Deep-Sky Photography Made Easy
The richest star fields in the sky are found along the Milky Way, formed by the spiral arms of our home galaxy and well-placed during late summer. The exposure times needed to record the Milky Way typically last a few minutes. For this you'll need a camera with a B ("bulb") setting on the shutter to permit long exposures and a telescope capable of tracking stars as they move from east to west. But you don't shoot through the telescope itself it's the mount you want, to serve as a stable, motorized platform. You attach your camera securely to the telescope's tube assembly. It then rides along, piggyback style, as stars are recorded by the camera's lens.
Without motorized tracking, Earth's rotation would cause stars to trail across a camera frame, an effect noticeable with even a 30-second exposure. Star trails can make for great astrophotos, but for rich, star-studded time exposures, accurate tracking is the key.
The beauty of piggyback shooting is that if the mount is set up correctly and tracks well, all you need to do is lock the camera's shutter open and walk away. You don't need specialized and expensive guiding gear. While the camera and mount do their work unattended, you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the night sky.