DSLR Conversion

tevo

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I have a spare D90 laying around and I'm considering having it converted to IR or H-Alpha. IR has its obvious purpose but I'm unclear on the benefit of an H-Alpha conversion? I understand it is beneficial to astrophotography and I am planning on purchasing a telescope and/or tracker for an astro rig, but is the filter really necessary? Also, any information I should know about the IR camera would be appreciated.
 

amolitor

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I'm sure you read the same things I just googled up and more besides. It seems pretty clear that H-Alpha is an astro thing pretty much exclusively.
 

amolitor

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What is IR and H-alpha?

IR - Infrared
H-Alpha - a specific color of visible red, one of the characteristic light frequencies emitted by hydrogen when you heat it up
 

Patrice

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A camera modified for H-Alpha is much more sensitive to the red end of the spectrum. Most of the large emission nebulas contain a lot of heated hydrogen gas which emits red light. So such a camera is better suited to photographing those large phenomena which are collections of raw star matter. Look up 'Orion Nebula', 'North American Nebula', 'Horse Head Nebula', 'Running Man Nebula', ... there are a lot of them some of which stretch across vast expanses of the night sky. Most are so dim that many very long exposures stacked are necessary to photograph them and capture their colours to their best.
 
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tevo

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A camera modified for H-Alpha is much more sensitive to the red end of the spectrum. Most of the large emission nebulas contain a lot of heated hydrogen gas which emits red light. So such a camera is better suited to photographing those large phenomena which are collections of raw star matter. Look up 'Orion Nebula', 'North American Nebula', 'Horse Head Nebula', 'Running Man Nebula', ... there are a lot of them some of which stretch across vast expanses of the night sky. Most are so dim that many very long exposures stacked are necessary to photograph them and capture their colours to their best.

Thanks for the explanation! Do you think it'd be worth it?
 

Patrice

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Thanks for the explanation! Do you think it'd be worth it?

Depends on how committed you are. The camera is just one part of the astro imaging system and as in a chain analogy the whole system is only as good as its weakest link. I'm slowly acquiring the wherewithal to start imaging: Most important is the mount, a computerized EQ6, a pier to put it on, a roll of roof observatory to put it in, an ED100 as the imaging scope, an ST80 as the guiding scope, a Synguider as guiding camera, a D700 (un-modded) for now and a dedicated CCD imager later, Bathinov focussing aid, stacking software, ... etc. I've been into hobby astronomy for a few years with the idea of someday to start imaging and if I'm going to start I figure I might as well do it right.
 

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