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Stunning supermoon close-up taken with iPhone

An amateur photographer shares how he captured beautiful images of the supermoon using his iPhone and a telescope.

Supermoon photo
That's one super photo of a supermoon.
Jared Earle

System administrator and photographer Jared Earle took some amazing photos of the recent supermoon, and he's willing to share his secrets with the world. He didn't have to break into an observatory or fly his camera to the edges of space. In true MacGyver fashion, he only required an iPhone and a telescope to pull off the photo shoot.

The telescope was a necessary part of the equation. While Earle said any telescope will work, he used a 5-inch Celestron spotter scope with his iPhone 4S. He also used a Magnifi adapter, a photo adapter case designed to attach an iPhone to most pieces of optical equipment, whether it's a microscope, binoculars, or a telescope.

Earle used the Cortex Camera app, which takes advantage of the phone's HD video capability to generate high-quality still images. That's pretty much it. Point the telescope at the right spot and click away. He recommends using a good tripod and activating the shutter using Apple headphones with the mic attachment like a cable release.

There is one final bit of wisdom for would-be iPhone space photographers: Do a trial run in the light of day to save yourself the frustration of trying to figure it out by the glow of a flashlight on a dark night.

I once held a monocular up to the camera lens of my Droid X and took a pretty good photo of a porcupine in a tree, but Earle's telescope photos blow my efforts out of the water. It makes the magic of a supermoon look just that much more super.

iPhone and telescope
Here is Earle's iPhone and telescope combo. Jared Earle