Mall Astrophotography
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I had been a bit of an amateur astronomer when I was in high school (1970's) and then, while at the University of Virginia studying Astronomy and Physics, had pretty much free use of a 26" Clark refractor and a 40" SCT during midnight shift, since they were mostly used for astrometry.

When, after 15 years without one, I decided recently to buy a telescope to mess around with I was a little floored to find not only did things like a 16" LX-200 exist, but that people who really weren't very serious seemed to have no problem plunking down thousands of dollars for gear in that class. Some of the questions that I see in sci.astro.amateur by owners and potential owners of these monsters astound me. I guess it's really no skin off my nose, though, so I shouldn't be bothered...

Anyway, this sort of took all of the fun out of, say, trying to get a good image of Jupiter or M31, since all I really had to do was spend a bunch of money. The result was that I ended up buying a Meade ETX-90/EC at a local mall and the quest has become to try to get the best images that I can with this particular little scope. With this attitude, the QuickCam seemed like an obvious choice, particularly since I already had one gathering dust.

This ETX site owned by Jim Berry

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