Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Night Sky iPhone Photos with In-App Star Trails

I woke up last night to let the dog out and got distracted by the rising Winter Hexagon of stars. I can't wait to see this part of the sky on the regular later this winter. It's a particularly good target for iPhone night sky photos because the bright stars show up well even on the tiny iPhone camera.

I propped the iPhone up on a small stand (the same one I used here). The app I used is called Night Cap Pro and it does a great job!

iphone star trails
Same photo as below, but I turned the brightness down a little bit to make the sky less pale gray and make the stars pop.
iphone star trails
Same photo as above straight out of the iPhone, all star trails are done in-app with long exposure. This was about 10 minutes. That bright blob to the bottom left just coming over the roof is Venus, the rest is Orion, Gemini, and some planes.
orion and gemini with iphone
I also used the star trail mode to make this image. The star trail mode actually does a better job than the noise reduction mode at cleaning up the sky for a nice regular star photo. This was about 20 seconds and you can just barely see trails.
pleiades and perseus with iphone
I put the phone off the side of the table and pointed it straight up to see how it would do without light pollution on the horizon. I was so happy to see my favorite constellation Perseus and the instantly recognizable Pleiades cluster. So cool even on an iPhone photo! This one is also straight out of the camera.

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