"First Light" Captured by Department's CCD CameraMarch 4, 2010
The picture here is our "First Light" taken by Kristen Pechan, Dwight Russell and Joel Alexander using the department's telescope and CCD camera system. The telescope is an 11" Celestron Scmhidt-Cassegrain system with Nexstar computer controlled positioning and tracking. The camera is a SBIG ST-237.
In order to get an image the size of the Orion Nebula, about a 1/3 the size of the Moon, the CCD camera is mounted at the prime focus of the telescope using FASTAR optics. The color image is a composite of three images taken with color filters. Red and Green filter exposures were for 30s each and the Blue filter exposure was for 1:00 minute.
The longer exposure to blue light compensates for the variation in sensitivity CCD chips have across the visible spectrum CCD chips are typically less sensitive to blue light. Longer exposures are needed to get proper matching with the Green and Red. Not bad for a First Light! Just wait for things to come.