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Orion Parsec 8300M Astronomical Imaging Camera



  • Model: 52077
  • Manufactured by: Orion


Orion Parsec 8300M Astronomical Imaging Camera

* Full-frame 8.3 megapixel (8.5 effective) monochrome Kodak CCD chip
* Cutting edge technology for today's serious CCD imager's demands
* High performance at an affordable low price
* Superior resolution with 8.3 megapixel (8.5 effective), square 5.4 micron x 5.4 micron Kodak chip
* Regulated dual-stage thermoelectric cooling and adjustable fan dramatically reduces thermal noise
* Internal full-frame memory buffer ensures reliable image downloads
* Internal shutter means accurate dark frames can be taken automatically with no need to cover telescope

Orion is pleased to introduce the next generation of premium CCD imagers: the Parsec Astronomical Imaging Cameras. This bright new family features a full-frame 8.3 megapixel (8.5 effective) Kodak CCD chip. You'll get amazing results and equally amazing resolution, all for a modest investment.

The Parsec provides all the cutting edge technology and features that today's serious CCD imager demands, such as regulated dual-stage cooling, internal shutter, internal full-frame 32 megabyte memory buffer, and more. And still, it remains amazingly affordable.

You get peak performance, but at a significantly lower price. And, its compact size (4x4" wide, 3" long) provides a sleek fit for virtually any imaging telescope configuration. The high performance Parsec is built around the CCD chip's square 5.4 micron x 5.4 micron pixel size for superior resolution using Kodak's microlens technology for maximum sensitivity. Regulated dual-stage thermoelectric cooling (TEC) and adjustable fan dramatically reduces thermal noise. Accurate dark frames can be taken automatically. Thanks to the internal shutter there's no need to cover the telescope! The internal full-frame memory buffer ensures reliable image downloads every time, through a USB-2.0 connection (10' USB cable and 10' power cable compatible with 12 volt DC cigarette lighter sockets included).

Product Specifications:
Short for "charge-coupled device," an Imaging chip is a light-sensitive electronic detector used in making astronomical images. Sensitive over a wide range of wavelengths, and much more efficient than film in gathering light, Imaging Chips are often used to image extremely faint objects.

A thermoelectric cooler draws heat away from the chip, which lowers the overall electronic "noise" in the resulting image. For every 6 degrees drop in temperature, the dark noise in the image is reduced by half.

CCD cameras are very sensitive to a wide range of wavelengths, including farther out into the infra-red spectrum than we can see by eye. Normally this is never a problem when looking through the telescope, but a sensitive CCD camera will see this slightly out of focus region of the spectrum, resulting in fatter stars than normal. An IR filter will cut out this region of the spectrum leaving tightly focused stars and a better overall image.

The CCD full well capacity is the amount of signal electrons that can be properly collected and transferred by each pixel of the CCD. The higher the full well capacity, the more light the CCD pixels can collect without over saturating the signal.

Read noise exists in all CCD chips. It affects the image's signal to noise ratio, but as long as the noise exhibits a normal distribution, the resultant image will not be greatly affected by noise after processing.

Every CCD camera produces a certain amount of dark signal (or dark current), which accumulates in the pixels during an exposure. The dark signal is produced by heat, and is a source of noise in images. Some pixels are warmer or colder and affect the amount of dark signal for that individual pixel. Most of the dark signal can be removed by subtracting a dark frame.

Binning 1x1 simply means each pixel counts as one pixel. Binning 2x2 or more is a method of increasing the sensitivity of a CCD camera at the expense of resolution. Adjacent pixels are summed together into "super-pixels" which have better signal-to-noise ratio. So for example, binning 2x2 would cause 4 pixels to act as one larger pixel, providing a quarter of the resolution, but approximately four times the sensitivity.

Imaging sensor: Kodak KAF-8300 with microlensing, monochrome
Imaging sensor size: 17.96mm x 13.52mm
Pixel array: 3326 x 2504 (8,328,304 total)
Pixel size: 5.4 x 5.4
Imaging chip: Monochrome
Autoguider capability: Yes
Exposure range: 0.002 sec to infinity
A/D conversion: 16 bit
Thermoelectric cooling: Yes
IR Filter: No
Mounting: 2in. nozzle or t-thread
USB connection: High-speed 2.0
Software compatibility: Windows XP/Vista 32-bit
Full well capacity: 25500e-
Read noise: (RMS) 8e-
Dark signal: (at 0-deg C) 0.15e-/pixel/sec
Binning: 1x1, 2x2
Max cooling: -40C from ambient
Full frame download time: 11 sec
Backfocus distance (from T-threads): 29.24mm
Weight (oz.): 32.00
Warranty: One year

Manufacturer Info

Orion Telescopes