Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - 66

Video Observing

Electronic
Eyes
Curtis
Vincent
Macchioni

Increase your telescope's reach
with an astrovideo camera.

CURTIS MACCHIONI

Video-assisted observing has become increasingly
popular among amateur astronomers in recent years.
Part of this trend is due to the growing problem of light
pollution; video can show you far more from a typical
suburban backyard than the same telescope can from a
dark site. In fact, enhancing your observing experience
with an astrovideo camera reveals objects in the night
sky as unambiguous galaxies, nebulae, and star clusters,
rather than as the vague smudges they often appear in an
eyepiece. But more than this, an astrovideo camera can
virtually increase the aperture of your telescope by a factor
of three or more at a fraction of the cost of a larger scope.
Amateurs have been mating their telescopes with
video cameras since the early 1980s. Video cameras at
the time weren't very sensitive and therefore were generally limited to objects like the Sun, Moon, and bright
planets, or the occasional occultation of bright stars. It
wasn't until the turn of the century that high-sensitivity
video cameras began to enter the amateur arena and
interest in video astronomy began to grow.
Today, analog video cameras designed for deep-sky
observing are available from Mallincam (mallincam.net),
Astro-Video Systems (astro-video.com), and Orion Telescopes & Binoculars (oriontelescopes.com), with prices
starting around $100. Additionally, surveillance cameras
can easily be adapted for video observing.
These cameras have several features in common
that allow them to capture bright images of deep-sky
objects (DSOs). The most important is their ability to

66

GEARING UP The author's typical setup includes a Celestron
C9.25 Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope, Mallincam Xtreme camera, Phillips LCD monitor, and a DC power supply.

March 2016 sky & telescope


http://www.mallincam.net http://www.astro-video.com http://www.oriontelescopes.com

Sky and Telescope - March 2016

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Sky and Telescope - March 2016

Contents
Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - Cover1
Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - Cover2
Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - 1
Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - Contents
Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - 3
Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - A
Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - B
Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - 4
Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - 5
Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - 6
Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - 7
Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - 8
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Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - 65
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Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - Cover3
Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - Cover4
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