How do I take astronomical pictures?

Monday, June 26 2006 @ 12:06 am EDT

Contributed by: Astronomy Guy

I have long wished to take pictures of the moon, planets, galaxies and nebulae with my telescope. How can I afford this, you ask? Isn't this extemely complicated? No! You can start taking astronomical pictures today.

You can use a simple film camera, or an inexpensive digital camera. Today a 4- or 5- mega pixel camera can be had for less than $200. With that said, you are probably saying "Prove It!" OK. Let's try a Kodak Easyshare Z730 camera. This one can be obtained from numerous online retailers for less than $170 and is capable of up to 64 second exposures. With this camera, and a $35 adapter that clamps on to your telescope eyepiece at one end and then screws in to your tripod mount hole on your camera, you are ready to go. With this set up you are able to photograph the moon and planets through your telescope.

You can do this with a telescope as small as 4.5 inches across. You also never need to buy film since you can keep reusing your digital film. I will follow up with articles showing you how to do more complex astro photographs with simple equipment. In my next article I will offer some simple examples. Have fun. That is what our hobby is all about. Any questions you are welcome to email me. Simply click on my byline above, and send me an e-mail.

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