How can I display the image from my telescope on my computer screen?
August 27, 2012 8:44 PM   Subscribe

I'd like suggestions/recommendations on a solution that will let me display the image from my telescope onto a computer screen.

I have a telescope. My kids are now old enough to start finding looking at the stars cool, but not quite old enough to really have the patience to focus the thing or be good about taking turns. It's particularly difficult to show them fast-moving objects like the planets.

It occurred to me recently that since it's now the 21st century, there should be some way for me to hook my telescope up to my computer to display the image there for them and anyone else to see.

If it matters - the telescope is a Celestron C80 refractor. It's over 25 years old (my parents bought it for me to see Halley's Comet in 1986). I currently only have two eyepieces - a 26mm and a 6mm, but I'm considering buying more.

The only solution I've found so far is this thing from Orion, but the reviews make it clear that you get really crappy resolution, and that's definitely not what I want. I really would like something that lets me display pretty much exactly what I see, particularly through the higher-power eyepiece, since that's when you get to see the really cool stuff.

Note that I'm not really interested in astrophotography. Also, for the sake of the discussion, let's pretend that price isn't an object.
posted by robhuddles to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: As badass as metafilter is, I think you will get better answers at the cloudy nights forums.
posted by H. Roark at 9:12 PM on August 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

I've heard of folks attaching a webcam for astrophotography applications. That might be an option for you.
posted by whatisish at 9:34 PM on August 27, 2012

I have used a camera for a microscope, not telescope, but it looked exactly like the Orion camera in your link. In fact I have used two: a small one like the one in the link that came with the microscope and has horrible resolution, and a fancy one that was much larger, topped out at about 3 megapixels and cost something like 300 euros. You can also get adapters to mount a DSLR camera in place of the telescope eyepiece, if you already have one.
posted by Dr Dracator at 9:50 PM on August 27, 2012

Note that I'm not really interested in astrophotography.

It's not clear to me what the difference is between astrophotography and what you want to do, aside from the fact that you might not care about keeping copies of the images. Are you not looking for a camera, to take pictures of the night sky?
posted by jon1270 at 2:48 AM on August 28, 2012

Response by poster: @jon1270 - no, I'm not looking for a camera. Something closer to a projector, really - I want to merely make it possible to see what the telescope sees via my computer screen instead of looking through the eyepiece.
posted by robhuddles at 1:47 PM on August 28, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks, H. Roark. I'll check out those forums.
posted by robhuddles at 1:48 PM on August 28, 2012

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