My First Astrophoto…Sort of

On Sunday night I went outside in my driveway and spent a good while taking in the beauty of the full moon with my binoculars.  It was a perfectly clear night and I had an amazing view of the moon for over an hour!  The only drawback was that it was almost at zenith so my arms and neck needed frequent breaks.  I am not equipped at all for astrophotography but I figured I’d give it a shot.  All I had was my iPhone and its tiny lens so snapping a picture of the moon was not an option through my binoculars because there was simply too much light for my phone to handle.  So I focused my attention to Jupiter which was hanging low in the East sky around midnight.  I am simply in love with the sight of Jupiter’s moons through my 15×70’s so I decided to try it out with my phone.  Unfortunately with binoculars you can never get a complete image because you can only hold the phone up to one of the eyepieces.  Although the size of the planet is reduced and the moons aren’t visible (far too faint for my phone’s camera) I’m relatively please with how it turned out!  Take a look:

My first attempt at astrophotography...a mild success

So there it is!  Obviously if you compare that to any other amateur’s pictures of Jupiter this is the worst, but I’m proud of it nonetheless!  It’s still amazing that something that is 816 million kilometers away and yet we can see it with our naked eyes, and even better with equipment.  So that’s that.  I hope that brought you at least mild enjoyment.  Until next time, remember Psalm 97:6, “The heavens proclaim His righteousness, and all the peoples see His glory

About Tim

My name is Tim Phelan. I am a nerd, amateur astronomer, sports nut, and follower of Jesus. I live in Baltimore, MD where the skies are oh so polluted with light. This is Ravens Country, Birdland, and the City that Reads, or whatever. Follow me on and

Posted on January 10, 2012, in Solar System and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. It is the best time to make some plans for the future and it is time to be happy.
    I’ve read this post and if I could I wish to suggest you few interesting things or tips. Maybe you can write next articles referring to this article. I desire to read more things about it!

  2. I’ve been doing some VERY amateur astrophotography as well. I invested in a telescope about a year ago, and I couldn’t be happier. To do really impressive photos, I’d need a fancy computerized tracking telescope, but I’m too poor for that stuff. I ended up getting an 8″ Orion Classic Dobsonian Telescope, which still cost a few hundred (but it was the most bang for my buck). It’s a simple mount, but with great optics. I hold my little point and click Nikon up to the eyepiece, and I’ve been getting some great shots (considering the equipment I’ve been using would make astrophotographers laugh). I have to play with the settings on the camera for different things.
    Keep up the good work and good luck!

    • Thanks Leigh Anne! I’m thinking about buying an Orion Dobsonian myself pretty soon. I’m about 6′ tall so I’m a bit too tall for my tripod for my binoculars so a Dobsonian would probably make everything easier, including taking pictures!

  3. wow. pretty darn cool! 🙂

    • I was quite please with myself when I took it lol. Maybe when this blog is producing a 5-figure income I’ll post some real astrophotos of entire galaxies!

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