Astrophotography

Posted by Carol
Aug 21 2009

I’m particularly interested in taking photographs of what I see through the telescope so I’ve been doing some research into the options available.

  • Specialist CCD astrophotography cameras: these start from around £300 upwards and look to be the best way to clearly photograph the night sky. Unfortunately it’s WAY out of my budget!
  • Although, I’ve seen the Celestron NexImage Solar System CCD Imager, which is £134 and looks like it would be perfect.
  • I’ve tried doing what I think is called Afocal Coupling (where I just point the camera right up at the lens and shoot). I’ve only tried this in daylight (thanks to the lack of clear skies at night) but the picture was quite fuzzy and affected badly by vignette. (Vignette is when an image is missing its sides – e.g. a square image shown with round edges). I still need to try this at night.
  • Adapting a webcam – I’ve seen a couple of tutorials on different ways to “adapt” a webcam for astrophotography. One pretty much just involves screwing it into an adapter whereas the other one is a more complex taking-the-webcam-to-bits procedure. I think I do have an old webcam sitting around somewhere so I might look into this one! Minor detail is that I have to use the telescope outside due to the view being obstructed by neighbouring buildings, so I’m not sure how I’m going to power up the webcam without a laptop. This is also a problem for the NexImage CCD Imager.

So it seems that I either need a specialist camera, or a mount of some kind to use my existing camera.

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