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Lumia 1020 is the brains behind a new 3D printed telescope

The Lumia 1020 is well known for its 41 megapixel camera and now the Windows Phone device is being promoted as the brains behind a new project called the Ultrascope, a new kind of telescope that can be created with 3D printers for a fraction of the cost of a normal telescope.

The 3 foot telescope is the brainchild of James Parr, the founder of the Open Space Agency. He states:

"Keen amateur astronomers can now download this design and software, 3D print and assemble their own hardware, which is an amazing development. It opens up opportunities for people who have been gazing at the stars their whole lives, but haven't, until now, been able to get involved. Powered by Lumia smartphones, our hope is that hundreds of Ultrascopes will be assembled, enabling a large number of people to contribute to new discoveries as they explore the night sky."

The Ultrascope project is currently taking sign ups for beta testing, with plans to offer more advanced models over the next 18 months. Microsoft is helping the group develop an application that will allow the Lumia 1020 to connect to the telescope. What do you think of this rather cool extension of the Lumia 1020's capabilities?

Thanks to David for the tip!

Source: Nokia Conversations, Open Space Agency

87 Comments
  • Not only a cool idea, but the the thing looks sweet!
  • And faster!
  • HM, not faster, that's irrelevant. But it's cool and good way to promote Lumia phones
  • It is so slow... Nothing 'seems faster' when capturing images with a 1020.
  • I agree
  • Very true, only reason I want a new phone.
  • IPhone camera: *click*
    1020 camera: KA-CHUNK!
  • Lol
  • FYI, that different sound is due to the user of a physical shutter on the L1020. For reasons too detailed to go into here, physical shutters are inherently superior to the electronic shutters used on other phones, including the iPhone line.
  • Lumia 1020. Still amazes people. But I really hope Microsoft planning to bring Lumia 1030 soon. ;)
  • +1020
  • +520
  • I hope it also comes with a bigger screen!
  • 15xx + 41 mp camera!!
  • no for the big screen! Nokia Lumia 1020 screen is good enough if it gets bigger my camera grip would be useless... but if microsoft release the style of the 1030 as same as 930... it still wont fit i guess xD
  • What they should do is make 2 versions. One with the bigger screen and one with the regular! That way we all win lol!!! Thing is...I use my phone for a LOT of web surfing and watching videos etc...bigger screen is MUST for me. But I can't go backwards camera wise...in essence I have been spoiled :'(
  • U have been spoiled yeah xD... But it will cost alot more for Microsoft to make 2 phones with 41mpix 1 bigger and other regular... The deal is every company wants to make less phones to sell to even more ppl so the costs would be right if MSFT make 2 phones as you said its not Win win like you said... It's win for us not to MSFT
  • If they bundle it with new Camera grip then why not. ;)
  • I want the 1030 to have a built-in telescope...
  • Camera hump size: 4 ft.
  • Heh, was taking pics of the moon yesterday with my 928 and 929. And maybe a 76mm Orior reflector involved, lol.
  • Your 1020 can print 3d telescopes. What's the rush? Is there something it's not doing for you?
  • Did you even read the article?
  • or watched the video?
  • Why settle for the 1020 when the 1030 could destroy an entire planet at the push of a button..
  • That's not the Lumia you're looking for.
  • Yes!
  • +920
  • +1020
  • +1520
  • Love it
  • :O
    I want one for the 1520
  • Same... It should be good for some in solar system viewing
  • Im on board this is a great idea,can't wait.  
  • Awesome o.o
    Crapdriod and iCrap certainly cant say the same ;D!
  • Well actually it's not about the OS it's about the device itself
  • The hardware only runs on WP, so its about a WP device.
  • But they can make the app on android and IOS so there's nothing special about the "OS"
  • But it's a good pro for Lumia 1020, and so a good thing for WP.. Also when your friends say their camera has 21x zoom you could say, can you see the solar system on it? No? Then shut up..
  • Well, the website just says a high MP camera, so nothing special for WP.
  • Don't copy my comment
  • I couldn't even see your comment when I wrote mine. And my comment is not a copy anyways...
  • I'm just kidding
  • iPhone cam is just good for selfie. but 730 arrives to kick his ass
  • I'm embarrassed when people on these forums use such words as 'crapdroid' and 'icrap'...
    Serious question, how old are you?!
  • Too old ;)
    And that's my general conversational terms for screwgle's android and ios.
    I even use those with friends. :3
  • I agree. It is childish.
  • Yeah. It's not good. I think people already know that Android and iPhone are not as good as WP. Our if they don't they will. Bit these definitions are made by people that bring disgrace the Lumia fellowship
  • I guess what disappoints me most is that people on this website (and others) are taking the Android fanboy approach of just shooting down everything about the other two OS's. Our Lumia camera app (great though it is), is slow, doesn't have slow motion, nor HDR. In that regard, Microsoft/Nokia can learn a lot from Apple and Android. The same applies to Skype for instance....which is rubbish on WP, yet good on both Android and iOS. This blind fanboy love for our platform makes it less attractive to people looking in from the outside. It also masks the problems with the platform that Microsoft need to address.
  • Well sorry then LOL
    But you can't deny the iOS experience is stale, gimmicky, and way too overpriced.
    Screwgle's Android has plenty of problems of its own like lagging, bloatyness, random crashes and reboots. Etc
