Webcam Experiments

Thunder-Cam

One day a friend brought over a cheap webcam, and we stripped the guts out of it, mounted the CCD board on a film can, plugged it into the telescope, and did some "Prime Focus" photography.

Here's what we got when we aimed it at the moon!
thundercam moon

Then we tried it on Jupiter!
Thundercam Jupiter


And Jupiter's moons (from the left - Ganymede, Io, and Europa)
Thundercam Jupiter

webcam

Here you can see the webcam CCD chip (the tiny black square) at the far end of the 35mm film can.

Notice how small the CCD chip is! Because it's so small it only intercepts a small fraction of the telescope's image, causing the system's effective magnification to be extremely high!
webcam

35mm film cans are the same diameter as a standard telescope eyepiece - perfect for this job!

The webcam we're using is a "Creative Labs".

It's tied to the webcam circuit board with plastic cable ties.


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