New ANNKE NCPT500 camera and ... Aurora Borealis!!

For a while, I have been looking to incorporate a second camera inside my observatory in order to be able to see the movement of the mount/telescope assembly from another angle and also to be able to do so without supporting LEDs (to avoid interfering with the imaging).

The camera I have installed is an ANNKE NCPT500 and the first thing I have to say is that I got the idea from the videos posted by Alvaro Ibáñez, @kokehtz, whom I would like to thank again for his help and comments when I set it up.

This camera has a 1/1.8" Progressive scan CMOS image sensor with a resolution of 3072 x 1728. It has a 2.8 mm lens @ f/1.0. The camera is weatherproof with an IP66 rating, and has a wide movement range: Pan 0º to 340º and Tilt -5º to 105º.

The result I can only describe as sensational: The first image on the right was taken on a moonless night (and of course without any supporting lighting).

The second image was taken with the camera pointed to the zenith. As you can see, the constellations are clearly recognizable. The diagonal field of view of the image is 125º: it is almost an "all" sky camera!

Not too bad for a camera under 90 €! (Click on the images for full resolution versions)

Aurora Borealis in Àger!!

When I opened the observatory roof from home on Friday 10 May 2024 (shortly after setting up the camera) I couldn't believe what I saw (third image): an aurora borealis in Àger (42º north latitude)!!

This image was taken around 23h, quite early on.

The fourth image, however, is taken around 1 h on Saturday, approximately at the peak and the increase in the aurora is clearly noticeable. Click on the images for full resolution versions (A very interesting article by Pepe Chambo (Cometografia @PepeChambo) on how to observe and image the Aurora Borealis can be found here).

The excitement of seeing an aurora borealis in Àger was such that I did not think of making a timelapse of the phenomenon. But as I did take a few images, what I have done is to produce a short video (one and a half minute) to show them and to compare them with the vision of the camera on a "normal" night as I have explained before.

The video can be viewed by clicking here or on the image below.

Observatory automation and remote operation with Talon6

No comments:

Post a Comment