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