$16 billion telescope vs $500 telescope
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Hardware and soft
July 12, 2022, 4:27 pm


Although we now associate telescopes and astronomy primarily with the scientific world, enthusiasts in this field also have something to be proud of. An example is the image of the Eagle Nebula by Andrew McCarthy.




Source: Unsplash | Theo Vetter

A few days ago, Andrew McCarthy (aka cosmic_background) published On Reddit, a post comparing an image from the Hubble telescope and its own, taken with a 12-inch Newtonian telescope, is worth about $500 (about PLN 2,400). As the author himself points out, the photo taken by scientists contains more details The image obtained with the help of amateur equipment is also impressive. It should be noted that in both cases it was necessary to use narrow-band filters, which are necessary to remove unnecessary objects from the frame.

The $16 Billion Telescope vs the $500 Telescope - Illustration #1

Comparison of Eagle Nebula images (Hubble telescope left, $500 telescope right). Source: Reddit | u / ajamesmccarthy.

How much does a sky photo cost?

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McCarthy’s first telescope. Source: cosmicbackground.io.

The end result is surprising, especially when we compare the costs of taking photos with professional solutions. The construction, launch and maintenance of the Hubble telescope is approx 16 billion dollarsThe equipment McCarthy used only cost $500. However, it is worth noting that he bought a used one.


Pictures from Earth and Pictures from Space

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Which of you will start observing the universe from your garden? Source: unsplash.com | Simon Delaland.

Many of you may ask: If putting a telescope into orbit is so expensive, why not use equipment on Earth like McCarthy? The answer is very simple – The biggest problem is the Earth’s atmosphere, which causes major distortions in the final image. Overcast skies or city lights can pose additional obstacles. These factors force enthusiasts to seriously look for places to photograph the sky or use different filters. The author of the photo admitted that he had to spend a lot of time (only 8 hours of exposure) to take only one photo. If you want to try your hand at sky photography, you can check it out Articles The author, describing his beginnings, shares photos taken and shares his observations.

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