Rosette Nebula

The Wired How-To-Wiki has a page up on how to photograph the stars with a digital camera, tripod, camera mount, and telescope. If you want to compensate for the Earth’s rotation (so you don’t get trails in the image), you’ll also need to pick up motor drive for your scope:

It sounds like something you’d have to be a pro to attempt, but taking pictures of the heavens is easy to do with the even the simplest of set-ups.

Here are some tips for getting the best results when you tilt your camera towards the heavens.

Stars are very dim, so to photograph the night sky, you’re going to have to keep your camera’s shutter open for several minutes. Of course, the rotation of the Earth causes the stars to appear to move in the sky. Leaving the shutter open on a stationary camera is going to result in each star leaving a trail behind it.

Photograph the Stars – Wired How-To Wiki [via lifehacker]

The photograph of the Rosette Nebula at the top of this post is taken by amateur astronomer Steven Childers. His photo is also featured on the cover of:

Illustrated Guide to Astronomical Wonders: Get it now at the Maker Shed