MX916 CCD camera

MX916 CCD camera
MX916 CCD camera

MX916 CCD camera + C14

Comparison image (MX916 /ST-7 FOV)

M51 images (Integration times- 1Min, 2Min, 3Min) (2x2 binning)
M51 images (Integration times- 10Min, Sum and Median Sum) (2x2 binning)
M51 (3x1Min Median Sum) (2x2 binning)
M57 (3x3Min Sum) (1x1 binning)
M11 (3x3Min Sum) (1x1 binning)

The 'MX916' is a brand-new introduction to the Starlight Xpress 'X' range of cameras and is designed to offer an exceptionally high sensitivity across the entire visible spectrum and into the near UV. The latest in 'microlens' technology from Sony has almost eliminated the 'dead area' from this CCD and has increased the quantum efficiency to more than 60% over much of the visible spectrum. This compares very favourably with the low values (< 40%) offered by many commonly used full-frame CCDs in astronomical cameras. In addition, the exceptionally low dark signal of less than 0.1 electrons per pixel per second, gives a very flat background on even long exposure images.

Dark frame 1min
Dark frame 2min
Flat (median sum of 5 images)

This large format CCD (8.7 x 6.7mm) is well suited to longer focal length optical assemblies, and the large (23.2 x 22.4 uM) near-square pixels are ideal for very deep-sky supernova and asteroid searches.

Take a look at a few (dark subtracted and flat fielded) images obtained with the C14 at F/6 (integration times between 3 and 6 Min).

M1,M1,M2,M3, M3,M4,M8,M9, M10,M11,M12,M13, M15,M16,M17,M19, M20,M22,M27,M28, M42,M42,M43,M51, M51,M51,M53,M56, M57,M57,M62,M63, M65,M65,M66,M66, M71,M74,M75,M77, M78,M80,M79,M81, M82,M87,M88,M88, M92,M94,M95,M96, M97,M98,M100,M101,M105, M106,M107,M108,M109, NGC2403,NGC2841,NGC2903.

Click on images for full-sized view.

Messier objects (Virgo and Leo) C14 F/6 + MX916 (3min integration each image)
Messier objects (M11, M13, M22, M57, M71, M87) C14 F/6 + MX916 (3x1Min Sum each image)
Messier objects (M3, M51, M53, M63, M64, M65, M66, M85, M94, M99, M100, M106) C14 F/6 + MX916 (3 to 6min integration each image- FULL MOON)
Summer Deep-Sky objects (Takahashi FS102 F/8, MX916, 6 and 10 min integrations)
Winter Deep-Sky objects (Takahashi FS102 F/6, MX916, 6 and 10 min integrations)
RGB images obtained with the C14 F/6 and True Technology dichroic filters (integration times 1 to 6 min for each filter).

M5,M8, M12,M17,M20, M22,M27,M42,M51,M57.

LRGB images obtained with the same equipment. LRGB uses a conventional (and in many cases low quality) RGB color image and combines it with a high quality (high S/N) greyscale image of the same object. This combination is done so that only the color information is taken from the RGB image, thereby “dumping” the noise often present in these images. The clarity of the final product, or “luminance” (hence the “L” in LRGB), comes largely from the clear, high S/N, greyscale image. The result is a much cleaner, more esthetic image.


M42 (comparison image RGB/LRGB).
M42 (comparison image CMY/LCMY).

Mosaic Images (RGB and LRGB)
(M13, M51, M57, M27)
(M11, M17, M20, M12)
(NGC7009, M5, M80, M22)
(M8, M94, M16, M51)

RGB images Takahashi FS102 + mx916 1x1 binning RGB images Takahashi FS102 + mx916 1x1 binning

The MX916 is constructed in a robust black anodised aluminium barrel, 63mm in diameter and 95mm long and is supplied complete with both 2 inch and 1.25 inch drawtube adaptors. The 2 inch adaptor may also be used as a M42 'Pentax' thread lens mount and extension tube. In common with other Starlight Xpress cameras, the MX916 is driven from the parallel port of a PC computer and comes complete with Windows-based control and processing software.

Technical specifications

  • CCD type: Sony ICX083AL SuperHAD CCD with ultra low dark current and vertical anti-blooming.
  • CCD pixel data: Pixel size: 23.2 x 22.4uM, Image format: 376 x 290 pixels (unbinned).
  • CCD size: Imaging area: 8.7mm (horizontal) x 6.7mm (vertical).
  • Spectral response: Peak response at 520nM (Green), 50% at 400nM (Violet) and 670nM (Near infra-red). (Note the very good blue light performance, excellent for tri-colour and photometric work.)
  • Quantum efficiency: Approx. 65% peak at 520nM.
  • Readout noise: Approx. 15 electrons RMS.
  • Full-well capacity: Greater than 300,000 e- .
  • Anti-blooming: Overload margin greater than 800x
  • Dark current: Dark frame saturation time greater than 100 hours. Less than 0.1 electrons/ second at +10C ambient.
  • Data format: Full 16 bits.
  • Computer interface: 8 bit unidirectional parallel port with bi-directional status lines (Standard Centronics interface). 25 pin 'D' style plug for LPT1, 2 or 3, via a 5 metre x 6mm diameter cable.
  • Image download time: Typically 6 seconds with a 66MHz 486 PC.
  • Power requirements: 115VAC / 240VAC @ 12VA, or 12VDC @ 900 milliamps max.
  • Cooling system: Regulated constant-current cooling supply built-in. Single-stage thermoelectric cooler to give a CCD temperature of approximately -30C below ambient.
  • Size: 63 x 95mm black anodised aluminium barrel with M42 thread at CCD window end and 15 way 'D' style input plug at rear.
  • Weight: 250g.