Enter the Space & Beyond Box Photo Contest!

Posted by Jake Parks
on Tuesday, March 24, 2020

By David J. Eicher

The Space & Beyond Box Night Sky Photo Contest has just begun! We’re encouraging you to enter any photo you’ve made of the heavens, and the prize will be an Interstellarum Deep Sky Atlas and Guide Set, a $179.99 value, and a wonderful guide to observing deep-space objects.

The Contest is open now through April 23, 2020.

Imaging the sky ranges from the very simple to the highly complex. The digital chips in cell phones and DSLRs are now so good that you can take some wide-field constellation and Milky Way pictures even with the simplest of equipment, and pretty short exposures of 30 second or less.

For photos of the Moon and planets, up close, the task is far more difficult. They are so small that you need to shoot them through a telescope, at pretty high magnifications. Although the exposures are short because these objects are pretty bright, they need to be recorded at great resolution — crisp detail — to record anything on their disks.

Deep-sky objects — stars, galaxies, nebulae, and star clusters — require a totally different challenge. They are generally small too, but they are also very faint. So, they require longer exposures, even with the sensitive detector chips in today’s modern cameras. Because Earth rotates, the long exposures of maybe a few minutes to 10 or 20 minutes, require tracking your telescope in the opposite direction of Earth’s rotation. Doing this at just the right rate produces sharp, pinpoint star images rather than blurry or trailed images.

But astrophotos can be simple! Send us whatever tickles your fancy!

Consult Astronomy.com or issues of Astronomy magazine for much more info on how to take your own astroimages!

We look forward to seeing your best, and thanks for becoming a part of our Space & Beyond Box community. We value your involvement and interest, and look forward to hearing from you.

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