The Astra180 USB All Sky Camera from StarSync Trackers is a great tool to see sky conditions to aid your astronomy work or to just enjoy unique nighttime and daytime views of the sky.
The Astra180 USB Camera is a USB astronomy camera in a weatherproof housing enclosure that can be mounted permanently outdoors. It is equipped with a fisheye lens and is designed to take wide field images of the sky. Inside the All-Sky Camera is a USB3 Player One Ceres-C camera which uses the Sony IMX224 sensor.
The All-Sky Camera is equipped with a ~ 3-watt dew heater. To prevent the camera from overheating and minimize thermal noise, the dew heater is outfitted with a temperature sensor that activates the heater only when temperatures are below ~70F(21C) and is turned off when it is higher than ~80F(27C).
The Astra180 USB’s camera is powered by the USB connection itself, while the heater needs a separate DC power with 5 Volts and rated for at least 1.5 Amps. The camera’s power supply features a weather-resistant connector and comes equipped with a 32-ft low-voltage cable on one end and a 9-ft AC voltage cable on the other. The camera’s USB is connected directly to a computer using a USB cable, which is plugged into the computer’s USB port.
There are several software options for utilizing the Astra180 USB All Sky Camera. General image capture software such as KStars/EKOS, NINA, FireCapture, SharpCap, MaximDL and others can be used to operate the Astra180 but may not unlock all of its abilities. UFOCapture is a software option that is intended for capturing celestial occurrences such as vivid meteors and has a longstanding history of recording brilliant fireballs.
The AllSkEye application is a free, dedicated Windows ‘All-Sky’ imaging app for use with astronomical all-sky cameras. This software package offers an extensive range of features and includes built-in drivers and provides support for both ASCOM and INDIGO. The software offers numerous features specifically tailored for all-sky use. While the free version is highly capable on its own, the PRO version, which comes with a nominal fee, offers additional exclusive features.
The Astra180 USB All Sky Camera features and capabilities include:
– Get instant status of remote or local observatory sky conditions
– See clouds before they get in your frame
– Visualize sky conditions from night to night
– Can show the Milky Way (event winter Milky Way), Aurora, smoke, air glow, even high thin clouds
– Compatible with many software packages
– ASCOM Compatible
– INDI Compatible
– 180°x130° and 180°x180° lens options available
– USB 3.0 (USB 2.0 compatible)
– Capable of capture still images and video
– 1.2 Mega Pixels (1304×976)
You can learn more about the Astra180 USB All Sky Camera here.
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