What is HyperStar Imaging?

HyperStar imaging is the fastest, easiest way to capture deep-sky images. The HyperStar lens converts a Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope (SCT) into an ultra-fast f/2 imaging system. When it comes to imaging, the most important aspect of an optical system isn't aperture, it's the focal ratio (f-number). The faster the focal ratio (smaller the f-number), the shorter the required exposure time. Normally an SCT operates at f/10. Converting it to f/2 makes the telescope 25x faster for capturing images! Exposures that might normally take hours now take mere minutes!

Converting the telescope between the HyperStar and normal f/10 configurations is very fast and easy. No tools are required. The secondary mirror is held in place by a ring, like the lid of a jar. Unthreading this ring allows the secondary mirror assembly to be lifted out of the corrector plate. The mirror is placed into a holder included with the HyperStar lens to keep it safe while it is out of the telescope. The HyperStar lens is threaded onto the front of the telescope in place of the secondary mirror. The camera is attached and imaging can begin. When HyperStar imaging is finished, the process is reversed. The secondary mirror assembly is indexed so the original collimation is retained. Converting from one configuration to the other takes only a couple minutes.

There are many advantages to imaging using HyperStar. The foremost is speed. Images require much less exposure time. Besides reducing the time required to take deep-sky images, short exposures also relax the other requirements for imaging. Normally deep-sky astrophotos require accurately polar-aligned equatorial mounts and a guidescope and autoguider to keep the telescope tracking perfectly for a long period of time. With HyperStar, the exposures are so short that guiding and polar alignment are not required! This makes HyperStar the perfect system for the novice astrophotographer because learning is fast and easy. But HyperStar lenses provide exquisite optical quality, making this system ideal for advanced imagers as well. Another advantage of HyperStar is the wide field of view. This allows smaller, inexpensive CCD cameras to capture large deep-sky objects. It also means that an SCT can be used for both narrow-field imaging (at f/10 or f/6.3 with a focal reducer) as well as wide-field imaging. Wide-field photos are normally taken with expensive apochromatic refractors at moderate focal ratios of f/5 to f/6. HyperStar offers the same field of view, high image quality, and 6 to 10 times shorter exposures!