My buddy Rick Ferrell's daughter wanted to do another space science project for this year's science fair, and I was quite happy to help. The project - measuring the expansion of Comet Holmes' dust cloud. It's been a pretty wet winter and the first chance to get a photo in a moonless sky was Jan 30. I got the ST2000xcm mounted on the GM8 mount, with the Zuiko 100mm lens (the comet's too large to photograph with a telescope now) and computer connected.... and then the clouds came in. We grabbed a couple of shots of the Orion Nebula area before the clouds swallowed that area too, and got Jamie practiced in how to operate CCDOPS to take photos. I was about to pack it in and wait for a clear night - a storm was due the next day and clouds were due to come in at 11pm according to ClearSkyClocks. So, maybe they came in a couple hours early. And then... it cleared! We got it refocused, and then did a series of 2 minute pictures; 5 of them. Jamie operated the computer for most of the pictures. We then went indoors and I showed her how to turn the raw pictures into color using various options, and then use Registax 4 (Jamie picked the alignment stars across the image) to stack them into a single image. Then Photoshop CS2 to tweek the contrast, tighten up the stars, reduce space noise.
5x2min stack w/o IR+UV filter, so stars are a little bloated. This shot is cropped. That's Algol on the left. The sky was quite dark at the Ferrell's so you can see the comet's cloud has faded quite a bit and its boundary is getting very hard to pick out of the night background. But you GO girl - you can DO it!