Astrophotography – Fetch the stars from the sky with the camera

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The stars and other celestial forms have always fascinated people, it is not for nothing that a special person is promised to fetch the stars for them from the sky. Thanks to the rapid development in photo technology, such a promise can actually be kept. At least fascinating photos of these celestial bodies can be made.

Astrophotography is the method of photography with which stars and other celestial bodies can be imaged in the range of the visible light spectrum and then permanently stored, either photographically or electronically. In principle, astrophotography is digiscoping at its best: because a camera is combined with a telescope.

The technology of today’s single-lens reflex or system cameras is so mature that they can be used to record celestial bodies. So there is no need for special cameras. In particular, the sensors of the cameras have become significantly less noisy in recent years, even with long exposures of several minutes.

This means that you can take pictures with high ISO values without any major loss of quality. In addition, the live view function of most cameras makes it easier to focus on the sometimes tiny objects to be photographed.


Astrophotography is on demand

In practice, however, it quickly becomes apparent that astrophotography is quite demanding. The first step is to purchase a telescope for observing the sky. In addition to the technical quality of the telescope itself, the stability of the tripod is important.

Because in astrophotography, the subjects are not only very far away, they are also constantly moving in relation to the earth. The telescope and the camera must therefore be constantly updated.

The tracking can be done manually or by machine. However, manual tracking can be a major challenge, especially with long exposures of several minutes.


How about a visit to an observatory?

Despite all the technical advances, astrophotography is a time-consuming, money-intensive and demanding hobby. The stars cannot be taken down from the sky in a hurry. But with a little improvisation it works: Visit the demonstration in an observatory and photograph a section of the sky on the dome of the observatory.

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