Saturday, February 2, 2013

Jupiter moons through amature telescope

Jupiter Moons or Galilean moons through amateur telescope.

Following moons of Jupiter are easily visible through amateur telescope 60-70 mm.
Europa, IO, Ganymede, Callisto.
Moons of Jupiter will be visible as tiny dots or stars around planet Jupiter.
You may see these four moons change their positions daily or timely as they rotate around planet Jupiter.

Picture of Jupiter and its moons through 70 mm refractor telescope.

Jupiter Moons can also be seen or take pictures through normal digital camera (without telescope).
Use optical zoom and point towards Jupiter.
Take a picture and you can see the Jupiter Moons or Galilean moons when you zoom the images on computer.

Below is a sample picture with 3X optical zoom on 10 megapixel digital camera.

Tips for watching Jupiter moons through telescope.

1. Start with low power eyepiece.
2. Minimize the vibrations as they shake a lot when eyepiece power is increased.
3. Optical filter of telescope may help for Jupiter colors.
4. Make sure you are pointing right towards Jupiter and the planet is in your view frame.
5. With more powerful telescope you may be able to see more than 4 Galilean moons.

Android App: Telescope Astronomy Sky watch

Available at Google Play. Android App: Telescope Astronomy Sky watch

An Android app for amateur Telescope, Astronomy and Sky watch. Available for cellphones, tablets and devices running android operating system. It is a free app.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

iPhone Telescope Adapter, Smartphone Mount

How to make telescope iPhone mount or adapter. (DIY)
Or how to make smartphone telescope adapter or mount.


1. Take a plastic bottle cover as shown in below image.

 2. Make sure it fits your telescope eyepiece.

3. Cut a hole or square in the bottle cover.

4. Take a iPhone or smartphone case as below.

5. Stick or glue the cover on camera hole of cover.

6. Make sure the camera lens is centered.

7. Let the glue dry. And check out eyepiece of telescope when glue is dry.

8. Insert the iPhone or smartphone into case.

9. Phone looks like below image when inserted. Put it on telescope.

10. Use rubber-bands to tighten or hold it on telescope.

11. Telescope iPhone/Smartphone adapter or mount is ready as in below image.

How to make a Telescope Camera Adapter?

1. Check camera dimensions.
2. Use techniques as listed above with similar steps.
3. Make sure do do not get glue on lenses in any case.
4. Add your own innovations as applicable.

Enjoy your astrophotography telescope camera.

Similarly you can build a microscope and binocular iPhone or smartphone adapter mount.

      Below video of moon through clouds was taken with iPhone/smartphone telescope adapter/mount shown above. Original Hi Den video was highly sharp and very stable. Movement of clouds clearly visible. you can also sense the moon moving slightly due to rotation of earth with its viewpoint, not due to vibrations.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Astrophotography : Day Moon with iPhone

Equipment used for following daytime astrophotography and videos of moon was 70mm refractor without moon filter, 10, 20 & 4 mm eyepieces. iPhone camera.

Un-magnified view of the day scene with moon when the pictures were taken is shown in following image.

A 10mm and a 20mm eyepiece was used for following 2 photographs respectively.

Below two pictures were taken with a 4mm eyepiece.

Below picture is taken with 10mm eyepiece and 70 mm refractor telescope with iPhone auto focus.

Video 1: Daytime moon with low power eyepiece.

Video 2: Daytime moon with higher power eyepiece.


1. Start with low power eyepiece.
2. Usually results are better due to reduction on vibration with a low power eyepiece.
3. Above two tips apply to general sky gazing with amateur telescopes too.

Astroimaging Daytime Moon Canon Powershot SD1200

          Astro imaging the day time Moon with Canon Powershot SD 1200 IS digital camera. Photos and videos of day time moon watch taken with regular digital camera and with telescope.

Below picture is taken with camera and no telescope was used.

Below picture is taken with just camera optical zoom. 4X.

Following 3 pictures are taken with 70mm refractor telescope with 20 mm eyepiece and Canon Powershot SD 1200 IS digital camera

         Following VIDEO is taken with 70mm refractor telescope with 20 mm eyepiece and Canon Powershot SD 1200 IS digital camera. In Daylight conditions.

         Tips for day time Moon photography or astroimaging :

1. In daytime Moon filter is not essentially required.2. Avoid bright light of day.3. Morning and evening or twilight is better.4. This gets a natural blue background to image.5. Additionally you can take picture of birds in foreground of moon as birds travel in morning and evenings.6. Can also add other nature objects with the moon in picture frame.

Watching ISS Space Station or Satellites through telescope

          ISS space stations and satellites pass over sky and can be seen through telescope. Many of these are visible to naked eye as tiny dots sometimes on observation. Spotting, finding, Viewing, tracking the ISS International space station ( Zarya ) and other man made satellites is a fun telescope and astronomy activity.

This article is about, How to watch ISS Space Station or Satellites through telescope?

Following are steps to get a view of ISS or satellites through your telescope.


          1. The sky should be clear on that day or night with good weather. (Twilight better for amateurs)
          2. Get the timing of appearance of view from internet websites or apps for your town or GPS location.
          3. Get their elevation from internet for that appearance, more closer to 90 the better longer view.
          4. Find an unobstructed view spot for observation.
          5. Sometimes ISS and satellites are visible only for few minutes, be there before time.
          6. These objects are moving so be on a careful watch. Use magnetic compass or cell phone for directions.
          7. First spot these objects through binoculars. This makes locating easier.
          8. Then use the find scope and see through telescope.
          9. Subjects are moving faster so be ready to move the telescope along with it.

          You may be able to see details as indicated in below diagram. Depending on the telescope you use you will get detailed images of space station. Sometimes powerful binoculars can get detailed or better views too but telescopes are best among those results of image quality. The advantage with binocular is you can move it faster and easily to spot and follow the satellite though the view is smaller due to less magnification.

          If you fail to do so repeat it on good view day with better elevation or timing. Once you have practiced above you can try for taking pictures too with same steps. If you are lucky you can see Soyuz Capsule docking to space station some day. A computerized higher end telescope can do these steps by itself electronically but you can get similar type results with skilled usage.

Friday, December 7, 2012

How to take Moon pictures through telescope using iPhone

How to take Moon pictures through telescope using iPhone?


  1. Set up telescope and view the moon.
  2. Tighten all the knobs and fixtures on telescope.
  3. Make sure tripod is not moving.
  4. Start iPhone camera and turn off the flash.
  5. Hold camera lens hole against the eyepiece hole matching each other.
  6. If you have a camera mount try it if it works for iPhone, most of them will not.
  7. A patchy blob will appear on iPhone screen, make sure be lowest on vibration towards zero.
  8. Tap on the bright light spot and then the iPhone will focus on moon picture properly.
  9. Tap to take picture, it vibrates more. You can use the volume control button on iPhone to snap it.
  10. Move iPhone a little bit it can vary focus on every snap and some pictures will be better than others.
  11. Happy Astrophotography.

All of the above pictures are taken by me with my iPhone 5 and the Celestron PowerSeeker AZ70 telescope