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Capturing other planets through a telescope: The secrets to deep-sky imaging

An overview of deep-sky imaging tips, plus the best Celestron astrophotography tech to use when capturing photos of other planets.

the night sky over the mountains
Image: Unsplash

Having the correct gear is one of the most important aspects of capturing clear images of other planets in our solar system.

There are, however, a few other tips and tricks you can utilize to get the clearest shot for your astrophotography. 

Read on for an overview of deep-sky imaging tips, plus the best Celestron astrophotography tech to use when capturing photos of other planets. 

Overview of imaging techniques

capturing images of space
Image: Unsplash

Despite which telescope you have on hand, you may be able to get a few good frames through a common imaging technique called ‘lucky imaging.’

This technique allows space photographers to take videos and choose the best frames with the least atmospheric turbulence. 

However, the telescope camera still requires a few important features for a clear picture to come through.

This includes customizable gain and exposure settings, a balance of exposure time and photons, and a good enough signal to create a clear, clean image. 

Deep-sky imaging tips

In order to produce a clearer image when taking astronomy photos, try the following top three imaging tips.

Don’t let your telescope overheat

An overheated telescope will deliver unclear pictures, so be sure your telescope is properly cooled down and around room temperature when taking photos.

Take photos in less populated areas

a satellite in orbit conference
Image: NASA

As heat wafts up from buildings, rooftops, and chimneys, it clouds photos and makes it more difficult to take clear sky and space photography.

Consider taking your telescope for a weekend cabin getaway for better “seeing.”

Center your target first

Find the planet you want to film first with the telescope sensor or low-magnification eyepiece. Once you find your target, swap the high-magnification camera for filming and photos.

This helps lower frustrations and ensures you hit your mark every time.

It’s also a good idea to make sure that any electronics or appliances that can be switched off around you are for the time being. Slight tremors, even from air conditioning units or footsteps in the hallway, can cause blurry images.

Luckily, most planets emit enough light to catch on film no matter your location! It’s just a matter of patience, stillness, and that lucky shot.

Keep reading for the best telescope gear when taking astronomy and planet photos. 

Best telescopes for astrophotography

the milky way
Image: Unsplash

Celestron’s Rowe-Ackermann Schmidt Astrograph

With an extremely quick aperture, this telescope is best used with either a CCD or DSLR camera. It’s best for deep-sky imaging and can grab a whole lot of detail in a short amount of time.

This tech is recommended for those highly interested in or professionals in astrophotography.

Celestron Inspire 100AZ

Better for beginners, this telescope comes at a great price and lets you capture images straight from your smartphone. It also includes two eyepieces perfect for pairing with afocal photography.

Since this telescope doesn’t include a motor like other designs, it is also more lightweight and compact.

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