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Super fun night. With just an hour or so to play with I set out specifically to have a look at m13 after being inspired by @alacant's gorgeous image the other day. I found it (hurrah) and then even managed a quick look  at something else before successfully returning to it. Small, small, victory I know but with my nascent star hopping "skill", small early wins are important I think. 

I spent a while just looking and then shot this using the phone's built in astro mode - I've posted the 'fiddled with' image but also, the phone makes a little animation of the frames it's stacked for the shot, which included a satellite transit that I think is extra fun. 

P

 

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Pixel 4a in "stars mode", skywatcher 130pds, celestron ultima duo 13mm. 

 

Edited by Penumbrella
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10 hours ago, Penumbrella said:

Pixel 4a in "stars mode

Yes, you definitely found it and great news with the 'phone. Well done.

Here's hoping that there's a future therein which will finally replace the current mess of cables, conventional hardware and frustration. If anyone can do it, it's Google.

Cheers.

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Posted (edited)

I've just bought myself a second-hand Pixel 4a. How do I access stars mode? All I can see is night mode.

Edit: I've just found Astrophotography mode. Hopefully, I can work it out from there 

Edited by cajen2
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Posted (edited)

You may already know but on the second picture you’ve also captured a small galaxy - NGC 6207 - you can just make it out if you look closely. I’ve circled it on a single shot iPhone picture that I took of M13 last April on an even smaller Skywatcher Skyhawk 1145p.

18558015-92FE-4E88-97CD-E94534A1446B.jpeg

Edited by PeterStudz
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7 hours ago, cajen2 said:

I've just bought myself a second-hand Pixel 4a. How do I access stars mode? All I can see is night mode.

Edit: I've just found Astrophotography mode. Hopefully, I can work it out from there 

Glad you got it sorted - for me it just seems to appear as a replacement for the shutter button on the night sight option when the phone is very still. No idea if there's fiddling available - sometimes the duration it selects is different but I don't know why. Either way I think its just bonkers what it is pulling off with such a tiny little sensor! 

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7 hours ago, PeterStudz said:

You may already know but on the second picture you’ve also captured a small galaxy - NGC 6207 - you can just make it out if you look closely. I’ve circled it on a single shot iPhone picture that I took of M13 last April on an even smaller Skywatcher Skyhawk 1145p.

 

I did not know that! Thank you. That's a a great shot too - there should be points for smallness of scope and age of phone! 

You also made me realise that my futzing to darken the sky has obliterated the fainter fuzzies that might be in there. 

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9 hours ago, Penumbrella said:

Glad you got it sorted - for me it just seems to appear as a replacement for the shutter button on the night sight option when the phone is very still. No idea if there's fiddling available - sometimes the duration it selects is different but I don't know why. Either way I think its just bonkers what it is pulling off with such a tiny little sensor! 

I found it in night mode by clicking on the little tools symbol above the image box.

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@Penumbrella I started out trying to make the background of each image as dark as I could. But as you suggest, in the process you can’t help but loose some detail. And I have so much light pollution (my garden is Bortle 7) that the background is almost always far too light anyway. However, sometimes, with a bright target like the Orion Nebula I can get away with it.

I now tend to look at this as an aid to observing, rather than full on astrophotography. Eg when I was trying to find the Leo Triplet I tried for a good two hours to see it in my small telescope, but as hard as I could try I couldn’t see the slightest smudge. As a last resort I stuck my iPhone over the eyepiece, took a 30sec test shot and they they were. Faint but there. I was chuffed! And at least I was in the right place - my star hoping had worked. 

Or when I was trying to show my daughter some of the moon landing sites. In order to make it easier and a little more fun I attached the phone camera over the eyepiece and put it on a live video view. It was then easy to show the features by pointing to them on the screen. Then remove the phone and have a look down the eyepiece. Of course with the moon you don’t need to have eyes adapted to the dark. 

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@PeterStudz Yes, absolutely - i definitely think that, despite the excited sharing of the image, I'll be exploring ways the phone can help with observing rather than starting the cash-burning quest of "serious" astrophotography. I can totally related to the phone shot acting as vindication. So much of the learning curve, for me anyway, is actually knowing that you're on the right track and 'doing it right' rather than the difficulty of the actual tasks at hand - whether that's collimation, or star-hoping (I saw what you did there 🤣). I find it very easy to 2nd or 3rd guess myself out there in the dark and get disheartened, so it's really great to have a little helping hand, or as in this case a little sanity check. I was so incredulous that i'd actually found M3 on a previous night after too many cold hours of frustration, that, assuming i'd stumbled into something else, i had to pop the image into an online plate solver before i'd take the win! 

 

 

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  • 1 month later...

M13 has become easily my favourite target - mainly because it's currently one of the very few things i can reliably find! 

I got a new (2nd hand) eyepiece and, incredibly, it arrived to a clear night, so here is M13 through the Altair-Astro Ultraflat 30mm. It's a wider view than I've had before - and my first 2" eyepiece, but it's a markedly better view than the 13mm Ultima duo, which I had thought was the proverbial knees. That said, M13 was much higher up in the sky, so that's probably helped out here too.  Either way, another wonderful night under the sky and it remains totally bonkers to me what these phones can do.

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No futzing, just as it came out of the phone. @PeterStudz you'll be pleased to see NG6207 is just about spottable here now i know where to look - it certainly wasn't by eye!

Pixel 4a, celestron NexYZ mount, skywatcher 130pds, Altair Ultraflat 30mm 

 

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