Over the past couple of years, I have taken an interest in astrophotography. My eventual objective is to get a decent picture of all types of objects in the solar system, galaxy, and universe.

I initially took pictures with our Olympus C2040 camera pointing through the eyepiece of my 8", f4.5 Dobsonian, first with no clock drive, then with a drive on a 4.25" equatorial mount I cobbled up.  My 8" Dobsonian telescope

In Dec 2002, I bought a used Meade 10" LX50 Schmidt Cassegrain telescope (very nice), and then a few weeks later a Logitech QuickCam 3000 webcam. With a simple mount, I can use freeware to get a video of 300 or more frames, select the best, average and process for pictures that have exceeded my expectations. Here's how.

I have also created a page highlighting some tips I have learned about using the LX50.

Here is my gallery so far...

The Moon (10" LX50)
Description: Description: C:\jrm\FamilyWeb\james\Astrophoto\moon 10may03_50.jpgDescription: Description: C:\jrm\FamilyWeb\james\Astrophoto\moon_9may03_50.jpg
 

Mercury (5May02, 8 arcsec, 32% illuminated) (8" Dob)
Description: Description: C:\jrm\FamilyWeb\james\Astrophoto\mercury_5may02.jpg

Mercury Approaching The Limb of  the Sun
(transit on 7May03, 06:25EDT, 20 min after sunrise through the fog. 11arcsec, 0% illuminated)
Description: Description: C:\jrm\FamilyWeb\james\Astrophoto\SunMercury_7may03_0625_arrow.jpg

Venus (31aug02, 22 arcsec, 44%) (8" Dob)
Description: Description: C:\jrm\FamilyWeb\james\Astrophoto\venus 31aug02.JPG

Venus (6 Jun 12, transit (projection from eyepiece)

Mars (27 Aug 03)
Description: Description: C:\jrm\FamilyWeb\james\Astrophoto\mars_27aug03_0112ET_117_edit_50.jpg

Mars (6 Sep 03)
Description: Description: C:\jrm\FamilyWeb\james\Astrophoto\mars_6sep03_0118ET_87_reg1_50.jpg

Jupiter (30Jan03, 45) (10" LX50, 137 frames)
Description: Description: C:\jrm\FamilyWeb\james\Astrophoto\jup_030130_12_137_edit_50.jpg

Jupiter's Moons (8" Dob)
7 Dec 01 23:47 EST (left to right) Io, Ganymede, Europa, Callisto
Description: Description: C:\jrm\FamilyWeb\james\Astrophoto\moons7dec012347.JPG
8 Dec 01 00:25
Description: Description: C:\jrm\FamilyWeb\james\Astrophoto\moons8dec010025.JPG
8 Dec 01 01:06
Description: Description: C:\jrm\FamilyWeb\james\Astrophoto\moons8dec010106.JPG

Saturn (8Feb03, 20 planet, 46 ring) (10" LX50, 107 frames)
Description: Description: C:\jrm\FamilyWeb\james\Astrophoto\sat_030208_14_104_edit.jpg
 

Saturn (occultation by moon on 28 Dec 01) (8" Dob)
Disappearance
Description: Description: C:\jrm\FamilyWeb\james\Astrophoto\Diss1.jpgDescription: Description: C:\jrm\FamilyWeb\james\Astrophoto\Diss2.jpgDescription: Description: C:\jrm\FamilyWeb\james\Astrophoto\Diss3.jpgDescription: Description: C:\jrm\FamilyWeb\james\Astrophoto\Diss4.jpgReappearance
Description: Description: C:\jrm\FamilyWeb\james\Astrophoto\Reapp1.jpgDescription: Description: C:\jrm\FamilyWeb\james\Astrophoto\Reapp2.jpgDescription: Description: C:\jrm\FamilyWeb\james\Astrophoto\Reapp3.jpgDescription: Description: C:\jrm\FamilyWeb\james\Astrophoto\Reapp4.jpgDescription: Description: C:\jrm\FamilyWeb\james\Astrophoto\Reapp5.jpg

