Really nice sunspot grouping this afternoon. Taken through my Celestron C8 with a Panasonic DV camcorder. Stacked with registax.
I took my scope out to a nearby park early this morning to find out if the overall visibility, what astronomers call “seeing” was better if I wasn’t surrounded by houses and concrete.
It was. Much better.
I frequently put the scope in the driveway because that’s the darkest spot near the house. I’ll have to do a test in the middle of the backyard to make sure it’s not just the nearby concrete causes me problems. It was a bit windy so I wasn’t able to get any good shots of M42, the Great Nebula in Orion, like I hoped but the views were great and there was no shimmering caused by heat waves wafting across the image. I was even able to get good views of various craters on the Moon at 250x. Unfortunately no good pictures because of the light loss at that magnification and the wind which kept wigglying the scope.
Eventually the Sun started to come up and since there weren’t any sunspots visible I packed up and headed home.
Here you can see the Moon, Venus (the spot midway down, try the larger image) and my scope with the Sun coming up in the East.