All this trying to see the lunar eclipse made me want to: a) get a telescope which I’ve always wanted and b) take some astronomy photographs.

Well with modern cameras, it’s so much easier to do both:

  • Mark explains how to take “wide field” photography. The main trick is that you use ISO 1600 and then use Adobe Photoshop to increase image contrast. Kind of cool. 
  • The second trick is to use image stacking so that you gather together a group of photos. The Gigapan Epic Pro is a gizmo that makes it easier. It takes a precise set of photographs that are easy to stack together. Costs $1500.
  • Autopano or ptgui is stitching software which puts it all together into a 360 view. This is different than a flat projection, so you use a 360 degree viewing tool. I’ve used Hugin which is a fronted (as it ptgui) to the open source Panorama Tools.