How To Take Pictures From Telescope

By | 23/10/2022

Tin can you lot Take Pictures of Objects in Infinite Through a Telescope?

Yes, you can take pictures of objects in space through a telescope, merely the approach and equipment configurations will vary depending on the subject matter.

With a manual telescope (such equally a tabletop Dobsonian) you can take pictures with your smartphone through the eyepiece of the Moon, and larger planets such as
and Saturn.

Many people have their beginning pictures of the Moon using a smartphone telescope adapter, and an entry-level telescope. This tin can be a great outset step towards photographing other objects in space, as you can familiarize yourself with the procedure of capturing steady images at high magnification.

Solar arrangement photography is ofttimes the best identify to offset, every bit these objects are very bright compared to deep-heaven objects such as nebulae and galaxies. I took my offset pictures of Jupiter, Venus, Mars, and Saturn through the eyepiece of my stationary
Dobsonian telescope.

through a telescope for the first time is one of the virtually memorable experiences one can have in astronomy. Photographing the ringed planet is much more challenging.

The brightest planets and the Moon are suitable subjects for a beginner. You lot can accept snapshots of these objects with your
at the eyepiece, but don’t wait a Hubble quality prototype.

solar system objects

Solar system objects captured using a point-and-shoot camera and Dobsonian telescope.

To capture a long-exposure image of the
Orion Nebula, you need to securely
adhere your camera to the telescope, and it must follow the credible motion of the dark sky on an
equatorial mount

This is known as
deep-heaven astrophotography
and requires the largest investment of fourth dimension and money overall.
Afocal photography
(or eyepiece projection astrophotography) is much less involved and requires minimal equipment.

Because the Earth rotates on its centrality, images that involve leaving the shutter open for an extended period of time (even a few seconds) volition record star trails. Luckily, some objects in the night sky are and then bright that you can have a moving picture of them without a tracking telescope mount.

Can you Take Pictures of Infinite Through a Telescope?

In this article, I will list the types of objects in space y’all can shoot through various
telescope types. Depending on the telescope type you have, and the camera y’all ain, you may exist able to commencement taking pictures of objects in space right now.

I will as well explain how I accept pictures of celestial objects using an astronomical telescope, an
astronomy photographic camera, and a computerized equatorial telescope mount. You can take pictures of objects in space through nearly every kind of telescope. Each blueprint excels in certain areas and not others.

types of telescopes
offer a amend observing experience at an affordable price (such equally Dobsonian reflector), while others excel at capturing, sharp deep-sky objects with a premium toll tag (such every bit an apochromatic refractor).

how to take pictures through telescope

Dobsonian reflector telescopes let you to enjoy angelic objects in infinite visually but also allow y’all take snapshots of the brightest solar organisation objects in the heaven.

A question that I often receive is “which telescope do yous recommend to view and photograph all types of objects in space?”

Someone wants to purchase their first telescope and expects to be able to “encounter” detailed images of nebulae and galaxies through the eyepiece.

They also wish to see the planet Saturn upward-close and accept a movie of it using the same telescope for galaxies, star clusters, and nebulae.

Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all telescope that can allow y’all to view and photograph all of the objects in infinite in a formidable mode. Sure telescopes are not bad for
deep-heaven astrophotography
but are not great at viewing the planets in detail.

visual telescope vs. astrophotography telescope

The telescope on the left excels at visual astronomy. The one on the right is all-time suited for deep-sky astrophotography.

What Type of Telescope Tin can You Apply?

My number one option of telescope for beginners is a
Dobsonian reflector
because information technology allows the user to explore the dark sky on their own and savour visual observing before getting lost in the challenging world of

Most visual telescopes include ane or 2 eyepieces with them, and these are commonly fine to become started. A medium-powered eyepiece of almost 15mm is a practiced choice. Information technology offers a good balance betwixt magnification and clarity.

Y’all volition non be able to photograph galaxies or nebulae through a stationary telescope such as a Dobsonian reflector. To photograph deep-heaven objects in the dark sky, you must use a tracking mountain that allows y’all to collect a long-exposure image without star trailing.

Information technology is of import to buy a telescope that compliments the experience you are looking for. One route will nurture a love for the night sky and the wonders of space, while another may pb to disappointment and frustration.

Apertura DT8 Dobsonian Telescope

The Apertura DT8 Dobsonian is a not bad choice for beginners that want to maximize light gathering power on a budget.

