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How to Take Pictures of Stars Astrophotography

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Astrophotography Camera          Astrophotography is a great way to capture your amateur astronomy hobby and show it to others. Astrophotography entails using some type of camera attached to a telescope to take photos of the stars, galaxies, nebulae, planets, and star clusters. If you want to get started in astrophotography and take pictures of stars then follow these steps to begin your new astronomy hobby.





Step 1

Astrophotography refractor telescopeChoose a telescope suitable to astrophotography. The best telescopes for astrophotography are Schmidt Cassegrains and Refractors. Make sure you buy a telescope that has automatic tracking capabilities. In order to take astrophotographs you will have to take relatively long exposures of the stars. Since the earth rotates your telescope will need to continually move in order to be locked onto the image you are photographing or else the image will become completely blurred.

Step 2

By a CCD imager for astrophotography. A CCD imager, or charged coupled device imager, is a camera for astrophotography. It works by saturating pixels with the light from stars, or other celestial objects. The longer the star is viewed by the CCD the brighter the photo will be.



Step 3

Attach your new CCD imager to your telescope via an adaptor that can be purchased online or any camera store. Make sure to follow the instructions that come with the CCD imager for astrophotography.


Step 4

Choose a night to shoot your astrophotography photos that is very cold. The colder the outside air the less noise your camera will have when making photos. Thermal noise is caused by the CCD pixels heating up and producing unwanted images on the screen. Some hardcore astrophotographers actually have cooling systems attached to their camera to reduce thermal noise.




Step 5

Determine which object you want to astrophotograph, such as a star, galaxy or star cluster. Target the object with your telescope and set the telescope into tracking mode. Start the exposure on your CCD imager. Use a longer exposure the fainter the object is. For example if you are photographing a galaxy or faint nebula then use a long exposure. If you are photographing the moon use an extremely short exposure because the moon is so bright from reflected sunlight that it will saturate the CCD imager very quickly.



Step 6

Once your exposure is done choose your next target and repeat the process with a few more images for the evening.



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