    WP is still behind and lacks in certain areas, but its getting better, and doesn't suffer from alot of the problems the other 2 have which is a helpful selling point to at least some consumers. And the experience is anything but stale, at least to me. ;)
  • On the flipside, constant complaining, whining and can't-be)pleased attitudes, make WP look even more unattractive. I get peoples anti competitive attitudes. WP I often dismissed. On Twitter someone I follow put out an app and I asked if she'd be releasing a Windows Phone version. She replied ,"you're the only person in the world using a Windows Phone". The constant dismissal is infuriating. That being said, I'd rather spend energy being FOR something than AGAINST something. This 1020-scope project IS something pretty amazing. It is a differentiator because the high MP found additional use from an external application. The chosen OSes don't have it and I think it's OK to mention it. I could do without the name calling its on the same level as calling other people's development work "useless" or "pointless".
  • Crapdroid,, icrap, crap+1, crapberry, Windows crap, they all sound crappy to me.
  • What are you doing on a tech site then? Get out.
  • Idiot they are talking about the names, they all suck just like bruteech. Crappy.
  • Awesome!!!
  • This reminds me of the story I read about a Lumia 900 being used to make the world's first true random number generator. THIS is innovation people. Love stories like these. They fascinate me.
  • That is the best commercial I have seen for a WP. Good job. Posted via the Windows Phone Central App for Android
  • should Microsoft move into photography industry ??? they have nokias patents now. and have a cross patent agreement with cannon they should release a cannon Windows phone or a good professional camera
  • The photography industry is dying...
  • nope that will be for photography lovers.
  • You need to expand on your comment....because at the moment, it makes no sense. The photography industry is shrinking, with dedicated camera sales being cannibalised by smartphones.  So it would not make any sense for Microsoft to branch out into selling cameras. They are on the right track with Nokia, if only they would invest in high end products rather than all these cheap WP 8.1 phones. There needs to be a 1020 successor.
  • The photography industry is not dying. Point and shoot camera sakes are dying, but I'm sure that MORE photos are being taken than ever before. I also think the DSLR sakes are strong with even non-professionals. The photography industry is going through changes, but I'd hardly call it "dying".
  • More photos are being taken....but they are being taken with smartphones rather than dedicated cameras. Just have a look around when you are on holiday next - I barely see any dedicated cameras at all....
    Quite honestly, I don't mind that point and shoot cameras are dying. A convergence device like a 1020 means that people can take quality photos all of the time...
    Hopefully DSLR capabilities will filter down to smartphones - ever more powerful chips and better processes of miniaturization will help that process.
    Now if only we could develop a smartphone that could have interchangeable lenses :). When I look at my 1020 lens housing, I feel it must be possible!
  • A Microsoft branded DSLR would be fun.
  • Awesome device :-), awesome idea !
  • +1525. I want a big phablet
  • The 6 inch 1520 isn't enough for you? What are you a giant?
  • That's fantastic! That way you could take a pic of a supernova and by the time it's saved to the camera roll it would have become a black hole, and you could take another awesome picture.
    P.S.: I have a 1020
  • Haha... Same thoughts!! I own a 1020 too and yes, it takes painfully long to capture and process images.
  • That there is a funny comment
  • 1020 still slays after a year, love it!
  • To think it's reaching EoL in less than a week :( ..... Hopefully they'll introduce a flagship 1020 successor (and not two different phones) soon.. Or atleast give the 1030 flagship specs.. Unlike the 1020..
  • That's freaking awesome! Now all I need is a 3D printer and a 1020.
  • I love how you can see that he's achieving his childhood dreams when he talks about it! :) look at the glow in those eyes!
  • Where is the press department @ microsoft?  The only place I see this kind of stuff is on WPCentral.  That is a damn shame.  Gizmodo and Engadget and others should have this aricle too.  This article fits perfectly into the branding that MS needs to make.  We are the real computer geeks.  Look what we can do with what we have....
  • Truly amazing and collaboratively innovative. I have used my phone to take pictures of the night sky using the exposure. It would be incredible to do this with a telescope
  • So its built for the most patient customers.
  • I love my 1020, this is awesome!
  • Wow that's awesome even if i get a new phone IM definitely not selling my 1020 not that i planned to anyways.
  • As a keen amateur astronomer and a 1020 owner i am overjoyed at this news..... A big massive thankyou!!!
  • Oh my new baby, just come and take me to the stars !!
  • sweet
  • Beta Sign ups? I have a lumia 1020! Sign me in :D
  • Is there like a Kinko's for 3D printing? I don't have the budget or space for my own, but I'd go somewhere and pay to print.
  • Great.. Now to buy a 3D printer.. And a 1020... Or maybe just not buy anything coz I'm not into astronomy...
  • I just took advantage of the price drop and replaced my 920 with a new 1020 for $339 no contact with AT&T.  Got the camera grip too.     Very happy.   I always just thought of the 1020as a 920 with a big camera.  But its more than that.  It has a nicer screen, better flash, it's significantly lighter than the 920 inspite of the bigger camera, and a few more things.   it really is a phone upgrade in addition to a camera upgrade.  And you can't beat the price.  I highly recommend it :)
  • Woo! Lumia 1020 <3