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Images FAQ

My picture has small white circles in the image some with dark dots at the centre

This sounds as if the image is not in focus. The focuser on Galaxy cam learns how best to focus. It is not at its best at the beginning of the night when the temperature is changing rapidly. It should get better. Constellation cam and Cluster cam should always be in focus.

There seem to be large blobs in a Constellation camera image

These are probably clouds. It is difficult to say robotically if it is clear or there is high cirrus clouds. If you asked for a colour image the clouds normally move and there will be different colours as the clouds move across the field during the exposure.

There are some stars but there is a large white blob in the middle of the image that swamps everything

For constellation and cluster cameras: This is probably because the image was taken when the Moon was up. The Moon is very bright and causes a bright background on all the images.

I do have point like star images but some of the brighter ones are vertical lines and thicker in the middle

This is due to overexposure. The CCD converts the photons of light into electrons which it collects in little electrical wells on the surface of the CCD. When these are full they overflow along the surface columns of the CCD.

The images I have are not circular

This is probably due to poor tracking. If you asked for a colour image the colours will be side by side. The tracking should improve as we put more intelligence into it.

My image is upside down

This is often the case. The telescope has to twist considerably as it tracks the objects through the night and so objects can appear to be upside down. All they need is to be rotated. They should not need to be flipped as mirror images since this is already done.

There is something blocking the sides of my Constellation camera image

The constellation camera has a 45 degree field and sometimes includes part of the dome in the image.

There is a big white dome in my Constellation camera image

The dome next to the Bradford Robotic Telescope is one run by the European Space Agency to track debris in space and to develop laser communications with satellites. Look at the photo galleries to see pictures of the site and the ESA dome.

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