How-To: Build a star-tracker for your camera

Photography & Video Science
How-To:  Build a star-tracker for your camera


The best stellar photography requires long exposure times to capture the dimmer stars. The problem with long exposures of the night sky, of course, is that it moves. Or rather, it appears to move. So if you don’t have some way of keeping your camera pointed at the same location over the course of the exposure, you get “trailing.” Eric Chesak built this impressive star-tracking camera mount bracket and won a Design News contest back in March with it.

If you’ve got a clever idea for a gadget–and it doesn’t have to be as complicated as Eric’s star-tracker–why not enter it in our ongoing Gadget Freak Design Contest? The prizes are juicy–the big one awards $1000 cash and a storefront in Makers Market–and, between you, me, and the other hundred thousand people reading this, so far the pool of entrants, while impressive, is pretty slim. The deadline’s coming up on July 13, so get cracking!

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I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c't – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

View more articles by Sean Michael Ragan