It was Astrophotography that originally got me into photography. Once you spend x amount on a DSLR you quickly find that only using it on clear dark nights (few and far between here in the UK) is not using it to its full potential. However the shots that you do get when the nights are clear, tracking mount works as it should, alignment is spot on and the laptop doesnt shut down because of the freezing cold nights then the shots that you can get are quite literally out of this world.
|Orion Nebula, Canon 1000D attached to an C80ED|
If you are interested in doing some basic astrophotography then even without a telescope you can get some pretty amazing photos of the night sky, by placing you camera on a tripod point towards the night sky, set the camera to manual mode. Set the shutter speed to be around 10-15 seconds, aperture to as wide as you can (lowest f number) and a resonably high ISO 400-800 higher if you know how noisy the sensor is. Once you are ready to take the photo either use a shutter release cable to avoid camera shake or a little tip if you dont have one is to use the cameras 2 second timer. You may need to tweak these settings but you should see that the amount of stars you capture is incredible you may even get the hints of a galaxy like M31 the Andromeda galaxy or the Milkyway band showing. Try combing multiple shots using DSS mentioned above to get even more detail and play around with the curves in Gimp or Photoshop to enhance the detail further.
If this is something you are interested in the give me a shout and I will post some tutorials and details on this and other shots.