The Cloudy Moon
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My Solar System Astro Images

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 have 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 a 38mm erfle eyepiece and an adapter made with some pvc pipe to hold the camera steady.

I have tried to get a good picture of Saturn, but until recently have really failed miserably. The best I have been able to manage 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 that kind advice. Since then, I have refined my efforts until I managed this image the first week of 2004 using my new Nexstar 11 GPS.

This picture latest shot was taken with a Phillips ToUcam Pro webcam using a Televue 2.5x Powermate barlow in December 2004. The telescope used was my Nexstar 11GPS. This is a stack of images taken as avi files and then stacked again in Registax 2. Final processing was done in Paint Shop Pro 7.

With the addition of the Nexstar 11 GPS, I now have a newer picture of Jupiter. I am not sure it is better, but it is newer.

This next picture was taken with a Phillips ToUcam Pro webcam and my new Stellarvue 80/9 refractor. This picture is not really possible in one pass, at least not with my equipment. I took one avi file of about 750 frames very over-exposed to bring out the moons and another avi file the same length, but much dimmer to bring out the detail of the planet. After processing and stacking the two files, I stacked them, dim image over the bright one, in Paint Shop Pro using the layers function. I then dimmed the brightness of the central portion of the over-exposed image so the planet details could come out. I think the shot came out pretty well. If I am reading the chart right, that is Io and Europa on the right and Ganymede to the left of the planet... I think.

Using a Celestron Ultima barlow and my TouCam Pro camera on the Nexstar 8 GPS, I took this image of Mars on 8/16/03. This image is an accumulation of about 400 images stacked and sharpened using Registax.

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.


My new SAC8 camera has finally arrived. The learning curve with this camera is pretty steep, but I did capture a couple of pictures that are not too bad. I am still trying to work out the bugs, but I feel that I am making progress.

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