The following photographs are an amateur attempt at the Moon and the Planets using a digital camcorder...
The shots aren't spectacular, but it shows what you can do by using everyday equipment!! They were made using a 4.5" Celestron reflector, a variety of eyepieces, the barlow... and the camera simply held to the lens!
Just try and capture this target! ;)
This really isn't as easy to do as it sounds!! Each video frame differs from the next... but only marginally!! When taken as a whole, the momentary clarity rocks!!
Using a yellow filter sometimes helps to draw certain features out on the mysterious planet.
But even unfiltered, the shadow play of the planet on the rings... and the rings on the planet are apparently the best I can achieve using this type of camera.
Although the galiean moons were quite visible to my eye, their low brightness would not record using this medium. But, the equatorial belts on the planet itself show clearly.
And even better when you can get a little closer! You can even see on of the galiean moons in the lower left corner of the frame! (Remember now... these are not timed exposed shots. The camera isn't anchored to anything but my hand... And it's five o'clock in the morning!
Ahhhhhhhhhh.... coffee. Nectar of the gods...
Whoa! Follow the bouncing red ball, folks! (I hadn't even come close to learning how to hold the camera steady... let alone focus!) But the contrast change for the polar cap sure shows!!
The months of October and November, 2001 have brought on the longest run of observances of the two inner planets that I've ever experienced!
It has been my very great pleasure to log photographs on the pair over the duration... and as long as I don't run out of "space", you may find them here. Please enjoy...
And we all know what a tough little nut Venus is to crack! Catching its' phasic stages is difficult enough in a telescope, filtered down.... and a hundred times more tedious catching one frame out of hundreds that show it! It's small, but hey... there it is!! ;)
Compliment each other quite well... don't they? ;) It didn't exactly make up for missing the Saturn occulation... but it sure made my day!
This picture holds a rather special significance, because of the event that occured in the United States. Taken on the morning of September 15, 2001... it shows one of the first contrails spotted when air traffic once again resumed...
Another really tough customer to catch detail on in the Sun! This medium over-exposes very easily, but occassionally I do catch a frame or two that gives a somewhat fair rendition of what can be see through a solar filter... (trust me, the fine detail see through the scope will rock your world!)
Another thing that was possible for me to do was to catch the Moon occulting one of the stars of the Hyades in the wee hours on October 7, 2001. (Yes, the shot is horrible... but it was cloudy! I was pleased to catch just one!!)
Are they as good as what can be seen at the eyepiece? Aw, heck no! We all know just how razor sharp the detail is in a telescope! And they certainly aren't going to win any "prizes"!
Astrophotography is a seriously challenging hobby... but just seeing what you can do with ordinary equipment right there in your own backyard is FUN!!
And one of the most fun things I've found is lunar photography. Sometimes excellent results can be achieved in the simplest manner. So, if you like to see what can be done? Then journey onward.... Cuz' it's like voodoo... ;)