Somebody Tried To Photograph The Moon Using A Game Boy Camera

Astronomy photography is difficult enough, but imagine doing so using a Nintendo Game Boy Camera! Well, this guy has managed to do so and the results are better than you imagine…

For tech spec-related context, the Game Boy camera takes really naff, 2-bit photos (128x112 pixels) in black and white. Half the fun of using said camera was trying to figure out what the hell you’d taken a picture of by squinting really hard at the super pixelated picture.

That makes what Astronomy student Alex Pietrow managed to do all the more impressive…

Kudos for picking the 'tribal' Game Boy Advance SP!

Kudos for picking the 'tribal' Game Boy Advance SP!

Following in the footsteps of a minority of modders and hackers who continue to use Game Boy camera in increasingly weird ways, attached it to a 179-year-old telescope and snap some shots of the moon and (more mindblowing) Jupiter.

Using the 1838 6” Fraunhofer telescope in the Old Observatory of Leiden, Alex created a makeshift holder out of a cell phone adaptor and stuck it to the telescope. After this, it was just a case of waiting until the clouds broke… Which took a few weeks.

But when these pictures were captured, one thing became clear – the crisp black and white photography of the Game Boy camera paired with the telescope resulted in some surprisingly good photos. No, they’re not going to win any prizes for detail or clarity, but they wouldn’t look out of place in the dark intro of an intro scene to Streets of Rage.

Following this, he got brave and tried to capture Jupiter. And even more shockingly, the low pixellage managed to grab the planet itself and three of the four Gallilean moons that orbit it.

That blob in the middle is Jupiter.

That blob in the middle is Jupiter.

One question I couldn’t help but wonder is the Game Boy camera was itself a closed system… How on Earth did he managed to get the original pictures onto his computer for sharing?

Well, turns out the method involves saving them to a proprietory Game Boy mega memory unit, installing Windows XP – the only compatible OS with the Game Boy USB Smart Card. Removing and inserting the Game Boy Camera multiple times and using a flash card imported from the states.

So if you plan to replicate this, get ready to jump through lots of hoops – but send me the results if you do, yea?