Uranus (31 Jul 03, 3.6) (10" LX50)
Description: Description: C:\jrm\FamilyWeb\james\Astrophoto\uranus_31jul03_200img.jpg
Neptune (11nov01, 2) (10" LX50)
Description: Description: C:\jrm\FamilyWeb\james\Astrophoto\neptune_31jul03_25img.jpg

Pluto (31jul03, at noted location, 0.1", mag 13.6) (10" LX-50, 16-15 sec exp with modified QuickCam)
Description: Description: C:\jrm\FamilyWeb\james\Astrophoto\pluto_31jul03_0016ET_16avg_circle.jpg

In the same area of the sky a month later, Pluto is gone.
Description: Description: C:\jrm\FamilyWeb\james\Astrophoto\pluto_23aug03_0025ET_16avg.jpg
 

Double Stars (8" Dob)
Epsilon Lyra, double double star appx 2.5 arc sec separation.
This photo equals the apparent resolution optically.
Description: Description: C:\jrm\FamilyWeb\james\Astrophoto\EPS_Lyra_30aug02.JPG

Asteroids (8" Dob)
2002NY40 Flyby, 18 Aug 02
(close approach to earth, apparent motion can be seen in and between pictures. 8 sec exposures)
00:18:50 EDT (left)       00:19:27 EDT (right)
Description: Description: C:\jrm\FamilyWeb\james\Astrophoto\P8180132_small.JPG...Description: Description: C:\jrm\FamilyWeb\james\Astrophoto\P8180133_small.JPG

Comets
Ikeya-Zhang, 17 Apr 02 (8" Dob)
Description: Description: C:\jrm\FamilyWeb\james\Astrophoto\comet I-Z 17apr02.jpg

Deep Sky Objects
Visual Open Cluster-Pleiades (8" Dob)
Description: Description: C:\jrm\FamilyWeb\james\Astrophoto\pleiades_7dec01_2_PC070102.JPG

Telescopic Open Cluster - M37 (8" Dob)
Description: Description: C:\jrm\FamilyWeb\james\Astrophoto\M37_26dec01.jpg

Globular Cluster (M3) (10" LX50, 100exp at 3 sec, QuickCam Pro 3000)
Description: Description: C:\jrm\FamilyWeb\james\Astrophoto\m3_24mar03_web.jpg

Whirlpool Galaxy (M51) (10" LX50, 15exp at 30sec, Quickcam Pro 3000, long exposure modification)
Description: Description: C:\jrm\FamilyWeb\james\Astrophoto\m51_web.jpg

Sombrero Galaxy (M104) (10" LX50, 15exp at 10 sec, Quickcam Pro 3000, long exposure modification)
Description: Description: C:\jrm\FamilyWeb\james\Astrophoto\m104_18may03_16@10sec_edit_50.jpg

Emissions Nebula- Orion Nebula (8" Dob)
Description: Description: C:\jrm\FamilyWeb\james\Astrophoto\m42_3jan02.jpg

Planetary Nebula - Ring Nebula (10" LX50, 15exp at 15 sec, Quickcam Pro, Long Exposure Mod)
The center star which exploded to form this nebula can be seen, as well as stars as faint as magnitude 16.6
Description: Description: C:\jrm\FamilyWeb\james\Astrophoto\m57_23aug03_8@15sec_reg_edit.jpg

Nebula - Crab Nebula (10" LX50, 8 exp at 15sec, Quickcam Pro 3000, long exposure modification)
Description: Description: C:\jrm\FamilyWeb\james\Astrophoto\m1_21nov03.jpg

Earth Artificial Satellites
Iridium #25 (flare, 27 Feb 02, 18:17:59 EST 16 sec exposure) (camera direct)
Description: Description: C:\jrm\FamilyWeb\james\Astrophoto\flare.jpg

Northern Lights
Schenectady NY (30 Oct 03, 19:00 EST 8 sec exposure) (camera direct)
Description: Description: C:\jrm\FamilyWeb\james\Astrophoto\northern_lights_30oct03_web.jpg