With the advent of CCD immaging, the time reguired to image a
deep sky object was reduced to less than two minutes. The problem
is that the equipment is very expensive. A greyscale CCD camera
for astrophotography can cost from $3,000 to $10,000.
Enter the WebCam and some immaging software and the pricetag is
reduced to less than $100! Over the past few years I have seen more and more amature astronomers at star parties using webcams to capture images in the night sky.