Celestron has partnered with The Imaging Source, a leading international manufacturer of imaging products, to produce the Skyris 618M – a bold new USB 3.0 imaging camera that makes top-quality planetary imaging easy and affordable.
The Celestron Skyris 618M monochrome camera is designed for both beginning and advanced planetary imaging. Celestron has optimized the Skyris 618M for use with long focal length telescopes, such as Schmidt-Cassegrains and EdgeHD scopes.
The Skyris 618M is a monochrome camera that lets you capture wide dynamic range black-and-white planetary images instantly. An optional filter wheel is available for standard RGB tri-color imaging as well as specialized imaging through filters to emphasize various features, such as dust storms and high altitude clouds on Mars, subtle details within the bands on Jupiter and Saturn, and more. The Skyris does not have an optical window. This makes cleaning your camera easier and ensures maximum light transmission with no risk of internal reflections.
High speed internal components include a global shutter that reads all pixels simultaneously (instead of the slower one row at a time method typical of a conventional CCD) and a high-speed USB 3.0 connection. These allow short exposures that capture those fleeting moments of stable air for sharper images. To minimize the effects of turbulence in our atmosphere, the Celestron Skyris 618M can take up to 120 frames per second and choose the sharpest for you.
The included Celestron iCap image capture and stacking software (for Windows only) makes it easy for you to control your camera to take your images or movie file. The stacking software then automatically aligns and filters the best frames and stacks them to create your final images and export them for printing or posting online. Designed to take full advantage of the included software package, the Celestron Skyris 618M camera can bring out tremendous detail and produce planetary images that will rival those taken with astronomical cameras costing hundreds of dollars more.
The Celestron Skyris 618M’s small pixel size provides sub arc-second planetary detail with most telescopes. For example, with a typical 8" f/10 Schmidt-Cassegrain or EdgeHD scope the image scale is 0.55 arc seconds per pixel, almost an exact match for the 0.5 arc second per pixel resolution recommended by most seasoned planetary photographers. Sky coverage with an 8" f/10 scope measures approximately 4.4 x 5.8 arc minutes, a good size to record a typically 40 arc second and under planetary disk and its nearby moons.
Features of the Camera . . .
Imaging sensor: High sensitivity/high dynamic range Sony EXview HAD (Hole Accumulation Diode) ICX618ALA monochrome CMOS. Fast download global shutter. The sensor chip measures 4.46mm x 3.8mm (5.86 mm diagonal).
Resolution: 0.3 megapixels (640 pixels wide x 480 pixels high, 307,200 total pixels). Each pixel measures 5.6 microns square. 12-bit A/D conversion rate for a wide dynamic range.
Exposure range: From 0.005 to 10 seconds (user selectable) at frame rates up to 120 per second.
USB download: The Skyris 618M uses a fast USB 3.0 high speed connection to your computer (backwards compatible with USB 2.0) via a supplied 10' detachable USB cable. This allows fast data transfer of the camera’s uncompressed frames per second. You see your images almost as soon as you take them, making focusing quick and easy. There is virtually no delay between the moment the image is taken and when it appears on your computer screen.
Connection to the telescope: The Skyris 618M has a machined aluminum 1.25" nose piece that allows you to use it with any telescope having a 1.25” focuser. The nose piece is threaded for standard 1.25” eyepiece filters. Back focus is 19mm with the 1.25" nose piece. The nose piece is removable, exposing female C-mount threads (25.4 mm x 32 TPI).
Power requirements: No batteries or power supplies required. The camera is powered by your computer via the USB cable. Just plug the Skyris 618M’s USB cable into your laptop or PC and you are ready to image. No other power supplies are needed.
Minimum computer requirements: Pentium IV, 2.0 GHz; 1GB RAM; 24 or 32 bit graphics card; Windows
XP, Vista, Windows 7/8 (32 and 64 bit); DirectX 9.0c or higher; USB 2.0/3.0.
Included components: Skyris 618M camera with 1.25” eyepiece adapter; 10' USB 3.0 cable; a CD-ROM including image capture software to capture streaming video of what your telescope sees and Registax image processing software to align, filter, and stack individual frame into one high quality image or movie.