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Astrophotography with an Apple iPhone

Astrophotography with an Apple iPhone

by , 3:05 PM EST, January 2nd, 2008

An advanced amateur astronomer, Michael Weasner, took a photograph of the full moon on Christmas Eve, 2007 with a Meade ETX telescope and an Apple iPhone.

The photo was taken near Tucson, Arizona, using a Meade ETX-70 refractor and a 9 mm eyepiece (39x). The iPhone was placed behind the eyepiece in what's called "afocal" mode. This photograph, which is not the first instance of an astronomical photo with an Apple iPhone, nevertheless shows what an experienced amateur astronomer can do with a small telescope and the camera in Apple's mobile phone.

The photograph is un-retouched except for resizing. The iPhone EXIF file did not record an exposure time, but did indicate f/2.8.

Full Moon, December 24th, 2007, with Apple iPhone and Meade ETX-70

The iPhone is not suitable for long-duration astrophotography, but for a bright object like the moon and a short exposure, decent results can be obtained. Other cell phones have also been used for such informal photography, but the delight of using an iPhone for astrophotography is hard to resist.

Meade ETX-70 refractor

Mr. Weasner is a noted amateur astronomer who founded The Mighty ETX Website and has published "Using the Meade ETX:100 Objects You Can Really See with the Mighty ETX" (Patrick Moore's Practical Astronomy Series)

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