Astro Webcam Manufacturers

In the last few years a number of custom companies have sprung up in response to the need for affordable CCD imaging for those amateur astronomers with a tight budget. In many cases the products offered have simply been modified webcams, altered by a few wiring changes such that long, if noisy, exposures are possible, making webcams suitable for deep sky imaging. By stacking hundreds of frames, the noise has been reduced to acceptable levels for exposures of 30 seconds or so often the unguided...

Planetary Imagers Worldwide

Grafton Planet Images

Despite the ease with which excellent planetary images can now be obtained, planetary imagers are rather thin on the ground among the population. Across the world there are only a few dozen regular planetary imagers whose results are good enough to be used by professional astronomers. Undoubtedly the main reason for this is simply the rarity of good, stable, atmospheric seeing coupled with clear skies, along with the dedication and knowledge required to get world-class results. However, a few...

Saturn through the Webcam

Saturn Images Taken Philips Webcam

Saturn is the most challenging and, arguably, the most rewarding target for the webcam imager. The biggest problem posed by the ringed planet is simply its low surface brightness. Saturn's globe is 16 times fainter than the globe of Mars and a third as bright as Jupiter. With the maximum available AVI video exposure being 1 5th of a second (5 frames per second at, confusingly, the 1 25th setting on the Philips driver settings) and 1 10th being more desirable (to freeze the seeing) the raw...