Deep Sky

The Planets

Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn get the most attention from our camera.  We occasionally view Mercury and Venus through either binoculars or the telescope.  Pluto is too faint for our equipment.  Neptune and Uranus can be seen in the telescope but we never see any details.

Our pictures of Mars were all taken with the Nikon Coolpix 4500.  We didn't get the Philips ToUcam Pro until after the 2003 Mars close encounter.  The photographic results were ok, but don't really approach the quality of our Saturn and Jupiter web cam pictures.

Our astronomy club recently purchased a Meade 16" LX200 GPS telescope.  It gives beautiful views of the planets and several of the photographs were taken through the club scope.

Click any picture for a larger view or click here to browse through the pictures.


Mars - October & November 2005

Mars came to opposition this fall and I was able to get a couple of nice shots through the club telescope. In this picture, the bright spot on the lower right is the giant volcano Olympus Mons.

January 31, 2005 - Saturn

Our best image of Saturn. Taken with the Philips ToUcam Pro, Registax automatically chose the best 100 frames from a 1200 frame video for this picture. Sharpened in Images Plus.

May 16, 2004 - Jupiter with Moon

Jupiter has 4 moons that are easy to see in a telescope. Here is a picture with one of the moons.

April 10, 2004 - Jupiter

Registax processed a 30 second video to create this image. Jupiter rotates so quickly that a 2 minute video would create a blurry image because of the rotation.

April 10, 2004 - Jupiter Great Red Spot

Created by Registax from 1 minute video. Further processed in Images Plus to sharpen and adjust the color. The web cam doesn't have much color control and we are still trying to find a way of getting the color to match what the eye sees.

Mars Images

These images start in July of 2003 and go to October of 2003. They are not to scale. Most were taken through the TV 85 using the Nikon Coolpix 4500. The two on the bottom right were taken through the club's 16" SCT.