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Indoor astronomy

  1. Dec 22, 2011 #1
    most good observing locations seem to be located in high-altitude, COLD, places. even though i am not at high altitude, it is still mighty cold at night here in oregon.

    what would you recommend for an affordable method to do basic observation where the scope is located outdoors but viewable on an indoor computer screen? is there a wireless solution, or would it have to be tethered?

    thanks.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 22, 2011 #2

    Pengwuino

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    If you can get the telescope within range of a wireless router/bridge/access point, you don't need to run an ethernet cable. So you have some fairly simple options there. How far away do you want the thing to be from your building/house?
     
  4. Dec 22, 2011 #3

    russ_watters

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    I have a 30' USB cable going from my couch to my deck. I've tried going wireless, using a second computer and Remote Desktop, but I'm having signal/data rate issues. Some recent upgrades may help that though...
     
  5. Dec 22, 2011 #4

    Pengwuino

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    Oh yah, by the way, is there a separate computer system out at your telescope that you want to access indoors (as my solution implied) or is your telescope just out by itself with equipment you can attach via USB (as russ implied)?
     
  6. Dec 22, 2011 #5
    the scope will be well within range of my router. what brand/model piece of gear would i need to look at to provide a CCD/CMOS sensor for the scope and wireless transmitter to talk to the router? and no, i dont want to have a second computer outside. what software would i need? thanks.
     
  7. Dec 22, 2011 #6

    russ_watters

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    Er, well that's a problem: cameras don't run third party software or have antennas. That's what computers are for. The closest you can probably get is wireless usb.
     
  8. Dec 22, 2011 #7

    Pengwuino

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    What's the model of the camera you have? As Russ said, you're going to need a computer or other device depending on what kind of camera you have and its functionality.
     
  9. Dec 22, 2011 #8
    yow - i obviously have some reading to do on this.
    one other quick question - why do all the ccd cameras made for telescopes have such low resolution? how can you do anything worthwhile with 1-2mp sensors? why dont any of them have sensors like ones found in normal P&S cameras (10-12mp)? i was hoping i could get some decent photos out of the setup...

    i currently have no gear at all - i sold my old 6" newtonian, and just sold my celestron c90. so i am starting from scratch.
     
  10. Dec 22, 2011 #9

    russ_watters

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    Three things:

    -Telescope CCDs are far higher quality than regular camera CCDs (heck - most point and shoots are cmos!).

    -Resolutions are misleading on normal cameras: they use a matrix of filters, so each pixel is only one color and the combined image is 1/3 the resolution you think it is.

    -Third, your monitor is probably about 80dpi, or the equivalent of a 0.15 megapixel standard sized print! You don't need as much resolution as you think.
     
  11. Dec 22, 2011 #10

    Pengwuino

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    Unless you plan on printing up large posters of your pictures :biggrin:

    Hey russ, is there a niche (or is it even the dominant market) for telescope cameras that are mainly for "pretty pictures"? That is, they aren't really made for scientific research?
     
  12. Dec 22, 2011 #11

    russ_watters

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    There are a number of cameras that use the same high res color chips of DSLR cameras, advertising "easy" (and many people use the DSLR cameras themselves), but "easy" and "pretty" are more or less inversely proportional to each other.
     
  13. Dec 22, 2011 #12
    Some reasons to compromise on image resolution.
    • Not much sense in having a greater resolution than the telescope's diffraction limit
    • Lower resolution means more photons per detector pixel
     
  14. Dec 22, 2011 #13

    Pengwuino

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    Aren't these more dependent on the actual pixel's angular resolution than the CCD resolution?
     
  15. Dec 22, 2011 #14
    The resolution here is indeed the detector pixels' angular resolution.
     
  16. Dec 22, 2011 #15

    russ_watters

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    A telescope has a specific resolution and field of view, so you can't just make bigger and bigger chips -- the two go together.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2011
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