It used to be the reserve of the super rich or elite astronomical societies, but with advances in technology, very clear and detailed photographs of the night sky can be produced by anyone.
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What is WebcamÂ Astrophotography?
Webcam astrophotography is a method to use relatively cheap webcams to take photos of the planets and the moon. A few years ago this would have had to be done with expensive CCD cameras, now with some freely available programs on the web and a proper webcam, amateurs can get some very good results. Although a good CCD camera will still produce better images, using a webcam is a nice easy way to get introduced to astrophotography.
What we do with the webcam is essentially capture a video of the target i.e. Moon / Jupiter etc. We then import that video into a stacking program which allows us to split it into individual frames, remove the bad ones and combine the good ones to get our image.