It was murderously cold outside last night. But I stayed out long enough to attempt a photograph of Jupiter.
This time I had bought a Microsoft Lifecam 1080p webcam, and removed the focusing assembly so that it was just a bare sensor. This was attached to a 2X Barlow lens and installed in my 8″ reflector telescope.
Jupiter is pretty easy to spot, it comes out early, and is one of the brightest lights in the sky right now. I took 500 shots with the webcam and wxAstroCapture. These were then “stacked” in Registax to get the final image. It actually came out a bit on the red side.
Pulling focus is tricky, the higher the magnification, the more “fuzzy” the image becomes. I’ve added a powered focus to deal with the shaking when turning the dial manually.
But this is an improvement on the image I got a few years ago…
I also had another go at photographing the Andromeda galaxy – I’m getting pretty good at locating this just by sight now. The moon was down this time and so the sky was a little darker. You can just about make out the spiral dust trails, but the light pollution is proving too much to get a decent shot.
The image on top was taken from the excellent freeware ‘Stellarium’ package, available from here – http://www.stellarium.org
Living in a major city that’s about as good an image the light pollution will let you get – I’ll have to try the Orion Nebula with the webcam, see if I can get a better image than last time. Gonna have to schedule a trip out west to a real dark sky site soon…