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CCD Cameras

A typical CCD chip

CCD Cameras are very sensitive digital cameras. They are built around a Charge-Coupled Device (or CCD) that can detect photons (packets of light) falling into the millions of tiny buckets (or pixels) on its surface and then manipulate them so that they can be read, stored and used to reconstruct the image that the camera was looking at.

In other words, they can produce digital images. These digital images can then be transferred easily around the world using the Internet and processed using special astronomical data reduction software.

The electronic chips inside CCD cameras are very much like those in video cameras and small digital cameras. However, to make them more sensitive, they have to be kept very cold - usually below -100°C!

CCD cameras only measure the brightness of an object, not its colour, so special coloured filters are used to make simple measurements of the colours.

ATTENTION

Please note that over the weekend of the 26-28th May 2017 we will be switching over to our brand new website - during this time there may be periods where the site is difficult to access, and users will be unable to request observations from the telescope. Please bear with us during this time. All should be back up and running by the 29th May 2017.