Since both Mars and Saturn were in opposition recently (i.e. the biggest they will be for a while), I decided to try to image them. One would think that planets would be a lot easier to image since they are so much closer than nebulae and galaxies, but they are actually tough -- they are so small! They are also very susceptible to atmospheric "seeing". This is the turbulence in the atmosphere that causes stars to "twinkle". You can think of it this way... the atmosphere is like a RIVER of air that flows over us. Just like a river of water, it cause things to "ripple" if you were to look through it. But sometimes this river above us is calm and the rippling stops, then things come into very sharp focus and the "seeing" is said to be good.
What does this mean? Well, for one thing you need to use a very short exposure for bright planets and the moon try to catch them when they are not rippling (and blurring your exposure). As crazy as it sounds, the best camera for this is a cheap ass webcam!
Basically you just attach the webcam to your telescope focuser, plug into your laptop, and let it rip for about 30 seconds. Next you run this AVI through a free software called Registax (the software picks only those frames that look sharp, then stacks them -- easy)!