Astrophotography (or astro imaging) is one of the more complicated subsets both of astronomy and of photography – but to the dedicated, can be a very rewarding past-time.
Amateurs today can take images that rival earlier efforts by the Hubble Space Telescope, thanks to modern software and image processing techniques. Digital imaging allows individual images to be processed, stacked together, and mosaicked to produce stunning results. Correct equipment is a must – including the software. Free programs from the web such as Registax, FireCapture, WinJUPOS, Stellarium and Deep Sky Stacker are great programs to begin with. More proficient software is available from many companies including Backyard EOS and APT – and arguably the best tutorial is PixInsight. Those who stay with the game invariably end up with MaxIm DL from Cyanogen Imaging.
Answered by Dr Simon Bennett at The Widescreen Centre
Image courtesy of Steven Coates