Saturn (May 8, 2016)

Photo of Saturn taken on May 8, 2016 through eyepiece projection with a 4-in f/9 refractor, a UV-IR filter, a 5 mm eyepiece, and a Logitech Pro 4000 web camera. The gap between the rings of Saturn (called the Cassini Division), is visible in this photo.

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Photo of Saturn taken on May 8, 2016. Image captured through eyepiece projection method with a 4-in f/9 refractor, UV-IR filter, a 5 mm eyepiece, and a Logitech Pro 4000 web camera. Processed using AutoStakkert and Registax. For more images of planets, click here. Photo Credit: Anthony Urbano.

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© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

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Mars (May 5, 2016)

Photo of Mars taken on May 5, 2016 through eyepiece projection with a 4-in f/9 refractor, a UV-IR filter, a 5 mm eyepiece, and an SPC900NC/00 web camera. The polar ice cap, the dark and the bright areas, and the clouds on Mars are visible in the photo.

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The polar ice cap, the light and dark areas, and the clouds on Mars are visible in this photo. For more images of planets, click here.

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© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

Jupiter’s Great Red Spot (February 2, 2014)

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Image captured through eyepiece projection method with a 4-in f/9 refractor, a 6 mm eyepiece, a UV-IR filter, and a Philips SPC900NC/00 web camera. Jupiter’s cloud bands and the Great Red Spot are visible in this photo. Photo Credit: Anthony Urbano. For more images of Jupiter, click here.

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© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

Venus (October 20, 2013)

Venus_20October2013_55percent_waning_gibbous
Image of Venus taken on October 20, 2013 through eyepiece projection method with a 4-in f/9 refractor, a 5 mm eyepiece, a UV-IR filter, and a Philips SPC900NC/00 web camera. Venus is currently at its waning gibbous phase (55% illumination). Photo Credit: Anthony Urbano. For more images of Venus, click here.

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© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

Imaging Planets Using Webcams

Two of the most popular webcams used in astrophotography: Logitech Pro 4000 (left) and Philips SPC900NC (right).

The modest web camera (or webcam) quickly gained interest among amateur astronomers and is now considered as the equipment of choice for planetary imaging because it has two characteristics that are very much useful in astrophotography: (1) its lens can be removed much like the lens of a DSLR, making it possible to easily connect the webcam with any telescope and (2) it can record a huge number of still frames even in a short span of time (1-2 minutes), a feature particularly useful in a post-processing technique called registering and stacking.

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Photo of Saturn taken on May 8, 2016. Image captured through eyepiece projection method with a 4-in f/9 refractor, UV-IR filter, a 5 mm eyepiece, and a Logitech Pro 4000 web camera. Processed using AutoStakkert and Registax.

In this article, I intend to describe how to image planets using a web camera as the main imaging device and then provide a brief overview of the post-processing technique. Read more.

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Venus April 8, 2012

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Venus imaged last April 8, 2012 using a Sky-Watcher 100 ED 4 in f/9 refractor on a Kenko NES mount, projection via 25 mm eyepiece and a Philips SPC900NC webcam. Camarines Norte, Philippines. Photo Credit: Anthony Urbano. For more images of Venus, click here.

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© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

Eyepieces

Eyepieces are essential parts of a telescope. With different eyepieces, different zoom levels may be achieved. Eyepieces are interchangeable, and thus, may be used from one scope to another. It is always advisable to invest on a good one, since you may still be able to use it in case you have finally decided to upgrade and buy a new and larger telescope.

New telescopes are usually supplied with 2 eyepieces, one is ‘hi-power’, which will show zoomed-in views, great for close-up views of planets, the other one is a ‘low-power’, which shows zoomed-out views, intended for observing deep-sky objects. Below are eyepieces supplied in one of my telescopes:

Pair of eyepieces, one low-power (left), one hi-power (right)

Read more.

Saturn March 8, 2012

Saturn_March2012
First attempt in an imaging technique called eyepiece projection. It seems this setup produces better images than using two 2x barlows stacked together to produce the same image scale. Photo Credit: Anthony Urbano. For more images of Saturn, click here.

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© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)