Saturday, 21 March 2009

Crescent Venus at last, and a better Saturn

With the scope up and running, I finally got a picture of the crescent Venus. It's a long way short of brilliant as the planet is now very low on the horizon - or at least, low enough to be behind the surrounding fences, trees and houses in my back garden. I had to set up without proper alignment and take a very short exposure. There are also a lot of problems with heat haze rising from roofs, etc.

However, I managed to get a much better shot of Saturn than previously (scroll down a bit and you can see the old one). In fact in this picture you can just make out Saturn's brightest moon, Titan. Technophiles may be interested to know that these are taken with a webcam stuck down the eyepiece of the telescope. The camera is a Philips SPC900NC, which uses a light-sensitive CCD chip instead of the normal CMOS. These are becoming quite rare!

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