Author Options:

telescope camera for homemade super low light camera

i want a camera that can shoot in extremely low light without long exposure times.

it can be in black and white

it would be nice if it did this with a very large lens

so they make sensors for telescopes that are very sensitive, take very nice photos, are designedd to be hooked up to a computer and have whatever lens u stick in front of it work.

i think we could use an arduino* a really big lens, and a telescope camera to build our own digital cameras with whatever outr special needs may be.

1 Replies

mofoya (author)2012-12-03

Telescope cameras are not extremely sensitive.  They are instead designed for low noise.

For planetary photography, it is common to use a webcam to capture hundreds of images and then "add" the images together to increase the signal/noise ratio. When done with correctly, this method can produce spectacular images of the planets, but it takes a lot of time to get a single, final image.

The other end of the spectrum uses a higher resolution CCD to capture detail of faint, distant objects. Many people use a digital SLR camera with an adapter to connect it to the telescope. To make the faint objects appear, you still need to track the object and leave the shutter open for extended periods to capture enough light. The most significant factor in reducing exposure times is not the camera, but the telescope's aperture size. A 10" telescope will capture an object with a shorter exposure than will a 6" scope.

That being said, there are CCDs designed for astrophotography that are optimized for detecting the red light emitted by many objects in the night sky. The long exposure times are still an issue though. Even the Hubble Space Telescope spent 11 days exposing a single image! Therefore, the high end "telescope cameras" are built to be able to take long exposures without introducing much noise to the image data.