What Kind of Camera Do Y’all Need for Astrophotography?

The term “astrophotography” covers many areas of photography. This includes everything from wide-angle photos of the
Milky Fashion
(using a camera lens), to long-exposure deep-sky astrophotography through a telescope.

There are many unlike types of
astrophotography cameras, but the one that’southward best for you depends on the type of subjects you lot intend to photograph. For instance, the best camera for planetary imaging is much different than the one used for wide-angle nightscapes.

Sensor size and type, image calibration, and practicality are just some of the factors involved with choosing the right photographic camera for astrophotography. DSLR and Mirrorless cameras are a bang-up all-purpose choice, while monochrome CCD cameras are amend and treatment things like noise and the headaches of calibration.

For simple snapshots of the Moon and planets through an entry-level (manual) telescope, the camera in your pocket is probable the best pick. You tin use your smartphone to capture images of the brightest objects in space through the eyepiece of a modest telescope.

Smartphone Astrophotography

Today’southward smartphones are capable of taking many
of astrophotography images from wide-angle Galaxy shots to star trail compositions. These types of images practice not require a telescope to accomplish.

When you’re ready to concord your camera upwardly to the eyepiece,
the Moon
is probably the best bailiwick to first with. This experience will allow you to get comfortable with challenges such every bit exposure, focus, and dynamic range.

The Moon is extremely brilliant, confronting a black heaven. Daytime photography cameras (including your smartphone) accept a hard time properly exposing the details of the Moon’due south surface using “auto” mode.

moon photography using smartphone

If you are using a telescope with an eyepiece that magnifies the moon to fill the field-of-view, your camera may be able to automatically adjust the exposure length to 1 that captures the detailed, cratered surface of the Moon.

More often than non, however, you volition need to tap into the manual settings of your camera to properly betrayal the image. A live-view prototype through the camera will help you set the shutter speed that is fast enough to non accident out the highlights of the epitome.

Experiment with different camera settings to find the right rest of shutter speed (exposure), ISO, and F-ratio. Generally, you will want to use the lowest ISO setting possible to avoid excessive dissonance in the epitome.

smartphone telescope adapter
will help you securely adhere your phone to the eyepiece, and align the camera lens.

smartphone telescope adapter

The Celestron Smartphone Telescope Adapter is useful for Moon Photography.

Photographing bright planets such as Mars, Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn is also possible via this method but will exist very challenging. The most difficult aspect of capturing planets through a telescope on a stationary base is that they move very quickly at loftier magnification.

To capture the surface details of Jupiter, you must keep the photographic camera steady long enough to record several hundred frames in a video format. A unmarried exposure of the planet volition likely be too blurry and dim to reveal recognizable features such equally the cloud bands or Dandy Ruddy Spot.

The lesser line is, you will need to experiment with your camera and telescope for numerous nights to see what works. You can use a
stargazing app
to plan your imaging sessions in advance, as yous’ll need to invest some serious time in the projection before achieving satisfying results.

Keys to Success:

  • Ready your telescope on a stable platform. Any shake becomes intensified at loftier magnification.
  • Employ a medium-powered eyepiece (10mm-20mm) for a skilful balance betwixt magnification and clarity.
  • Use a smartphone adapter to concord your photographic camera steady and centered in the eyepiece.
  • The more aperture your telescope has, the more than light it tin can concentrate into the eyepiece
  • Use your cameras manual settings to adjust exposure length, ISO, f-ratio, and focus. Do not utilise “auto” mode.
  • Objects college in the sky will suffer less from atmospheric conditions such as poor transparency.
  • Try shooting a brusk video on your subject instead of a unmarried picture. Utilize software (such as
    AutoStakkert) to extract the single image frames and stack them.

In the following video, the author explains how he takes images of the Moon and planets using his smartphone photographic camera.

Aperture is More Important than Magnification

For visual use, a big telescope with plenty of aperture is recommended. This is often a Dobsonian reflector telescope with at to the lowest degree eight″ of aperture. With this telescope, you can observe many objects in the night sky including planets, nebulae, galaxies, and star clusters.

People frequently get discontinuity and magnification mixed up. Magnification is much less important overall than aperture, as an increased magnification volition not provide whatever benefits if at that place is not enough light available.

