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Arduino star traker
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Author Andrei

I, personally, enjoy watching the stars at night. I even bought a simple 6" telescope and I was able to see saturn quite well. But only with the telexcope is impossible to see those dim lights from other galaxies or nebulas. You need to get a lot of light for long periods of times, something called long exposure pictures. But if you take a long photo while the earth is moving, you will get a bad picture with the light blured over the entire photo because the earth moved. What you need is to track the stars and move the telescope at the same time as the earth is rotating. A good way to do taht is with a polar star analog tracker, but that's not as precise as this project. Using an Arduino plus some step motors to track the stars is a wat better way to do this and also cooler.

DentDentArthurDent posted his tutorials on this link on Instructables where you could see all the steps you need to make to get this project done. On the photo above we can see the final result with the main frame, the control remote taht has a 3D printed case, a display and some buttons, and we can also see the telescope. Inside that control case there is an Arduino MEGA, an LCD display, a GPS module and a lot more. We can see all the connections in the picture below. Also, on the side we have an example photo that was taken using this technique. He was able to take a photo of the Andromeda galaxy and the result is a lot better than using other techniques.

The image is sharper, bright light and amazing shape of the galaxy. Using step motors, the movement is a lot more precise than using analog controls with maybe a DC motor or just gears rotaing.

So guys, I think this is an amazing project and I love seeing this kind of photos of stars and galaxies. If you want to see more, check the post on Instrucatbles from DentDentArthurDent and see how he made this tracker, the part list for the project, the theory behind this and all the codes taht you need.

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Blog#66 - Star tracker

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