This 550MP image of the Carina Nebula merges 208,000 photos shot through a consumer telescope

Tips & Techniques

I have only recently begun to discover astronomy, but it’s an even more expensive hobby than photography. So, I’m really happy to see that you can take stunning photos even through a tiny consumer telescope. And I mean, really stunning! This 550-megapixel photo shows star clusters and nebulae in great detail, and it was taken with a tiny consumer telescope that’s soon going to hit the market.

The image was taken with STELLINA, a unique combo of a telescope, a star tracker, and a camera. It was released last year, but we’re soon to expect an updated version. Creating the final photo took a total of 336 hours of exposure, 208,000 images, and 168 fields stitched together. The stitched photo was created to show off “Automatic Mosaic-ing”, a feature that will be available in a 2021 STELLINA update.

You can view the image online in full resolution and zoom in to explore it in detail. It shows the Carina Nebula, located more than 7,000 light-years from the Milky Way. You’ll also see the Running Chicken nebula, the Statue of Liberty nebula, Pearl Cluster, and more.

Now, Stellina isn’t exactly cheap. It costs €3,999 (~$4,700), so I guess this confirms that astrophotography is an expensive hobby. But hey, it’s still cheaper than some Leicas. Much cheaper, actually. So maybe someday I too will be able to take stunning astrophotos like this one.

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