The future’s bright for smartphone astronomy

Smartphones can now be used for observing and photographing the night sky.

Smartphones can be used to capture most astronomical events. What will the coming year bring for smartphone astrophotography? Image Credit: iStock

As I write this blog it is just a week away from Christmas, so naturally I’m getting excited as to what astro goodies await me in my stocking this year.

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2019 will soon be upon us and I always marvel at what new advances might be made in astro tech in the coming months and indeed, years.

Cameras such as DSLRs and high frame rate cameras will no doubt continue to become more sensitive.

Smart phones continue to amaze, as each model now has a camera that can take amazing images of many aspects of the night sky.

One does wonder whether eventually all other cameras will go extinct if smartphone snappers continue to develop at such an astonishing rate!

Even the adapters that hold them to the eyepiece have become very sophisticated, which makes it even more likely that in the near future perhaps the winning image of the annual IIAPY awards will have been taken with a smartphone!

Another aspect of astronomy/astro imaging is in solar observation at different wavelengths.

In the January 2019 issue of BBC Sky at Night Magazine, Gary Palmer takes a look at the latest offering from DayStar, their Quark Magnesium I b2 solar eyepiece/filter.

To think that when I began my astro adventures we were happy to view the Sun safely by projection methods alone. Now look what we can do!

Our other two reviews this month feature refractors: one a high end apochromatic from Vixen, the SD103S, reviewed by Pete Lawrence, and the other a good GoTo starter system suited to mobille and tablet users, the Sky-Watcher Startravel 102 AZ-GTe, reviewed by yours truly.

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The first is a multi-tasker allowing for imaging and visual uses whilst the second is primarily for visual but can take simple and basic images to get you started.