Cool Space Pics with a Phone and BinocularsHi folks.
I'm here in the middle of nowhere, on my own, under blue skieswhich are gonna be lovely beautiful star filled skies to see whether I can shootthe Andromeda galaxy with this pair of binoculars and a mobile phone.
As ever I shall call on his musical darkness LordRiktenstein to accompany us.
Rik's a long way he's in LondonRick can you do the intro?yeah that's it.
here we go.
let's do itSo I don't know anyone who shot something three million light years awayWith just a mobile phone and binoculars.
We're breaking new groundand to give us the best possible chance of successI've left light polluted London and come to the dark skies of Devon, where my folkslive.
So what are we gonna do?we're gonna use this phone that I'm filming myself with nowand an ordinary tripod not a tracking mount an ordinary tripodand a pair of binocularsand we're going to use the power of stacking where you stack lots of photoson top of each otherto get a picture of Andromedathe biggest galaxy in our neighborhoodand as ever win or lose, succeed or fail I'm going to show you the resultI've got a good feeling about this man.
The EquipmentThis is itbinoculars, phone,plastic thing to hold the phone onto the end of the binocularslittle metal bracket to hold the binoculars onto the tripodand a tripodthere we go that's all everything00:03:11.
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970 thebinoculars they cost me thirty poundsthey're modern onesI believe modern ones are better.
They're fully multi-coated they've got bak4 prisms and they're not toozoomed in.
Nice wide angle to grab as much light as possible.
The other important piece of course is the phone.
Now I have an Android HTC u1100:03:30.
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200 I think any phone will do it but one thingthat you wantyou want to have a phone that will record its data in RAW formatthat will give you every little last photon that you capture will be saved in the rawformat.
If it converts it down to a JPEG or a tiff or something else it justisn't so goodso really fingers crossed your phone will save things in RAWand the icing on the cake is if your phone is able to capture the deepredsand there's a pretty cool way of finding out if it doesWhy have I got a remote control?well because remote controls give off near infrared signaland also lots of hydrogen in space that gives off a signal in there in the deep redand a hydrogen alpha wavelengthso if your phone can see the remote control signal coming out of the remote controlthe you can capture all that lovely hydrogen goodnessOh no, it's raining!one good thing it's a lot lighter than my regular astro set upI wouldn't be able to bring everything inside as easily as this normally.
Is it going to work?the skies are looking a bit better so we can find outlittle tip align the phone with the binoculars before it gets dark it's just easierall right so first job focusing.
So the best thing to do is find a bright star and there's a really nice one overthere get it lined up in me other eyepieceyes it's appearing on the screenso all I've got to do is just adjust the focusup-and-down and fits right okay it's goodnext job find Andromeda.
How am I gonna do that?00:05:29.
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600 well the really super cool thing is that Ican use my phonewhich is on the end of my binoculars to do itbecause I can use Sky View free appI just asked it to find Andromedaslightly annoying it's upside down, just cause i found that easieranyway.
Andromedait's pointing me up so let's go upSo according to the App it says there's Andromedalet's see shall weNopeit's probably around here though.
Just a tiny bit out.
Just that little bit outPretty good I sayso.
it it just looks like sort of faint fuzzand it's kinda you can kind of tell that it's kind of.
the Galaxy itself is kind of angled you can see a faint fuzzlike that very faint.
we're coming Andromeda just one more thing to doset the exposure time Let's be really hopeful shall we.
eight-second capturenow the longer our shots are exposed for the more light we gettingand the better Andromeda will lookbut there's s a problem have a look at this.
okay yep as we thought, with eight seconds great we've got Andromeda look there itis the fuzzy blobproblem is our stars are trailing due to the Earth's rotationyep quite bad trailing so the trick is to get as long an exposure as you can without the Stars trailing toomuchtwo seconds?Goodalmost a trailingand we can still just about see Andromedaall right two seconds is goodtwo seconds it is not very long is itnow we've just got to take a lot of shotsand stack them on top of each otherso we're gonna need three hundred exposuresthree hundredthe more the better really but you know can we be arsed to do any morethan that ?I'm not sure we canto make it all a bit easier I downloaded an intervalometer appwhich takes the pictures for meyou'll definitely need one of theseit's all going quite well isn't itwell at least it was untill I looked up at the skythis could be mission failure we have a problem Houstonthis is bonkerspossibly even mobile phone astrophotography doesn't work during a snowstormjust putting that out theretwo hours later (at 1am)I'm not sure if you can see the beautiful view back here or notor even as you can see me but it's late, it's cold hence the balaclavaprobably time to go to bed I would have thought otherwiseI'm gonna be useless tomorrowbut before I go I want to show you this incredible sightso I'm gonna use the mobile phone to do a little time-lapse30-second shots.
Lets see if we can get itlook at thatafter the hail and the snows turned out absolutely bloody amazingI have to say I'm blown away by what this mobile phonecan do all by itselfcan it do as well with the binocularsso Andromeda is currently setting below the trees00:09:37.
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270 there she goes.
the snow has delayed us too much we can't get itso let's look for another target.
We can do a test at least.
what about this one; the Orion Nebulathere you go lovely starsNow Orion is quite low in the sky so I did my whole exposure testthing and found out I could only do one second long exposuressee how many I can get before I have to hit the hayall right, now the first mini problem.
Orion is drifting across the field of viewthe fix is pretty simple just realign the binocularsevery few minutesso I managed to get 180 shots that's three minutes totalexposure timeprobably not enough but I'm dead absolutely deadokay night Orion.
I'm going to bed.
