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An Ephemeris Astronomy

Imaging the Moon with a telescope is not difficult. Follow our tutorial to find out how to record images and video at high magnification. The Moon is the astronomical object on which, very often, you aim the telescope for the first time and it’s what the amateur astronomer usually wants to photograph first. In this tutorial we explain how to, having a telescope, you can get great images of the Moon with both DSLR type or astronomy dedicated cameras (the ones that are usually called planetary cameras).

We’ll see how the planetary cameras let you imaging the Moon and record video at high magnification: we’ll explain how to process them with the free Registax software. The videos in this tutorial has been recorded using our Newton250CF f4.8 telescope, an optimal instrument for high resolution imaging.

Newton250CF f4.8 telescope

Newton250CF f4.8 telescope

In fact, the Newton serie optical tubes are not only are great for visual use (given the large diameter) and for deep-sky astrophotography (given the fast focal ratio). They are great instruments for imaging the Moon (generally, for the lunar and planetary imaging) at high magnification due to low obstruction and high level of optical correction (lambda / 10).

If you want to imaging the Moon and you have a DSLR (then a camera in which it is possible to remove the lens), you need2 accessories to connect it to the telescope:

1) T2 ring: converts the DSLR bayonet in a universalT2 thread: if you have a Canon EOS find our ring here, if you use a Nikon found the ring here.

2) Photographic adapter: it converts the universal T2 thread in a “nose” that fits into the focuser. Can have the 31,8mm or 50.8mmconnection for the focuser. For DSLR cameras with APS-C or  (like most of the Canon EOS or Nikon digital) orFull frame sensor, we recommend the second option since the 31.8mm connection is too small and this would cause vignetting (ie, a light decrease to the edge of the image).

The cameras specially designed for astronomy and, in particular, the planetary cameras usually are already provided with an adapter for the telescopes connection.

In order to imaging the Moon with reflector telescopes it’s better to check the collimation and one of the simplest methods is to use the Cheshire eyepiece. You can find this accessory with a complete guide on its use on our site.

As planetary camera for imaging the Moon, we recommend the Atik GP (visit the page on our website) with a Sony ICX445 sensor and 1296 x 964 resolution. This camera connects directly to the USB port (2.0) of the computer and, using the software provided in the package, it allows you to view directly on the PC screen the images that can be recorded in the form of video or still images. We recommend the monochrome version since this is also sensitive to the infrared region of the spectrum where the atmospheric turbulence (which tends to reduce the image contrast and recordable fine details) is lower than in the visible part. Then you can use a IR-Pass filter (click here for the webpage of the filter) to reduce turbulence.