The Mac Observer

Skip navigational links

You're viewing an article in TMO's historic archive vault. Here, we've preserved the comments and how the site looked along with the article. Use this link to view the article on our current site:
Astrophotography of Jupiter with an iPhone

Astrophotography of Jupiter with an iPhone

by , 12:45 PM EDT, October 28th, 2008

An expert amateur astronomer in Arizona has captured a terrific photo of Jupiter and its Galilean moons with an Apple iPhone and a Meade catadioptric telescope.

The astrophoto was taken over the weekend of Oct 25 by Michael Weasner of Tucson, Arizona. He used the afocal technique with a 2x Barlow lens, a 15 mm eyepiece, a lunar filter (to reduce the brightness slightly) and an iPhone 2G. The effective magnification was 267x. The telescope was a Meade 8-inch (20 cm) LX200-ACF. The catadioptric telescope uses a glass corrector plate and mirrors to achieve the "Advanced Coma-Free" system related to the original Ritchey-Chrétien design.


The photo shows three of the four "Galilean" moons of Jupiter: Ganymede, Io, Europa, on the right, left to right. Callisto was not in the frame, and a faint star can be seen on the left of Jupiter. A few of Jupiter's cloud bands can be seen in the iPhone photo.

Galileo was the first to see these largest moons of Jupiter through his homemade telescope in 1610, and they were named after him. Jupiter has, at last count, 62 moons, but the four largest Galilean moons are about the same size as the Earth's moon while the rest are generally much smaller. Some people with excellent vision have claimed to be able to see these moons, in favorable positioning and seeing conditions, with their naked eye.

Meade LX200-ACF

The photo was cleaned up slightly with Apple's Aperture to adjust the exposure (brightness) and contrast.

Mr. Weasner is the founder and maintainer of "Weasner's Mighty ETX Site" where he covers all things related to Meade astronomical telescopes, including his own and submitted astrophotography.

Back in January, Mr. Weasner submitted one of the first astronomical photos of the Earth's moon using similar equipment and an Apple iPhone 2G.

Recent Headlines - Updated October 8th

Thu,6:56 PM
The Big Mac Bundle: $17.99
6:00 PM
The Two Sides of Apple: Brilliance and Ennui
2:28 PM
AT&T Fires Up Wi-Fi Calling Support
1:42 PM
TMO Daily Observations 2015-10-08: Samsung vs. TSMC iPhone Chips, Lightroom for iPad
11:36 AM
NASA’s Apollo Mission Photos Free on Flickr
10:33 AM
Adobe Sets Lightroom for iPhone, iPad Free from Creative Cloud
9:14 AM
Harry Potter Comes to Apple’s iBook Store with Enhanced Editions
Wed,10:30 PM
ACM 327: Competing with Google Now, Apple’s Other New Campus, iPad Pro for Artists
5:41 PM
Pay What You Want for the WordPress Wizard Bundle
1:56 PM
TMO Daily Observations 2015-10-07: AT&T Wi-Fi Calling, Apple TV and Vidity
11:50 AM
Read This Before You Install El Capitan
10:54 AM
How to Enable Wi-Fi Calling on Your iPhone
  • __________
  • Buy Stuff, Support TMO!
  • Podcast: Mac Geek Gab
  • Podcast: Apple Weekly Report
  • TMO on Twitter!