clear sky chart

Job 9:9

Job 9:9-10
9 He is the Maker of the Bear and Orion,
the Pleiades and the constellations of the south.
10 He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed,
miracles that cannot be counted.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Microsoft Lifecam Cinema Webcam First Light

After imaging Saturn in my last post, I wanted to see if there was a low cost camera currently available that would be a little more sensitive but be available off the shelf.  I have read an article and a modification of the Microsoft Lifecam camera online, by Camera Modification expert and imager, Gary Honis who says a lot of good things about this camera.  Therefore, I went to the store and purchased the camera and removed the lens per Gary's instruction. 

The next clear (or reasonably so) night, I tried it out.  The pixel size on this camera must be quite tiny, as this is the image I caught of Jupiter using only the 3X barlow.

When I processed this 3500 frame image, I was really happy, being I was able to see detail in the polar regions of the planet.  This camera was able to capture at 30 fps all the way up to its full resolution, which is quite impressive!

There are 2 moons visible.  On the right, thats Io about to duck behind the planet, and Europa has just started its transit in the lower left.  The moons are round and sharp,

I also attempted a shot using the 2X and 3X cascaded.  I found that the planet was still plenty bright with less noise than I was able to capture with the Quickcam.  However, the conditions that I was imaging in was quite windy, and with the larger telescope, the wind rocked the scope too much to do a useable image.  I'm going to post a very blurry, but bright image of Jupiter.  Keep in mind, this is not a focusing issue nor is it a problem with the camera, but is mainly an issue with the wind shaking the scope at such high magnification.  I believe that under less windy conditions, an image this size should be even better than the smaller one above.

I'm posting this only to show the brightness of the disk.  The avi's I imaged in the wind were totally unuseable, but you can get an idea as the sensitivity of this camera, and the exposure was still turned down substantially.


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