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Astrophotography Digiscoping

     If you picked up the Oct copy of Astronomy Magazine, you may have noticed an article about cell phone digiscoping. 99% of my students have cellphones, and some have some pretty great cameras, so I read on. The article provided some inspiration, so I researched more.
     I don't think I'd ever seen a cellphone with a tripod mount, so I needed another option. Last month I won a flip camera clone (Vivitar) at a tech conference at IUP, and that will work. I picked up a 5.0mp cam as a back up just in case, at a cost of $30. I put in a 16mb SD card ($16)

     The second thing needed is a scope. I picked up this spotting scope at Harbor Freight for about $39. I got it for the Venus transit (rained out). This type seems to be the choice of bird watches. It also corrects the image, which could reduce some confusion

     The part that makes the whole thing easy, is the digiscope adapter. I bought this one (Raptor) on ebay for $25 after shipping. Its solid, completely adjustable and accepts up to a 45mm eyepiece

     Here is the camera mated to the mount

     Place the mount on the scope and make the fine adjustments. Doing this during the day makes it easier. Once it's correct, you can remove the mount, and save it for later. It's ready to go when you are.

     Find an object to test it out. Fine focus on this small screen is difficult, so take a few shots. My tripod is light, so I used the timer on the camera to give a 5 sec delay to allow it to stabilize. There is a billboard 3/4 miles away, and the scope is set at 90x.
UPDATE: The timer is a must have feature!

     Results! Looking forward to capturing the waxing moon

Good Pizza!

1 comment:

  1. Very nice photos! Digiscoping is using a spotting scope or binoculars with a camera (point-and-shoot or dslr), even an iPhone, to take close-up photos.

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