This Raspberry Pi project is guaranteed to have you seeing stars. Created and shared by RemovedMoney326 on Reddit (opens in new tab) a couple days ago, it uses the recently released Raspberry Pi High Quality Camera module to act as a portable astrophotography rig.
According to RemovedMonwy326, the ultimate goal was to create a telescope mini-computer that's capable of both astrophotography and night sky simulation.
The maker built the project on top of a Raspberry Pi 4 with 2GB of RAM, noting that a version with more RAM, like the 8GB Raspberry Pi 4, wasn't necessary. They also used a 3.5-inch touchscreen as a viewfinder for the camera.
The Raspberry Pi High Quality (HQ) Camera can easily mount to a telescope using a 1.25-inch C-mount adapter. The unit receives power from the USB slot on a laptop and can be used almost anywhere.
The setup uses KStars, an open-source planetarium software, to help with sky mapping. It also leverages the KDE platform, making it compatible with the Raspberry Pi.
There are already plans in the works for more upgrades—including a GPS module and larger motorized scope.
"The software side of things is tricky though, and I will need a little more time to get used to controlling the HQ Sensor with Python for proper images of the sky, as well as a more touch-friendly interface for the touchscreen side of things," RemovedMonwy326 said on Reddit.
"Right now, it serves more as a viewfinder, with the camera preview and KStars for looking up a given object's location on the sky. But for actually taking the pictures/controlling the sensor, I still need to use my laptop with a remote desktop [connection to] the Pi, as well as a USB connection for powering it."
Be sure to follow RemovedMoney336 on Reddit (opens in new tab)and Github (opens in new tab) for more updates on this awesome project.
BTW, how does this compare in terms of both cost & quality with other amateur asto-photography setups?