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Beginning Webcam Images

This page reflects a bit of history. I took some of the images on this page many years ago using very inexpensive equipment. But this is how I caught the astrophotography bug. I can't describe the feeling the first time I attached a webcam to the eyepiece of my Meade dobsonian telescope and actually captured my first image of the moon. I didn't know if it would work, but it did!!! Wow, that was really something.

I took this picture of the moon on the morning of 2/3/02 during full daylight with a completely stock Phillips ToUcam Pro webcam and the Meade 8inch Dob. I had seen some stunning photos on the web done with these very inexpensive digital cameras and I wanted to try it for myself. This was essentially "first light" for me with a webcam.

This moon shot was taken afocal. That is, I shot through an eyepiece on the Meade telescope using an inexpensive 38mm erfle eyepiece purchased from the Surplus Shed and an adapter made with some pvc pipe and black electrical tape to hold the camera steady. This was the start of my long journey and love of astrophotography.

I had tried to get a good picture of Saturn, but until recently had really failed miserably. So far, this is the best I have been able to manage, and is the result of using a different piece of software, K3CCD Tools, to control my webcam. I have Dave Scott from the UK to thank for the kind advice.

Over the years, I have gotten advice and help from many other amateur astrophotographers. I have also done the same for others. Hey, we were all sort of making it up as we went along, using consumer equipment that was never designed for astrophotography. It was both cheap and fun...

(Time Passes) It is now seven years later. I have gotten a bit better at processing astrophotos, so I pulled out some of the very old data (January 2, 2004) and took another swing at processing the pictures. I think the improvement is obvious and significant.

I did the same thing with some of the old data of Jupiter from April 17, 2005. I don't think I will even continue to show the older image, the new one is just too much better... I am now a little embarrassed by the older images.

Here is the re-processessing of some more old data, this time from May 30, 2006. This image was also taken with an original ToUcam Pro webcam.

I tried to take a shot of the Orion Nebula on January 31, 2003 with my webcam, and in one shot, I managed to catch a satellite flying across the face of Orion. I am including a very small animated gif of the occurance here. Just click on the small image to see a slightly larger movie of the satellite. Animated Gif's tend to get pretty large in a hurry, so I tried to make this one as small as possible and still be able to see the satellite. However, I must warn you that the larger animation is pretty big and will take a minute or two to load.



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