Astrophotography

An image of Orion's Belt composited from digitized black-and-white photographic plates recorded through red and blue astronomical filters, with a computer synthesized green channel. The plates were taken using the Samuel Oschin Telescope between 1987 and 1991.
The large 48" Oschin Schmidt Camera at Palomar Observatory
Henry Draper with a refractor telescope set up for photography (photo probably taken in the 1860s or early 1870).
The first solar eclipse photograph was taken on July 28, 1851, by a daguerrotypist named Berkowski.
Henry Draper's 1880 photograph of the Orion Nebula, the first ever taken.
One of Andrew Ainslie Common's 1883 photographs of the same nebula, the first to show that a long exposure could record stars and nebulae invisible to the human eye.
The Hubble Space Telescope shortly after the STS-125 maintenance mission in 2009.
2 minute time exposure of the comet Hale-Bopp imaged using a camera on a fixed tripod. The tree in the foreground was illuminated using a small flashlight.
The Pleiades Star Cluster photographed with a 6 megapixel DSLR connected to an 80mm refracting telescope piggybacked on a larger telescope. Made from seven 180 second images combined and processed in Photoshop with a noise reduction plugin.
NGC281, popularly the 'Pacman Nebula', imaged from a suburban location using a 130mm amateur telescope and a DSLR camera.
An amateur astrophotography set up with an automated guide system connected to a laptop.
20sec exposure photograph taken with a tripod mounted DSLR camera with 18-55mm lens
Fixed tripod mounted camera capturing "star trails"
Star trails photographed in earth orbit from the International Space Station
Fixed tripod image of a solar eclipse using a digital-SLR camera with a 500 mm lens
1 minute exposure using ISO 800 film, wide angle lens, piggybacked on an equatorial telescope
Comet Hale-Bopp, camera with a 300mm lens piggybacked
Film image of the Andromeda Galaxy shot at the prime focus of an 8" f/4 Schmidt–Newton telescope
Lagoon and Trifid Nebulae in a montage of two film exposures with an 8" Schmidt–Newton telescope, manually guided
Image of the moon taken with a Nikon Coolpix P5000 digital camera via Afocal projection through an 8-inch Schmidt–Cassegrain telescope
The Moon photographed using the Afocal technique, using 10 seconds of video stacked to create a final image.
A composite of several Digital-SLR photos compiled in Photoshop taken via eyepiece projection from an 8-inch Schmidt Cassegrain telescope.
Saturn image using negative projection (Barlow lens) with a webcam attached to a 250mm Newtonian telescope. It is a Composite image made from 10% of the best exposures out of 1200 images.
Jupiter photographed using the Afocal technique, using 10 seconds of video stacked to create a final image.

Photography or imaging of astronomical objects, celestial events, or areas of the night sky.

- Astrophotography

242 related topics

Relevance

Imaging

Representation or reproduction of an object's form; especially a visual representation .

False-color image from a thermographic camera

Subfields within imaging science include: image processing, computer vision, 3D computer graphics, animations, atmospheric optics, astronomical imaging, biological imaging, digital image restoration, digital imaging, color science, digital photography, holography, magnetic resonance imaging, medical imaging, microdensitometry, optics, photography, remote sensing, radar imaging, radiometry, silver halide, ultrasound imaging, photoacoustic imaging, thermal imaging, visual perception, and various printing technologies.

Photographic plate

Photographic plates preceded photographic film as a capture medium in photography, and were still used in some communities up until the late 20th century.

AGFA photographic plates, 1880
Mimosa Panchroma-Studio-Antihalo Panchromatic glass plates, 9 x 12cm, Mimosa A.-G. Dresden
Negative plate
Image resulting from a glass plate negative showing Devil's Cascade in 1900.

Several important applications of astrophotography, including astronomical spectroscopy and astrometry, continued using plates until digital imaging improved to the point where it could outmatch photographic results.

