He must be over the moon! Amateur star-gazer takes incredible Milky Way photos with DIY telescope he built using spare parts off eBay (and the snaps are so good they rival NASA’s £16bn Hubble telescope)
- Amateur star-gazer Arnaud Prevot, 50, made his telescope out of spare parts
- The DIY marvel snapped some amazing photos of the Milky Way rivalling NASA
An amateur star-gazer is over the moon with his stunning astro-photos he has produced from a £900 homemade telescope in his back garden.
Arnaud Prevot’s out of this world images of the Milky Way and the Orion constellation are comparable to those from NASA’s £16bn Hubble telescope.
Arnaud, 50, spent weeks slowly building his telescopic contraption from scratch using concrete breeze blocks, a car brake disc and a lot of careful soldering.
He used a secondhand 2ft long Sky Watcher 130PDS telescope with a 5ins lens he bought from eBay.
It has been fixed on a German equatorial computerised mount which freely rotates 360 degrees to follow any star or galaxy in the sky.
Arnaud’s telescopic cameras were built from scratch using concrete breeze blocks and a car brake disc
Arnaud managed to take an amazing wide shot of the Milky Way and Orion Constellation
He has attached a 2008 Canon 450D camera to the telescope’s lens which is controlled remotely by a laptop computer.
Arnaud has also wired up the telescope to his laptop which he has run into his kitchen. He can also control the telescope through his phone when using it as a remote desktop.
Using the computer programmes N.I.N.A (Night-time Imaging ‘N’ Astronomy) and Stellarium he can select a particular star and produce incredible pictures at the click of a button.
Arnaud, a dog behaviorist from Bournemouth, Dorset, has spent about £900 on the telescopic contraption.
He completed the project in January and he couldn’t wait to start producing images.
He has jokingly compared his recent pictures of the Pinwheel Galaxy to those of the famous Hubble telescope.
He has been fascinated by stars since he was 10-years-old and saw a picture of the Horsehead Nebula on the cover of the 1983 copy of National Geographic.
The DIY telescope was able to pick out the details of the cosmos in amazing stills
The Milky Way was captured on Arnaud’s telescope in extreme levels of detail
He said: ‘It has been like fulfilling a life long dream. I’ve been a science nerd all my life and it has been such a journey assembling my rig.
‘Every day I would get back from work and spend an hour or two soldering or reading through what I needed to do for the next piece of the set-up.
‘When I was finally able to start taking pictures I was just overwhelmed. It has become a bit of an obsession.
‘I saw a picture of the Horsehead Nebula when I was very small and was immediately fascinated by it.
‘To be able to compare the pictures I’m taking now with the Hubble telescope is unbelievable.
‘I made sure that all of the kit I used was well regarded in the astronomy community.
‘It would be very difficult to upgrade the technical parts of my rig now but I hope to save up some money to have a more stable foundation.
‘People can’t believe it when I say that I manage to take the pictures I do with a set-up that cost less than £1,000.
‘Most new cameras would cost more than that any they wouldn’t have anywhere near the same capacity to take astro pictures as my rig.’
The Horsehead Nebula can be seen on the easternmost point of Orion’s belt.
It was first spotted in 1888 by Scottish astronomer Williamena Fleming at Harvard College Observatory.