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Photographing The Night Sky

What's in the night sky?

Astronomical objects such as the stars, planets, the moon, comets and meteors can be seen with the naked eye from earth. Depending on where you are on Earth, you can also see auroras such as the northern lights or southern lights. The visibility of these objects are affected by light pollution and so not all of them may be visible if you live in a city. This is known as urban skyglow. Light from the moon can also hinder astronomical viewing of other astronomical objects.

How do I do night sky photography?

All you really need is a camera phone and you can take excellent pictures of the sky. Some telescopes offer attachments to allow you to take photos using your smartphone through a telescope. This can be an android or iPhone.

How to take a time-lapse of the night sky?

You can use a variety of apps to help you take a time-lapse of the night sky. You can try this one on Google Play Store or this one on the Apple Store

What lens is best for taking night sky photography?

Most smartphone cameras are good enough to take night time photography. The need for a specialist lens is not necessary if you are doing it for fun.

Image by eberhard grossgasteiger

What’s visible in the night sky?

Depending on the time of year and whether you are near a city or living in the countryside you will be able to see different objects. With the naked eye, you can see the constellations and stars, the moon, galaxies, comets, asteroids, the international space station and satellites. With a telescope or even a pair of binoculars, you can see them in much more detail.

Image by Marc Arias

What telescope should I use to view the night sky?

Depending on your price range we recommend if you are new to stargazing that you don’t need an expensive top of the range telescope. We recommend the following:

Celestron 21035 Travel Scope 70 Telescope


By buying through these affiliate links you help support Spaceship Earth.


Celestron 31045 AstroMaster 130EQ Reflector Telescope


This one is great for kids: 

TELMU Astronomical Telescope for Kids Educational Science Refractor with Super Lightweight Tripod for Astronomy Beginners

Many telescopes can be used with a special attachment that connects your smartphone to the eyepiece which allows you to take photos with just your phone.

How do I take photographs of the night sky when light pollution is blocking my view from the city I live in?

This one of the reasons why we launched our Clear Night Skies Projects to not only help reduce light pollution but to give all humans the chance to view the night sky one night a year without any light pollution.

Light pollution stops the majority of humans seeing the night sky in all its glory. This disconnects us from our surroundings. What we want to do is to bridge that connection by encouraging councils and governments to turn off all street lights from midnight to 5 am so that citizens across the world can see the night sky in its natural form. Click the button below to learn more.

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