On the 17th of July, 2008, there was a near-perfect view of the moon and Jupiter at 3:20 AM here in Austin, Texas. While most of my website has macro photos, here are a few photos of extremely-far objects, rather than extremely close.

For anyone interested in technical details, I used an "Orion Skyquest XT8 Intelliscope" and a Nikon Coolpix 995 with an adaptor (from Ebay) for the telescope. The 995 is an unusual camera in that it allows manual exposure settings, manual focus, among a wide range of features. The 995 and the 5000 are the only cameras, as far as I know, that are not of the DSLR type and that allow you to use filter lenses and adaptors, enabling them to be used on microscopes and telescopes. These two cameras are still sought after by researchers and scientists, years after they became "obsolete." For the first photo, I did not use the telescope, only a tripod, setting the camera on manual expose with 1/4 second and f2.8 aperture. All the photos were taken with the widest aperture the lens would allow, manual exposure but auto focus, taking numerous photos of each planet, changing the speed, above and below 1/4 second. Then I selected the photos that came out best. The sensitivity of the camera, (or "film speed," if you will), was set at ASA100. Compared to my old Nikon F3 and F2a cameras, the Nikon Coolpix 995 is a much more fragile camera. It must be handled very carefully. Its only other shortcoming, in my opinion, is its short battery life, so have a spare battery in the charger while you are using the camera. However, for what it does, I cannot recommend the 995 more highly.

UPDATE: For 18 February, 2009, we have Venus: