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Tag Archive: Philips SPC900NC/00 Webcam for Astrophotography


Jupiter_July7,2012

An animation of Jupiter demonstrating the planet’s rotation in a span of just 30 minutes, created from a total of 17,000 frames (equivalent to 40 gigabytes of image data), processed using IRIS. Jupiter completes 1 full rotation on its axis every 10 hours. Image captured through eyepiece projection method with a 4-in f/9 refractor, a 25 mm eyepiece, and a Philips SPC900NC/00 web camera. For more images of planets, click here.

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© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

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This is my first attempt to image Saturn this season. Imaging Saturn will be more favorable in the months to come as it nears its closest approach to Earth on April 2013. Image taken by a Sky-Watcher 100 ED 4-inch f/9 refractor on a Kenko NES mount, using a Philips SPC900NC web camera, 2 stacked 2X Barlow, and a Baader UV-IR filter. Photo Credit: Anthony Urbano. For more images of Saturn, click here.

For featured photos, click here.
For tutorials on how to get started with astrophotography, click here.
For DIY astronomy projects useful for astrophotography, click here.
To subscribe to this site, click here.

© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

Two of the most popular webcams used in astrophotography: Logitech Pro 4000 (left) and Philips SPC900NC (right).

The modest web camera (or webcam) quickly gained interest among amateur astronomers and is now considered as the equipment of choice for planetary imaging because it has two characteristics that are very much useful in astrophotography: (1) its lens can be removed much like the lens of a DSLR, making it possible to easily connect the webcam with any telescope and (2) it can record a huge number of still frames even in a short span of time (1-2 minutes), a feature particularly useful in a post-processing technique called registering and stacking.

saturn_may8_2016_logitech4000-2

Photo of Saturn taken on May 8, 2016. Image captured through eyepiece projection method with a 4-in f/9 refractor, UV-IR filter, a 5 mm eyepiece, and a Logitech Pro 4000 web camera. Processed using AutoStakkert and Registax.

In this article, I intend to describe how to image planets using a web camera as the main imaging device and then provide a brief overview of the post-processing technique. Read more.

For featured photos, click here.
For tutorials on how to get started with astrophotography, click here.
For DIY astronomy projects useful for astrophotography, click here.
To subscribe to this site, click here.

The Philips SPC900NC/00 is regarded as one of the best web cameras used in astrophotography, particularly in planetary imaging. By attaching the web camera to a telescope using a special type of adapter, it is now possible for amateur astronomers to take high-quality photos of planets. With some circuit modification, this camera may also be used as a guide camera for autoguiding purposes. Its main imaging sensor is a CCD, roughly 10 times more sensitive than the CMOS sensor used in other web cameras. Since not many cameras are equipped with CCDs (there’s only quite a few actually), it has earned a reputation of being one of the most sought-after web cameras in the astronomical community today.

The SPC900NC uses a true CCD imaging sensor (not the typical CMOS), which allows it to ‘see’ clearly even in low-light situations.

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