I'll process you in the morningnext morning I didn't think much of what was going to happenwith this stack in these shots I've only got 157 that are usable anyway I stacked themand this is what we've gotI will provide a link to the free stacking software deep sky stacker and you cangrade it in this software tooI actually prefer to use another program called Astro pixel processor for the gradingright let's give this a little let's give this a little grade shall welook look look I am beginning to think I can see the actual structure a little bit of structurethe more I worked on it the better it got untileventually I ended up with this which i think is incredible three minutesand we're getting oxygen and hydrogenand a whole bunch of stuffjust imagine what we could do with more exposure timeI think if I go somewhere really dark like Dartmoor tonight I think this is gonnawork500 two second shots I've Andromeda with my mobile phone and the pair of binocularsand I think we'll get somethingmy mom's calling me I gotta gookay so see you tonight on Dartmoorokay over the cattle grid and we're on dartmoornow I've been coming here all my life but I've only been into astrophotographyfor three years so this is my first time observing here.
I'm excitedthere's a horse cominglooks like there's been a huntAlright! First off is this tourit's called Combstone Tour let's see if it's suitable shall weok here we are.
yeah it was too windy up there so .
down in the valley, this i'll do.
it's blooming cold though.
look at me wrapping upsetting up takes approximately five minutes so I've got nothing to do until it gets darkwhich is utterly utterly brilliantI likes it, I likes it in the country I doI was just looking at the blue sky and I thought all that must be a planeno it's a star there's a beautiful star just popped outand then I saw another one and soon we'll be able to get startedthere's the Milky Way our galaxyokay let's start imaging another more distant oneI'm doing 50 exposures and then I'm realigningand you can't see anything and you can't see me and youjust see this phoneI've gotta tell you, the sound of the river and the stars inthe Milky Way above me is just lovelyoh its boody coldthat's just absolute iceI'm okayso I've got 200 shots already another 300 to go it's excitingit was all going very wellbut then something weird started to happen to my mindwhen I turn this off with the bright light I am in pitch darkness if you look downbut looking up is full of jewelsI can even see something with this light on but when Iturn off its like wallopyou get the full effect it's absolutely brilliantit was kind of like my test with the mobile phone and binoculars wasn't really thatimportant anymoreall right off you go bye I want to look at the Stars trust me it's amazingand you're probably a bit jealous but you won't jealous tomorrow morning when I'm drivinginto work for four hoursI don't know how it happened but I became at one, shall we say, with theuniverse.
I have just spent the last 20 minutes looking up looking up at the heavensoh it's amazingI can see the Milky Way I can see some dark bands in the Milky WayI can see all the stars,all the stars that are bright I'm imagining that those stars are quite near me00:16:07.
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600 and then our galaxy I'm looking along theplain of our galaxyit's a very three-dimensional vision I can see.
Not what I remember the stars to be likeat allah we are so littlethe universe is so big and it's so beautiful.
It really isokay all done this is gonna be fun with all the ice.
Lets do it.
We're gonna stay in the streamstay in the streamI'm skidding oh man I'm tottaly skiddingcome on come onokay crossing to the other side of the roaduh oh this is where.
oh dear into the hedgeall right, phewnot too bad.
Home sailing now.
Let's goStill a little bit of ice.
Goodbye Dartmoor you were absolutely brilliantso next morning, I spent four hours traveling back to Londonand back to workBasically i had to wait until the weekend before I could do what I've beenlonging to do: process Andromedaokay, so first thing we do is pop the images into a program called deep sky stackerit's free and it's great.
You chuck in the images you tell it how many stars you want it to align with and it stacksthem on top of each othernow it does help if what you're shooting is in the middle of frame and Andromeda wasn'tunfortunately so I lost a few shotsI was just able to stack 300 shots I won't bore you with it now but if I'd havejust got it a bit more central things would have been betteranyway 300 shots 10 minutes worth of exposure time what do we gotwe've got Andromeda there she is this pretty good isn't itbut we can do better the background isn't flat it'sbrighter at the centreso I use a program called Astro pixel processor which is free for 30-daysto flatten out the backgroundthen I chucked it into Photoshop and got my final imageokay I have my harshest critic here to tell me what she thinksof this shot done with a mobile phoneand binocularsso here it is, Pads what do you think? Good.
you think it's Good? better than most of my stuff?okay there we go you've heard it here first, all right you can go if you wantyou heard it here first Adelaide Rose thinks it's good I think it's good tooactually I think it's better than goodI think it's bloomin brilliant look at that dust lanes in a galaxy threemillion light-years away and we got them.
Amazingcheers everyone good job good job I hope to see you taking pictures of all sortsof thingsbecause it's quick it's cheap and it's perfect for like if there's a half-hour break in thecloudsor if you're hiking and you can't carry your Astro stuffor maybe this could be your first Astro gig the thing that gets you hookedanyway Cheers well doneso to play us out we have Riktenstien's tuneage which has been amazing has it notand I've got a little secret plan that's gonna get Rick on the dance floorCome on Rik a deal's a dealthere we go.
So we promote Rik's music which you can download for a smalldonation see the link belowif Rick does a little boogey there we go it's a banging tune Rick and these are somebanging movesalso please watch some of our other stuffwe've got Saturn, Jupiter and Mars on the wayso why not take a look at Saturn for 75 quidand those of you live in a city fear not, you can do astrophotography.
Look at this.
Rick and I took off into space for our colliding galaxy mega zoomand Rick and I watched something fantastic which you've gotta check out is the Elon Musk'sFalconHheavy X launch which was awesome don't miss thatDon't be afraid to Subscribewe both have full-time jobs and it is hard to get these videos out as often aswe'd likeby subscribing you will definitely catch the next oneand you'll make us feel like these videosand all the effort that's gone into them has been worthwhilethanks for watching and see you on the next one.