Equatorial mount

Mount for instruments that compensates for Earth's rotation by having one rotational axis, the polar axis, parallel to the Earth's axis of rotation.

A large German equatorial mount on the Forststernwarte Jena 50cm Cassegrain reflector telescope.
The green equatorially mounted telescope rotates at the same rate as the earth but in the opposite direction, while the red telescope is not driven.
German equatorial mount
Open fork mount
English mount on the Hooker telescope
Horseshoe mount on the Hale telescope
Cross-axis mount.

Also, for astrophotography, the image does not rotate in the focal plane, as occurs with altazimuth mounts when they are guided to track the target's motion, unless a rotating erector prism or other field-derotator is installed.

Schmidt camera

Diagram of Schmidt camera
The 77 cm Schmidt-telescope from 1966 at Brorfelde Observatory was originally equipped with photographic film, and an engineer is here showing the film-box, which was then placed behind the locker at the center of the telescope (at the telescope's prime focus)
The 2 meter diameter Alfred Jensch Telescope at the Karl Schwarzschild Observatory in Tautenburg, Thuringia, Germany is the largest Schmidt camera in the world.
One of the Baker–Nunn cameras used by the Smithsonian satellite-tracking program
A Baker-Nunn satellite tracking camera in use.

A Schmidt camera, also referred to as the Schmidt telescope, is a catadioptric astrophotographic telescope designed to provide wide fields of view with limited aberrations.

Amateur astronomy

Hobby where participants enjoy observing or imaging celestial objects in the sky using the unaided eye, binoculars, or telescopes.

Amateur astronomers watch the night sky during the Perseid meteor shower.
Amateur astronomer recording observations of the sun.
Places like Paranal Observatory offer crystal clear skies for observing astronomical objects with or without instruments.
An image of the Cat's Paw Nebula created combining the work of professional and amateur astronomers. The image is the combination of the 2.2-metre MPG/ESO telescope of the La Silla Observatory in Chile and a 0.4-meter amateur telescope.
One of the rolls of amateur astronomy groups is outreach programs bringing astronomy to the general public
Sir Patrick Moore was one of the world's leading popularisers of astronomy.

One branch of amateur astronomy, amateur astrophotography, involves the taking of photos of the night sky.

Vega

Brightest star in the northern constellation of Lyra.

Vega is the brightest star in the constellation of Lyra.
The Summer Triangle
The path of the north celestial pole among the stars due to the precession. Vega is the bright star near the bottom
Astrophoto of Vega
Size comparison of Vega (left) to the Sun (right)
A mid-infrared (24 μm) image of the debris disk around Vega
Artist's concept of a recent massive collision of dwarf planet-sized objects that may have contributed to the dust ring around Vega
Artist's impression of a planet around Vega

Vega was the first star other than the Sun to have its image and spectrum photographed.

Optical telescope

Telescope that gathers and focuses light mainly from the visible part of the electromagnetic spectrum, to create a magnified image for direct visual inspection, to make a photograph, or to collect data through electronic image sensors.

The Large Binocular Telescope uses two curved mirrors to gather light
Schematic of a Keplerian refracting telescope. The arrow at (4) is a (notional) representation of the original image; the arrow at (5) is the inverted image at the focal plane; the arrow at (6) is the virtual image that forms in the viewer's visual sphere. The red rays produce the midpoint of the arrow; two other sets of rays (each black) produce its head and tail.
Eight-inch refracting telescope at Chabot Space and Science Center
The Keck II telescope gathers light by using 36 segmented hexagonal mirrors to create a 10 m (33 ft) aperture primary mirror
These eyes represent a scaled figure of the human eye where 15 px = 1 mm, they have a pupil diameter of 7 mm. Figure A has an exit pupil diameter of 14 mm, which for astronomy purposes results in a 75% loss of light. Figure B has an exit pupil of 6.4 mm, which allows the full 100% of observable light to be perceived by the observer.
Two of the four Unit Telescopes that make up the ESO's VLT, on a remote mountaintop, 2600 metres above sea level in the Chilean Atacama Desert.
Comparison of nominal sizes of primary mirrors of some notable optical telescopes
Harlan J. Smith Telescope reflecting telescope at McDonald Observatory, Texas

The electronics revolution of the early 21st century led to the development of computer-connected telescopes in the 2010s that allow non-professional skywatchers to observe stars and satellites using relatively low-cost equipment by taking advantage of digital astrophotographic techniques developed by professional astronomers over previous decades.

