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This Page Updated
21st October 2016


....a new form of imaging
Exceptionally high sensitiviy, incredibly low noise, miniature, USB2.0 imaging/autoguiding camera
Introducing the latest compact imaging/guide camera from Starlight Xpress.

The Ultrastar is an excellent entry level imaging camera. When used with the ‘Starlight LIVE’ software, the camera can be easily configured to take a series or continuous short exposures, automatically adding the images together as it goes, building up the image in front of your very eyes.

This concept is perfect for public outreach programs where the images can be seen ‘developing’ in real time, ensuring that not only photons are captured, but also their imagination. Schools and curriculum based astronomy projects will also benefit greatly from this form of imaging.

The Ultrastar is incredibly compact in size. It is powered and driven through the mini-USB connection on the rear of the camera, (<200mA drawn from the USB socket), which makes it perfect for mobile setups and remote field operation as well being easily transported. Combine all of these features with the free ‘Starlight LIVE’ software, Live Viewing imaging is suddenly amazingly simple and very effective.
Conventional long-exposure imaging is also perfectly practical with the Ultrastar. The camera is uncooled, but its dark signal is very low and any warm pixels are easily removed by applying hot pixel filters, or by stacking ‘dithered’ images. Conventional dark frame subtraction can also be used. It is also supplied with original Starlight Xpress imaging software.

The Ultrastar is also a formidable guide camera!
For years, the Lodestar has been held in the highest regard as being the best autoguider on the market as well as having a following of astronomers using it as a Galaxy Imager. The Ultrastar takes this use to a whole new level with the new 2/3” format ExView II CCD from Sony - now with almost twice the imaging area and a progressive scan CCD, the Ultrastar is even better suited for this role.

Key Features:

Big things can come in small packages and the Ultrastar, really is no exception. This compact guide camera is packed full of great features:

  1. ONLY 1¼" in diameter allows it to drop neatly into your 1¼" eyepiece holder - no additional adaptors required.
  2. Large Imaging Area (8.98mm x 6.71mm) giving you a wide field of view for framing galaxies or finding a suitable guide star.
  3. Sensitivity - with an impressive 75% QE, and large pixels, the Ultrastar just sucks up those photons. Sensitivity is key, but combined with the incredibly low noise of the Ultrastar, images has just appear even easier.
  4. ‘Full size RJ12’ Autoguider Port - No need to run extra cables from your computer to control your mount corrections.
  5. Powered by the USB of your computer so no need to carry an extra power supply with you - one less thing to forget when you are on your way to the Star Party.
  6. Compact and solid aluminium contruction.
  The latest EXview HAD CCD II from Sony. Super sensitive and in a 2/3” format CCD, giving you a large area to both image galaxies and planetary nebular or find a suitable guide star if used as a guide camera 
  Peak sensitivity in the yellow part of the visible spectrum with a very high 75% Quantum Efficiency. 
  The Ultrastar has a full size RJ12 guider socket with ‘ST4’ output via Opto-Isolators (optical relays) with switching currents up to 50mA. 
  Takahashi EM200 Wiring Conversion Diagram. 
ULTRASTAR Specifications
  CCD Type :   IXC825AL Sony Exview interline CCD with ver y low dark current and vertical anti-blooming.
  CCD Full Resolution Pixel Data :    Pixel Size: 6.45uM x 6.45uM, Image Format: 1392 x 1040 pixels
  CCD Image Area :   8.98mm (Horizontal) x 6.71mm (Vertical)
  CCD Quality :   Grade 1
  Spectral Response :    QE Max at 620nM (~75%), 45% at 400nM and 770nM.
  Readout Noise :   Typically 5 electrons RMS
  Full-well Capacity :   Greater than 23,000 e- (unbinned)
  Anti-Blooming :   Overload margin greater than 1000x.
  Dark Current :   Dark frame saturation time greater than 1 hour. Less than 0.1 electrons/second @ + 10C ambient.
  Data Format :   16 bits
  System Gain :   0.3 e/ADU 
  Computer Interface :   Built-in USB 2.0 compatible interface.
  Image Download Time :    2 frames per second (in full resolution).
  Power Requirements :   USB powered.
  Cooling System :   Ambient air cooling.
  Size :   31.75 x 85mm black anodised aluminium barrel with 1" x 32tpi 'C Mount' thread at the CCD window end & input/output plugs at rear.
  Weight :   approx. 85g.
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