how to take a photo of the moon with your phone

How to Take a Photo of the Moon

The Moon is one of those natural wonders that even though we see it every night, it captivates stargazers in different ways continuously. For many, the first instinct is to pull out your phone to share your view of the Moon with friends and family, but sometimes this can be a letdown if you don’t take the steps or know about the tools to really get a great image. This blog will give you some great tips whether you are just getting started in astrophotography or like to stargaze without a telescope.


How to Take a Photo of the Moon with Your Smartphone 

One of the easiest ways to take a photo of the Moon with your phone is to adjust your phone’s camera settings. A lot of the newer models now include customizable features for nighttime photos, and some even include astrophotography mode! You can also download astrophotography apps that have photo editing to really clean up your shot. Make sure you plan ahead for a chance to capture other objects like bright planets in the same night!

Getting the best of your imaging night:

  1. The moon is tiny, and therefore you need as much zoom as you can get on it! If you have a telescope or even binoculars around, that will help a lot. But even if you don’t, many newer smartphones feature fantastic zoom ranges.
  2. Steady your phone by mounting it on a tripod or resting it on a flat surface like a railing or table, and then zoom in using your phone’s camera app.
  3. It’s important to get the moon’s exposure right and focus on it. Simply tap on the moon itself and your phone should automatically focus and meter correctly for the moon.
  4. Lastly, gently press the capture button so as not to shake the phone and blur the image, and you’re done!  Some phones also have timers on them which help when capturing.

Check out OPT’s what’s in the sky tonight monthly blog for more event ideas. Another great tip is to travel to dark sky sites, although the Moon is so bright that this isn’t necessary but worth it for the view of the stars!

If you’re interested in taking your lunar photography a step further with your smartphone, you can use it in combination with your telescope! There are a range of smartphone accessories like the Celestron NeXYZ Smartphone Adapter that is a perfect astrophotography tool to share detailed views of the Moon.

Celestron NeXYZ Smartphone Adapter


How to Take a Photo of the Moon with a Telescope and Your Smartphone

  1. This telescope buying guide is a great starting point for your first telescope in your astronomy journey.
  2. Check out these smartphone accessories to explore more ways of taking a photo of the Moon with your phone!
  3. For those more into smart tech, the STELLINA and eVscope are break-through telescopes that make it so easy to capture the night sky by the touch of a button on your phone!


How do you plan on capturing the Moon? Let us know in the comments below! 


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