If you like stargazing and you want to become a better hobbyist astronomer, but you do not want to invest in pricey equipment, there is a solution that you can try. Given the advances in technology, our phones can be transformed into practical devices that we can use when pursuing hobbies. Here is a short guide on how you can use your phone as a telescope.
Do the planning
One of the most important steps that one has to take before going stargazing is planning. Just before you hop in your car, you can use your phone to research the weather forecast for the location that you have selected as your observing site.
Another thing that you can do is to check the levels of pollution of the desired area. This is essential because, as you know, light pollution can make it impossible for activities such as sky watching.
There are plenty of apps that you can download for free if you want to uncover unknown constellations or other celestial bodies. Most of these apps use your camera to locate these celestial bodies and they also provide you with info regarding them. As a result, you’ll have no trouble identifying the stars that you are looking for.
This feature is very practical, especially for novices or for first-time stargazers. As you probably know, as a hobbyist astronomer with little experience, it is highly difficult for one to correctly and accurately find celestial bodies without a map or extra assistance.
These apps are also handy for children interested in learning more about the sky. With an app such as SkyView Free, they can find popular constellations and celestial bodies in a matter of minutes.
Use a smartphone adapter
If you own a telescope, you can still use your phone for taking pictures of the sky by using a cellphone adapter. If you want to get a new telescope, but you are worried that you do not have the needed space, you can find smaller ones at just one click away. These adapters are very useful as they allow you to center the celestial body that you want to take a closer look at in the viewscreen of your phone.
This simple device can make a big difference when it comes to the clarity of the images that you can observe. Plus, you can also use this set up to record videos or to take photos of the sky.
If you live in 2020, you are probably the proud owner of a smartphone that has excellent resolution. However, one thing that our smartphones still do not have is the required exposure controls that would allow us to capture the lunar disc or other subtitle details.
Still, this issue can be resolved. If you want to be able to see such details, all you need to do is to invest in eyepiece filters that can reduce the brightness of the celestial bodies so that you can observe them more clearly.
Just like in the case of all astronomical pursuits, you need to practice until you get good at both stargazings and at photographing celestial bodies. So, don’t feel disappointed if, at first, the photos that you snap are not as crisp and clear as those that you can find online.
Besides, if you are a novice and you want to learn more about stargazing, you should also consider joining a local astronomy club. Here you can meet new people who share your passion for the stars. What is more, they can also teach you how to find suitable locations in your area where you can go for stargazing expeditions.