The great thing about astronomy is that anyone with a sky over their heads can get involved. You don’t need a truckload of expensive gear, just an interest and a modicum of patience will get you a long way!
Soon after I got my camera and started posting images on this blog, Mick Judd (a talented photographer who I happen to work with) also began skywatching, and he has captured some great shots with limited “astro-specific” equipment.
After we recently discussed the upcoming penumbral eclipse on 25th April (see our images here) Mick went home and over the course of a few evenings has produced the following short video, which we hope you enjoy.
We think it’s great, and just the sort of thing we hope will help others catch the astronomy bug! But how did he do it? I’ll let him explain that himself!
“To capture the images I used two different eyepieces on a D=60mm F=700mm telescope; an H20 to fit the whole of the moon in the frame and an HF6 for the close-ups of the lunar surface and for Saturn. To attach the camera (a Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S mobile phone) I drilled a hole in the middle of a plastic lid from a can of hair mousse, and glued it around the lens hole on the phone’s protective case.
Slotting the plastic lid over the eyepiece housing on the telescope and pushing it into place, it’s then a bit of hit and miss with lining up what I can see in the finder scope with what I can see on the phone’s display. The Xperia Arc S has a lot of camera settings so it’s just a matter of adjusting EV levels and using a bit of digital zoom to fill the frame to avoid seeing the round edge of the eyepiece.
To try and make sure that I capture something that is sharp I slightly tweak the scope’s focus every now and then between shots. The Sunspots were viewed through an additionally fitted Solar filter. All the footage in the video was captured between 15th and 27th April 2013.”
Top work Judd bloke, and an ingenious set up!
You can see more of Mick’s photos on his Flickr page here
Now everyone get outdoors and enjoy the night sky!