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Camera Images the Unseen Eclipse

Photonics Spectra
Oct 1999
A complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) video camera attached to a 400-mm reflector telescope produced black-and-white images of the Aug. 11 total solar eclipse with details never before seen or recorded. The device, developed by the Institute for Microelectronics Stuttgart in Germany, uses high-dynamic-range digital technology to record light intensities that span five decades.

The dynamic range of the 320,000-pixel CMOS camera exceeds that of film by more than 100 times. The images were captured at 30 fps without washout or underexposure, enabling astronomers to study the varying intensity of the corona throughout the entire eclipse.


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