Photography

Art, application, and practice of creating durable images by recording light, either electronically by means of an image sensor, or chemically by means of a light-sensitive material such as photographic film.

Lens and mounting of a large-format camera
A camera obscura used for drawing
Earliest known surviving heliographic engraving, 1825, printed from a metal plate made by Nicéphore Niépce. The plate was exposed under an ordinary engraving and copied it by photographic means. This was a step towards the first permanent photograph taken with a camera.
View of the Boulevard du Temple, a daguerreotype made by Louis Daguerre in 1838, is generally accepted as the earliest photograph to include people. It is a view of a busy street, but because the exposure lasted for several minutes the moving traffic left no trace. Only the two men near the bottom left corner, one of them apparently having his boots polished by the other, remained in one place long enough to be visible.
View from the Window at Le Gras, 1826 or 1827, the earliest surviving camera photograph. Original plate (left) and colorized reoriented enhancement (right).
A latticed window in Lacock Abbey, England, photographed by William Fox Talbot in 1835. Shown here in positive form, this may be the oldest extant photographic negative made in a camera.
Wilson Chinn, a branded slave from Louisiana--per The New York Times, "one of the earliest and most dramatic examples of how the newborn medium of photography could change the course of history."
Undeveloped Arista black-and-white film, ISO 125/22°
A photographic darkroom with safelight
The first color photograph made by the three-color method suggested by James Clerk Maxwell in 1855, taken in 1861 by Thomas Sutton. The subject is a colored, tartan patterned ribbon.
Color photography was possible long before Kodachrome, as this 1903 portrait by Sarah Angelina Acland demonstrates, but in its earliest years, the need for special equipment, long exposures, and complicated printing processes made it extremely rare.
Kodak DCS 100, based on a Nikon F3 body with Digital Storage Unit
Photography on a smartphone
Angles such as vertical, horizontal, or as pictured here diagonal are considered important photographic techniques
An example of a dualphoto using a smartphone based app
This image of the rings of Saturn is an example of the application of ultraviolet photography in astronomy
Devices other than cameras can be used to record images. Trichome of Arabidopsis thaliana seen via scanning electron microscope. Note that image has been edited by adding colors to clarify structure or to add an aesthetic effect. Heiti Paves from Tallinn University of Technology.
Example of a studio-made food photograph.
Classic Alfred Stieglitz photograph, The Steerage shows unique aesthetic of black-and-white photos.
Josef H. Neumann: Gustav I (1976)
National Guardsman in Washington D.C. (2021)
Wootton bridge collapse in 1861
Photography may be used both to capture reality and to produce a work of art. While photo manipulation was often frowned upon at first, it was eventually used to great extent to produce artistic effects. Nude composition 19 from 1988 by Jaan Künnap.
The Musée de l'Élysée, founded in 1985 in Lausanne, was the first photography museum in Europe.

Because of the superior dimensional stability of glass, the use of plates for some scientific applications, such as astrophotography, continued into the 1990s, and in the niche field of laser holography, it has persisted into the 21st century.

Light pollution

Presence of unwanted, inappropriate, or excessive artificial lighting.

