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Category: Afocal


phone to telescope adapter

DIY phone camera-to-telescope adapter built from scrap wood, rubber bands, screws, and a hose clamp.

Just finished building this cheap mobile phone camera-to-telescope adapter. It’s a very simple solution for those who usually take images of the moon and planets using a mobile phone camera and a telescope. The adapter allows any mobile phone camera to be mounted directly onto any telescope. It only takes an hour to build, requires simple tools, and costs just less than a dollar ($1)! This adapter will also work with other optical instrument such as binoculars and microscopes.

Being able to take astro images using only a phone camera and a telescope setup could inspire an astro-enthusiast to pursue astrophotography. If you feel you are now ready to try out a more complicated imaging setup (instead of using phones cameras, you’ll be imaging using digital cameras), try to building your own version of a Universal Camera Adapter :) This setup will most likely yield better photos and will enable you to take advantage of digital cameras’ zoom (optical) capability, which is useful for up-close shots of the moon craters and planets.

For other DIY projects useful for astrophotography, click here.

Related links (for advanced imagers):
DSLR for Astrophotography
Other Types of Camera-To-Telescope Adapters

For featured photos, click here.
For tutorials on how to get started with astrophotography, click here.
To subscribe to this site, click here.

© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

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Shown above is an image of last year’s Supermoon taken through afocal method with a 6-in reflector and a mobile phone camera. Photo Credit: Cristina Flores

This month’s full moon is the largest full moon of the year! :)

What Time to Observe

There is much confusion on the Internet as to what time this “Super Moon” thing would occur. According to a lunar calculator from the NASA website, the “Full Moon” should occur on May 6, 3:36 am Universal Time, this Sunday. In local time (Philippines), there would be an additional 8 hours due to the differences in time zones, thus, in the Philippines, the precise moment will occur at “2012 May 6 3:36 UT” + “8 hours” = 11:36 am May 6 (near noontime). Unfortunately, 11:30 am is a daytime here in the Philippines, thus, the moon will not be visible. To be able to observe it, either you observe tonight, just a few hours before sunrise, or later tomorrow, a few hours right after sunset.

To calculate for your local time, just add or subtract the correct time difference. In the given example, I used +8. Just substitute it and do the math :) Hope it answers some of the confusion.

The modification involves physically removing the “hot plate”, a kind of filter that blocks infrared light. Manufacturers install it in cameras in order to correct for the reddish hue inherent to CCD or CMOS sensors. Removing such filter makes the camera more sensitive to IR and as well as H-alpha wavelengths, which is particularly useful in deep-sky photography.

Canon S3IS point-and-shoot camera modified for astrophotography (afocal imaging)

Read more.

Barlow lenses may be used to magnify images in casual visual observation and also astrophotograpy (afocal, prime focus, or eyepiece projection)

I find Barlow lenses very useful in achieving better image scale in planetary imaging (through afocal, prime focus, or eyepiece projection). Using a 2x Barlow lens, I can actually double the effective focal length of my setup. With a 2x Barlow, the effective focal length of my 900 mm telescope would  then be equal to 900 mm X 2 = 1800 mm.  During nights of steady seeing and I wish to further magnify an image, I use another 2x Barlow, thereby having an effective focal length of 900 mm X 2 X 2 = 3600 mm :)

For featured photos, click here.
For tutorials on how to get started with astrophotography, click here.
For DIY astronomy projects useful for astrophotography, click here.
To subscribe to this site, click here.

© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

Saturn_31Jan2012

Image of Saturn last January 31, 2012 taken afocally using a 4-in f/9 refractor with 32 mm eyepiece and a Canon S3IS. Photo Credit: Anthony Urbano. For more images of Saturn, click here.

For featured photos, click here.
For tutorials on how to get started with astrophotography, click here.
For DIY astronomy projects useful for astrophotography, click here.
To subscribe to this site, click here.

© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

 

By placing a point-and-shoot camera in close proximity to the eyepiece of a telescope, it is possible to capture an image of M42 like the one shown below. Now, who says point-and-shoot cannot be used for imaging deep-sky objects?

Image of Orion Nebula taken with a point-and-shoot camera through afocal projection with a 4-inch f/9 refractor. For more images of Orion Nebula, click here.

 

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