Tag Archives: orion nebula

Astrophotography Has Come a Long Way, Baby – Part II

27 Mar

In 2014, I compared a photo I’d taken of the Orion Nebula with my iPhone to the first-ever photograph of the nebula (taken by Henry Draper in 1880) and noted how similar they looked. I’ve continued to photograph the nebula through my telescope with a smartphone since then and noticed that my latest photo matches one taken by Draper near the end of his life, exactly 140 years earlier!

In ten seconds – with equipment we can carry in our pockets – we’re able to outdo what used to take more than two hours with the best photographic tools on the planet. And, of course, our smartphones can capture colour! See my full resolution iPhone image of the Orion Nebula on Flickr and learn more about the pioneering astrophotographer Henry Draper on Wikipedia.

You can also find Draper’s 1882 photo, which appears to have been damaged, here via the Cosmic Reflections blog.

Astrophotography Has Come a Long Way, Baby

3 Mar

Today I stumbled upon the first photograph of the Orion Nebula, taken by Henry Draper in 1880. I realized that it looked a lot like an image I was able to get through my telescope in December, 2013 using my iPhone!

I’ve compared the two photos below.

Image

LEFT: The first telescopic photo of the Orion Nebula by Henry Draper in 1880.
RIGHT: My telescopic image using an iPhone.

In about a second – with equipment we can carry in our pockets – we’re now able to outdo what used to take almost an hour. Now that’s progress!

Learn more about Henry Draper on Wikipedia and see my full resolution iPhone image of the Orion Nebula on Flickr.

UPDATE 03/06/14

This photo is now the subject of an article on the website io9 and a post on the I F*cking Love Science Facebook page! A big thrill for me!