400x400px
A light pollution source, using a broad spectrum metal halide lamp, pointing upward at Uniqema factory, Gouda, the Netherlands
The city of Phoenix, seen from 55 miles away in Surprise, Arizona
An office building is illuminated by high-pressure sodium (HPS) lamps shining upward. Much light goes into the sky and neighboring apartment blocks, causing light pollution.
View of the Phoenix metro area from the top of Goldmine Trail in the San Tan Mountains
The Las Vegas Strip displays excessive groupings of colorful lights. This is a classic example of light clutter.
World map of light pollution. False colors show intensities of skyglow from artificial light sources around the world.
Streetlights at the ski resort Kastelruth in South Tyrol, Italy
A scorpion hides under rocks.
Birds flying trace and star trail near Rio de Janeiro beach at night time in light pollution
Brazil star trails and birds in light pollution in Rio beach at night
The constellation Orion, imaged at left from dark skies, and at right from within the Provo/Orem, Utah metropolitan area
The Atacama Desert in northern Chile is far from any cities, and the night sky there is pitch-black. Photo by José Francisco Salgado.
Light pollution is mostly unpolarized, and its addition to moonlight results in a decreased polarization signal.
Crossroad in Alessandria, Italy: luminaires with mercury lamps are in the background, LED street lights in the middle, luminaires with high pressure sodium lamps are in the foreground.
Original shot: lower edge Alkaid, right of center the double star Mizar with Alcor and right edge Alioth; the Pinwheel Galaxy is a small diffuse dot in the center of the image.
Black level compensation: the darkest point in the digital picture was set to zero luminance, in order to reduce the visible stray light. However, blue light caused by Rayleigh scattering is visible in the center of the image.
50 percent of stray light removed: the darker half of the stray light was set to zero luminance. The darker part of the blue light caused by Rayleigh scattering is still visible in the center of the image.
Complete elimination of stray light: all pixels showing stray light have been set to zero luminance, the faint and two-dimensional Pinwheel Galaxy is no longer visible, too.
alt=This kind of LED droplight could reduce unnecessary light pollution in building interiors.|This kind of LED droplight could reduce unnecessary light pollution in building interiors.
alt=A flat-lens cobra luminaire, which is a full-cutoff fixture, is very effective in reducing light pollution. It ensures that light is directed only below the horizontal, which means less light is wasted by directing it outwards and upwards.|A flat-lens cobra luminaire, which is a full-cutoff fixture, is very effective in reducing light pollution. It ensures that light is directed only below the horizontal, which means less light is wasted by directing it outwards and upwards.
alt=This drop-lens cobra luminaire allows light to escape sideways and upwards, where it may cause problems.|This drop-lens cobra luminaire allows light to escape sideways and upwards, where it may cause problems.
alt=The majority of Italian regions require "zero upward light", which usually implies the use of overall full cut-off lamps for new luminaires, but violations are common.|The majority of Italian regions require "zero upward light", which usually implies the use of overall full cut-off lamps for new luminaires, but violations are common.
alt=This time exposure photo of New York City at night shows skyglow.|This time exposure photo of New York City at night shows skyglow.
alt=A comparison of the view of the night sky from a small rural town (top) and a metropolitan area (bottom). Light pollution dramatically reduces the visibility of stars.|A comparison of the view of the night sky from a small rural town (top) and a metropolitan area (bottom). Light pollution dramatically reduces the visibility of stars.
alt=Impact of light pollution on a starry night, as seen from a 4200 m altitude on Mount Damavand in Iran.|Impact of light pollution on a starry night, as seen from a 4200 m altitude on Mount Damavand in Iran.

Even at apparent clear night skies, there can be a lot of stray light that becomes visible at longer exposure times in astrophotography.

Telescope mount

Mechanical structure which supports a telescope.

1 meter Zeiss telescope at Merate Astronomical Observatory, Merate (LC), Italy. (South support)
William Herschel's 49 in 40-foot telescope on an altazimuth mount.
A Baker-Nunn satellite-tracking camera on an altitude-altitude-azimuth mount.
Equatorial mount (Stützmontierung) devised by Alfred Jensch

The telescope's field-of-view rotates at varying speed as the telescope tracks, whilst the telescope body does not, requiring a system to counter-rotate the field of view when used for astrophotography or other types of astronomical imaging.