Amateur astronomy can be quite a complex, demanding and costly hobby. On the other hand, one may also spend many rewarding hours with just a few, simple tools. My own "passions" are mainly armchair astronomy and simple, low-cost astrophotography.

What then, can one in all fairness consider "low-cost"? Well that depends of course, but today a great many people (speaking about lucky us in the better-off parts of the world) have a PC and a digital camera. All that you will need else is a tripod and some simple digital imaging software (which you may even find as freeware) and you are off. In fact, good old-fashioned analogue film may also still be used - but to my own experience that wasn't exactly cheap in the long run.

The example on the cover page is a little bit more exotic, but not really complicated or costly. The moon is captured on a stormy and cloudy night with moments of very good seeing seeing by means of: 1) A cheap (EUR 45) wireless miniature C-MOS video surveillance camara; 2) an old tele lens (a Tamron SP 350 mm catadioptric - which admittedly cost a fortune when I purchased it a great many years ago - but almost any decent old lens will do); 3) a simple tripod and 4) a videograbber cable (costing around EUR 45 also) for capturing the video images on a PC. Connection between camera and lens is made of old bits and pieces from my junk box.

There are other, even simpler and cheaper examples to follow.....









Copyright 2007 - Steen G. Bruun