Make iPhone Astrophotography Easier With The AstroClip!

by Jason Major on July 27, 2011

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The AstroClip™ is a simple mount that attaches your iPhone onto any telescope. Credit: Matthew Geyster.

They say necessity is the mother of invention, and if you’ve ever tried to take a picture through a telescope with your iPhone you’ll understand the necessity behind this invention: the AstroClip, an ingenious bit of injection-molded awesomeness that mounts an iPhone 4 onto any standard 1.25″ telescope eyepiece, keeping it stable and centered with the camera lens. I think this is a great idea and would certainly get one… that is, if it actually becomes a reality.

The AstroClip is designed to be very minimal while still being fully functional.

Invented by Boston designer Matthew Geyster, the AstroClip (patent pending) is still in development stage right now, awaiting the funding to go into production. Injection molding is a “simple but very expensive” process and in order to get the AstroClip produced Geyster has put his project up on Kickstarter, a web site that lets people pitch their great ideas that need funding and gives them a timeline to gather pledges.

If the AstroClip project can accumulate $15,000 in pledges by September 3, it will go into production. At the time of this writing there are 38 days left until then and it’s only 10% toward its goal. I’m hoping that drawing some more attention to this cool idea will help it along!

By becoming a “backer” you can pledge in several denomination categories, ranging from $1 or more to $500 or more. Each category above $25 comes with a “reward” of some sort… these are all listed on the project page.

I think Matthew has a great concept here. The camera on the iPhone 4 is very good and could take some great shots of the Moon and other astronomical objects, were it to just have a secure mount on a telescope lens. I’ve tried to do it without a mount before and really, it’s not easy.

Moon image taken with an iPhone and AstroClip

“The AstroClip is designed to be very minimal, while still being fully functional. The clip is very simple and rigid to hold your iPhone 4 steady and securely for the perfect shot. I also added the three adjustment screws that look like they’re meant to be on a telescope. With the simplicity and functionality of the AstroClip you will be taking great photos of outer space in no time at all.”

– Matthew Geyster

Honestly, I have no connection personally with this project or with Matthew… I just think this is something that would be very popular with iPhone users and astronomy enthusiasts. (I don’t even have a telescope… the light pollution in my city is pretty bad.) I just liked the idea so much I wanted to help support it however I could, and Universe Today seemed the perfect place to call attention to it!

If it proceeds the AstroClip will be entirely produced in the USA. Check it out on Kickstarter by clicking the image above or visit theastroclip.com.

Best of luck to a great idea!

All images and video © Matthew Geyster. Universe Today is not endorsing or otherwise officially supporting this project, all opinions of awesomeness are my own and all product claims are made by the product designer.

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Jason Major is a graphic designer, photo enthusiast and space blogger. Visit his websiteLights in the Dark and follow him on Twitter @JPMajor or on Facebook for the most up-to-date astronomy news and images!

About 

A graphic designer in Rhode Island, Jason writes about space exploration on his blog Lights In The Dark, Discovery News, and, of course, here on Universe Today. Ad astra!

Me Meee July 27, 2011 at 11:41 PM

One could easily make one of these plastic holders with a 3D printer, shouldn’t take too long to design one in some CAD software. You could make it compatible with multiple phones, not just iPhone. Just need an Android port, and your market base would more than double.

Lights in the Dark July 28, 2011 at 3:38 PM

I’d rather pay this guy $25 for one. A lot easier and I’d be supporting someone’s good idea. ;)

IVAN3MAN_AT_LARGE July 28, 2011 at 3:39 AM

They say necessity is the mother of invention,…

Ferengi Rule of Acquisition #146: Necessity is the mother of invention; profit is the father.

Ethan Walker July 28, 2011 at 5:37 AM

I would definitely buy this for the droid

Ethan Walker July 28, 2011 at 5:37 AM

I would definitely buy this for the droid

Anonymous July 29, 2011 at 1:30 PM

A great idea! Imagine emailing astroimages from the field to anyone almost instantly. And given the iPhone’s image quality, sharpness won’t be an issue. Oftentimes convenience breeds invention: iPhone today, Android tomorrow (in order of emergence I guess).

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