Astronomy and Astro Photography with your phone (Part 1)….

Astronomy and Astro Photography with your phone (Part 1)….

With the nights drawing in and things getting darker earlier and lighter later, my thoughts turn to the skies. You may (or may not) be aware that we live in some of the best areas for stargazing in the world. Its not that difficult to find a “dark area” within easy walk/drive of most of our homes here on the Costa Blanca. There are plenty of nature reserves and areas without street lighting that enable us even with the naked eye to see some of the wonders of the Universe. Alternatively, if you want to see even more – further afield, down in Almeria, we have the Calar Alto Observatory – where you could visit and look through their state-of-the-art telescopes.

Perhaps you already have a telescope and you’ve seen first hand some of the great night sky objects like the Great Orion Nebula (M42) or the Andromeda Galaxy (M31) – both can be seen through even a small telescope if you know where to point it.

There are a number of apps that you can use on your phone or tablet to help you point your telescope in the right direction, I use Star Walk which is an app you have to pay for, but a good free alternative is Sky Map, why not install it on your smartphone or tablet and give it a go the next clear night you have.

Perhaps, like me you might be interested in taking some photographs of the stuff that you can see through your telescope (to the right is a picture that I took a couple of years ago of our moon. If you fancy doing the same then you will need to get something that will firmly hold your phone or tablet against the eyepiece of your telescope, Amazon and many of the other online

resellers thankfully sell these sort of things for very little. After a quick search of Amazon, I managed to find a few alternatives using the search term “smart phone adapter for telescope”. All of them were less than 20 euros, so they won’t break the bank. One of the things, about taking pictures of the moon that you might not find our yourself, is that the best way to do it is to actually take a video (essentially lots of individual photographs) and then use special software to separate the individual images, select the best ones and then stack them on top of each other to create a great final image.

Next month I’ll take you through the process of taking the images and stacking them, so why not spend a few euros on your phone / telescope bracket and try it out over the next month?