Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Atik is here



DSLR has been eventually replaced with dedicated astro camera - Atik 383L+. This one is equipped with monochrome Kodak sensor KAF-8300 with 5.4um pixel size and 8 Mpx resolution. The sensor is cooled by TEC to the temperature 40C lower than ambient. Comparing to the Atik 314L I previously had for some time the sensitivity seems to be similar, however 383 camera seems to be a little bit more noisy. Also noise is not so uniform as in 314L camera and it is harder to process it. KAF8300 sensor also has more hot pixels, however after cooling it to -20C everything looks quite ok :) The main difference is the pixel number - Atik 383 has over four times more pixels than 314L. In my opinion it is the best bang for the buck these days - there is no cheaper astro camera in the market with 8Mpx resolution.
The new setup is not completed yet - I still wait for OAG and coma corrector adapter, but the night was so sweet that I decided to take first light :) Camera was attached to the filter wheel only (standard filter set: LRGB, Hα, Oiii, Sii) and no coma corrector, so the only center part of the frame was usable. Guided with finder and QHY5 and cooled to -20C.

First of all first lights - the M57 Ring Nebula in Hα - single 10 minutes exposure. Nice ring, test passed :)



Next one is Abell 2197 galaxy cluster - contains about 300 galaxies and is over 400 million light years away. This one is 8x5 minutes luminance only. Galaxies as faint as 19.5mag have been recorded.


And then during the same night some narrowband imaging - M27 Dumbbell planetary nebula. I managed to collect 5x10 minutes for Hα and Oiii fitlers. So, M27 in hydrogen alpha line: 



and in the oxygen line:


and my first bicolor astropicture:


I must say the camera meets expectations - causes no problems during installation and work. If you look for high resolution and affordable astro camera I may recommend this one to you. Atik 383L+ is available both as monochrome camera and one shot color RGB camera.


Clear skies!

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