The Universe is a beautiful place. Whether it’s aurorae or galaxies, planets or nebulae, the swirling shapes and striking colours of the night sky are begging to be captured in photographs. So it should come as no surprise that amateur astronomers across the world are producing wonderful images of celestial objects.
Every month, BBC Sky at Night Magazine features a selection of your images in its Hotshots section, from where the photographs on the following pages are taken. It’s always an exciting part of the magazine to put together, as every month amateur astronomers surprise us with the colour and detail they are able to squeeze out of their cameras and telescopes.
And while it’s true there can be a bit of specialist equipment involved in astrophotography – some of the images here were taken with high frame rate planetary cameras, tracking mounts and filter wheels, or even dedicated solar telescopes – the majority were shot using an unmodified DSLR camera, some of them more than 10 years old. There’s even one from a mobile phone.
We’ve also included tutorials from Sky at Night presenter Pete Lawrence, showing you how to set your camera to capture some of the most popular targets in the night sky.
So if the images you see over the next 110 pages inspire you, there’s nothing to stop you having a go yourself. All you need are a camera, clear dark skies, and a little knowledge. Make sure you send your captures in to the magazine – you might see them in print. Email them to firstname.lastname@example.org or through our website.