Collins Electro Optics

Intensified Imaging Systems



Dear fellow astronomer;


                Recently, I was able to gather an impressive array of Messier object images. Here you will find 8 that represent the variety of objects that the I Cubed performs well on. Part of the challenge that I have faced is to accurately represent what a person will see when looking into the I Cubed under typical “backyard” conditions using a modest size telescope. First I should explain what my own equipment and observing conditions are. The telescope I used to create the enclosed images is an Astrophysics 7” f9 refractor. I used a Canon D30 digital camera with a Sigma 50mm macro lens attached to the rear of the I Cubed to actually capture the image present on the phosphor screen in the I3.The exposure times were typically 6 seconds at f4 to f5.6.ISO setting was 200 for all images. An important consideration here is that even though the AP refractor is a fantastic scope and I am fortunate to own one, an 8” SCT will do an equally good job when used with the I3 and a larger Newtonian or SCT will perform even better. The bottom line is that you do not need a large telescope or fabulous optics to see images as well as they appear on the enclosed page. The seeing conditions at my own backyard site are, when conditions are good (no moon etc.) between visual magnitude 4 to 4.2.On the best nights I can just see the presence of the milky way. Of the 8 images, M16 and M17 were both in the area of highest skyglow. If you look closely at the M16 image you can clearly see the 2 pillars where new stars are being formed. The Hubble space telescope imaged this same region with amazing detail. I believe that anyone would agree that the detail in all 8 images is remarkable considering the size of the telescope, the seeing conditions and the fact that these are representative of the same real time images that you see immediately when you look into the I3. All 8 images look very much like long exposure CCD images! If you would like to discuss how image intensified astronomy may benefit your own observing, please call me, I would be happy to speak to you at length about the I Cubed image intensified eyepiece.   




Bill Collins, President