I've gone over this before, but it never ceases to amaze me the quality of images you can get with an ordinary DSLR and good high quality lenses. The only thing you need beyond these things are a means by which to do long exposure photography (a shutter release cable) and a tracking mechanism. The stars move through the nighttime sky at a clip of about 23 hours 56 minutes for a complete revolution, this means that the star right above your head will be exactly in the same place 23:56:00 later. I use an ordinary telescope mount for tracking, either a losmandy g-11 or losmandy gm-8, both of them do a fine job. Here's a couple of shots I took while up in Maine last month (May). The first is of the antares region of the sky, Antares is the bright orange summer star riding low in the horizon in the constellation scorpio. If you look to the south this time of year, you'll see this beautiful twinkling star. In the i
If you look to the south this time of year on a clear dark evening, you'll see that star twinkling about 30 degrees off the horizon. This area of the sky is laden with interstellar dust clouds which are illuminated by the bright stars in that area. In this photo, taken with an ordinary canon 200mm f/4 L lens, you can see bright clouds of dust illuminated by Antares as well as bright blue areas illuminated by the triple star system rho ophiuchi. Such a glorious sight in the summer time, but only viewable through long exposure photography.
On the right you'll see one of my favorite sites of all, the summer milky way in all its glory. This was a simple 15 minute exposure taken with a friends f2.8 16-35mm canon lens set to 24mm. When sitting out doors after dark on a clear summer evening, with your eyes protected from any source of bright lights, your eyes will become more and more sensitive and eventually you'll believe you see some clouds stretching across the sky. those aren't clouds but rather the star clouds of the summer milky way. If this site doesn't make you a closet astronomy fan, then nothing will!