Astrophotography & CCD Imaging - 2017

To enrol in this unit, you must be accepted into a course from the provider. Read before you start

Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Postgraduate
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Fully Online
  • Prerequisites: Yes
  • Duration: 13 weeks
  • Government loans available: FEE-HELP
  • Availability for 2017: SP1
  • Availability for 2018: SP1
  • Assessment: Assignment - Newsgroups (20%) , Essay (30%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2017 Fees
Domestic 2,440.00
Domestic continuing 2,084.00
International 2,690.00
International continuing 2,334.00

Tuition fees are reduced for continuing registered SWI students.
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This unit will discuss the principles behind the imaging of astronomical objects with telescopes, conventional cameras and CCD cameras, plus the use of computer techniques for image processing. It will focus particularly on techniques and equipment within reach of the serious amateur astronomer.

At the completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Understand the fundamental principles and techniques involved in the imaging of astronomical objects with telescopes, conventional cameras and CCD cameras
  2. Understand the use of computer techniques for image processing
  3. Have an awareness of the range of optical astronomical targets available to amateur astronomers
  4. Have a good knowledge of current trends in observing techniques in both amateur and professional astronomy
  5. Discuss basic principles and concepts of astrophotography and CCD imaging in a non-technical way understandable to the wider public
  6. Research an astronomy topic in depth, using dependable sources of astronomical information on the internet and/or observational means.
  • Assignment — Newsgroups (20%)
  • Essay (30%)
  • Project (20%)
  • Test — Online tests (30%)

Equivalent units

You cannot enrol in this unit if you have successfully completed any of the following unit(s) because they are considered academically equivalent:

  • HET609 — Astrophotography & CCD Imaging

Recommended prerequisites

You are recommended to have completed the following unit(s) or have equivalent knowledge before starting this unit:

In order to enrol in this unit, you must be accepted into one of the following courses:

Please visit the course details page and read the Requirements tab for more information about eligibility.

This unit addresses the following topics.

1Introduction to astronomical coordinate systems
2Principles of telescopic imaging
3Principles of photographic imaging
4Film properties and processing
5Digital Astrophotography
6Principles of CCD imaging
7Principles of CCD data reduction
8Photometry and colours
9Properties of astronomical targets
10Future trends in astronomical observing

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Instructional Methods

  • Discussion Forum/Discussion Board
  • Embedded Multimedia
  • Online Quizzes/Tests
  • Online assignment submission
  • Podcasting/Lecture capture
  • Web links

This unit is a core requirement in the following courses:

This unit may be eligible for credit towards other courses:

  1. Many undergraduate courses on offer through OUA include 'open elective' where any OUA unit can be credited to the course. You need to check the Award Requirements on the course page for the number of allowed open electives and any level limitations.
  2. In other cases, the content of this unit might be relevant to a course on offer through OUA or elsewhere. In order to receive credit for this unit in the course you will need to supply the provider institution with a copy of the Unit Profile in the approved format, which you can download here. Note that the Unit Profile is set at the start of the year, and if textbooks change this may not match the Co-Op textbook list.

Textbooks are subject to change within the academic year. Students are advised to purchase their books no earlier than one to two months before the start of a unit.

Click on the titles of the listed books below to find out more:

Required textbooks

  • Digital SLR Astrophotography


    ISBN: 9780521700818


    Supplier:Go to The Co-op Bookshop

  • Handbook of CCD Astronomy 2ed


    ISBN: 9780521617628


    Supplier:Go to The Co-op Bookshop

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