In the telescope world, aperture (non to be dislocated with f-ratio) refers to the size of the mirror or objective lens of the telescope. An 8″ Dobsonian has an viii-inch primary mirror to collect and concentrate light to the eyepiece. The bigger the aperture, the more than low-cal that can exist collected at once.

The refractor telescope shown beneath includes a 3X Barlow lens, simply the resulting views at this magnification may be dim and underwhelming. In that location is just not enough aperture (In this instance, 50mm diameter at F/12) to collect plenty light for a decent picture of annihilation except the Moon.

50mm refractor telescope

Contrary to what y’all may recall, it is often more useful to use a depression magnification instrument and eyepiece when viewing/photographing objects in infinite. Loftier magnification eyepieces will increase the effects of Earth’due south rotation and go far harder to photograph objects on a stationary mount.

Barlow lens
tin magnify the image by 2X or more. This may sound like an obvious choice to increase the size of your discipline, but remember that the added magnification will reduce clarity and intensify whatsoever shake in the optical system.

2X Barlow Lens

A generic 2X Barlow Lens tin can double your magnification, at the price of clarity and sharpness.

Taking Pictures with a Dobsonian

To take pictures through a Dobsonian telescope, you must carefully align the photographic camera lens of your smartphone or point-and-shoot camera with the eyepiece of the telescope. The magnification of the eyepiece inserted into the telescope focus drawtube volition determine the size of the object in your image.

This method tin produce some exciting results on the brightest objects in the dark sky such every bit planets, and the Moon. Withal, because the telescope mountain (the base that holds the optical tube) is stationary, higher magnifications volition result in a fast-moving target, which is tough to photograph successfully.

The Moon through a telescope

The Full Moon. Captured through the eyepiece of a Dobsonian Telescope with a Point-and-shoot digital photographic camera.

photo planets, astrophotographers shoot short video files of the object and select the best frames to “stack” together. This can help compensate for poor seeing and transparency in the air, and produce a sharp image of the planets or the Moon.

Fifty-fifty though a computerized tracking equatorial mount will provide the stability for amazing planet photographs, it is not recommended for beginners that are looking to casually enjoy space and share their photos.

Here is an example of a Dobsonian telescope that volition provide a positive experience early, and let you to take simple pictures of the Moon and brightest planets through your smartphone:

tabletop dobsonian

The model shown above is pocket-size and affordable. For better views, a larger discontinuity Dobsonian such as the
Apertura DT8 viii″
is a solid pick.

My first photos of space were captured through the eyepiece of my Dobsonian telescope like the one shown above. This included the planets Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars, likewise as some incredibly detailed portraits of the Moon’s surface.

Advancing to Deep-Sky Astrophotography

I take been photographing objects in space through my telescope for near a decade. I began my journeying every bit most practise, photographing the Moon through the eyepiece of a telescope.

Now, I focus my attention on deep-sky nebulae and galaxies using sophisticated astronomy cameras and big computerized telescopes. The camera is attached directly to the focuser of the telescope (prime focus astrophotography) and I am able to accept long-exposure images of 5-minutes in length or more.

The deep-sky astrophotography setup shown below is capable of capturing impressive images of faint nebulae in the night sky, just this type of astrophotography requires all-encompassing knowledge and a big upkeep.

astrophotography equipment

A sophisticated deep-sky astrophotography telescope setup.

Additional measures must be taken to successfully photograph nebulae and galaxies in the night heaven, such as autoguiding. Special filters are used to isolate the light emitted by specific types of nebulae, such every bit the hydrogen institute in emission nebulae.

Building a setup like this takes a lot of time and patience, but is well worth the effort (in my stance) in the finish. If yous start your journey with a visual telescope that allows you to acquire the night sky before taking pictures, y’all volition take a amend foundation to build from.

As the old saying goes, you need to learn how to walk before you run.

The kickoff stride I recommend for beginners looking to tackle deep-heaven astrophotography is to invest in a portable
star tracker. This will allow you to experiment with long-exposure images of xxx-seconds or more using a modern DSLR or Mirrorless camera.

Bubble Nebula

A deep-heaven epitome of the Bubble Nebula using a dedicated astronomy camera and professional tracking mount.

Helpful Resouces

  • How to Snap Awesome Photos of Dark Sky Objects with Your Phone (
  • Smartphone Astrophotography: How I Capture the Moon and Planets with my Phone (PetaPixel)
  • Adapting an iPhone for Astrophotography (