Abstract

Charge-coupled devices (CCD’s) on both large and small telescopes are revolutionizing astronomy, permitting studies to be made of objects up to 10 times fainter than possible by using photographic and video camera techniques. This is due both to the high quantum efficiency and to the photometric stability of the CCD. Chopping techniques, taking advantage of this stability, permit cancellation of low-level systematics. Faint galaxies and stars of 27-V magnitude are detected in 2-h integration on a 4-m telescope, corresponding to 0.02 (photons/sec)/pixel. Automated image preprocessing and pattern recognition at high data rates permit statistical studies to be made of multispectral CCD data. In the future the efficiency of large telescopes for survey studies will be improved by the use of CCD mosaics covering the entire usable focal plane.

© 1986 Optical Society of America

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