M51 and the end of iPhone astrophotography

Yesterday evening, for the first time in weeks, the night sky was clear. So I pointed my telescope towards the sky to take one last good image of Jupiter before it disappears behind the horizon for almost a year. Because the windows laptop I often use for capturing with my xbox camera was used for other purposes, I decided to give my iPhone a last chance.

I omitted the barlow this time to get more light and less aberration and screwed my iPhone on a 9.5mm eyepiece. This way I captured about 50 images of Jupiter, about 20 of Mars and 4 of the moon. Using my iPhone earbuds volume buttons I had a remote shutter release and could image without touching the iPhone or telescope. The whole imaging went quite smoothly.

But then I tried to save the photos from the app I used to the camera roll. This, my iPhone only agreed to do with a handful of photos and I ended up with 60% of the original number of frames. Later, on my laptop, I noticed that of the 60% frames I had left, half was useless. Nevertheless I tried to stack the remaining photos for Jupiter, Mars and the moon. This also went terribly because there was too much distortion in the pictures to be able to align them. Even the 4 images of the moon seemed to be a problem. Eventually, I got 15 frames of Jupiter to align and stack. But the resulting image was downright disappointing.

Below are some examples of the best frames I got this session. One thing I learned from this: no more iPhone astrophotography for a while.

One of the better Mars frames out of a terrible image session

One of the better Mars frames out of a terrible image session

 

On of the better Jupiter frames of this terrible  session

On of the better Jupiter frames of this terrible session

Do you remember the micro observatories website I wrote about earlier? They have these telescopes that are remote controllable and free to use for anyone on the internet. Well, I requested a couple of more images and while most of the images were rubbish, I got a very nice image of the Whirlpool Galaxy. After mild processing the result (image below) was pretty awesome 🙂

M51, Whirlpool Galaxy. Photo with Micro Observatory telescope Ben

M51, Whirlpool Galaxy. Photo with Micro Observatory telescope Ben

Telescopes at Micro Observatories

Telescopes at Micro Observatories

 

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