HOW DOES IT WORK?
The CCD camera is mounted on the back of a telescope (or even a camera lens) and the image formed by the optics is projected onto the chip.
Light striking each of the pixels on the CCD chip is converted to electric charge. This charge is greater where there is more light and less
where there is less light. At the end of each exposure, the charge on each pixel is read by the computer and the picture is formed. During this exposure
the telescope must track the stars VERY precisely. In fact, the most important part of CCD imaging is a good telescope drive.
WHAT KIND OF CAMERA DO YOU USE?
I have used five different cameras, most made by Santa Barbara Instruments.
HOW ARE THE IMAGES PROCESSED?
The images are collected and the camera controlled using MaxImDL. The images are usually processed using PhotoShop and MIRA A/P, two very advanced astronomical image processing programs made by Adobe and Axiom Research, respectively. Most basic processing and image enhancement are done with these programs. Once this processing is done the images are converted into .TIF format and processed for the web page or printing
using Adobe Photoshop. I also use Ray Gralak's "Sigma", RegiStar, PixInsight LE, as well as a couple basic programs that I wrote myself.