The London-based Open Space Agency (OSA) has developed a 3D printed Lumia powered Telescope that allows virtually anyone to become a star gazer. The idea is simple: Using modern production technologies to bring astrophotography to anyone at a fraction of the cost of a traditional telescope.
The idea of the Lumia powered telescope is the brainchild of James Parr and he worked closely with Microsoft to develop the
Ultrascope. The Ultrascope is a fully automatic telescope that leverages to powerful 41MP camera of the Lumia 1020.
Called Ultrascope, and supporting devices such as the 41-megapixel Lumia 1020, it has the potential to completely reinvent astrophotography, making it possible to capture professional-grade celestial images, right from your back garden, for a fraction of the price of traditional space telescopes.
When fully assembled the Ultrascope stands 1m tall so it is reasonably compact for taking it to areas away from cities where light pollution is a challenge for astro photography.
Mr. Parr’s vision, which started 30 years ago as a child, is that anyone anywhere can be a part of a community that can explore the heavens from their back gardens without having to invest massive amounts of money to do so. Ultimately his vision for the Ultrascope has come to reality thanks to modern 3D printing and laser precision cutting techniques that are affordable to do.
How the Ultrascope Lumia powered telescope works is pretty ingenious. First by using a Windows PC, the ASCOM location coordinates of a known object in space are entered. This information is then fed to the Ultrascope which automatically finds that object in space for you. It completely eliminates the guesswork for you. Then, leveraging the powerful camera of the Lumia 1020, you can take photos of those objects in space at a level of detail that will take amateur astrophotography to a whole new level.
Here is a video from OSA outlining Mr. Parr’s vision.
If you are interested in the Ultrascope, be sure to check out the OSA website for more information along with other projects this new but exciting organisation is working on today and in the future.