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After a pretty dreary September and part of October, I was finally able to get out with students to do some viewing. Here are some of the objects viewed over two nights using Starlight Live software on my Borg 77edii (f/4) and Borg 125SD (f/5) with a Trius 694 mono camera. In most cases an IDAS NB-1 "nebula" filter was employed to help with the suburban light pollution in our skies. The first night (mainly 125SD) was much steadier and drier, but along the coast we take what we can get when it isn't raining! ;-D
It's so much fun to see these objects from less-than-optimal skies... I often intend to quit much earlier, only to find myself saying (over and over!) "... oh, look, <object> is coming up... I should just have a look at that before I pack up." And then another hour goes by!
- Greg A
Eastern & Western Veil
Comparison of FOV between two scopes on the NA Nebula
Again, FOV comparison on the Elephant Trunk Nebula
And again, with the Rosette Nebula
Pacman Nebula through the 125SD:
And Crab Nebula:
And the Cocoon Nebula:
Finally, a few wider shots of objects using the Borg77: Flame/Horsehead, California Nebula, Pelican Nebula and Andromeda Galaxy:
I acquired an Ultrastar C for EAA last fall. (I only got a few chances to use it over the winter, but we got some desperately needed rain instead. So that's ok.)
The Ultrastar C has been astounding on the few evenings where the fates have yielded to properly working equipment and clear skies.
I'm looking for pointers to tools and techniques for post-processing the color FITs image stacks captured from Starlight Live. I'm on a Mac so that limits some of the software options available.
The docs for Starlight Live say there is a command line option ('-load-image-rggb') to reload a color FITs file into the program. Does this work from a Mac command line?
Are there any other Mac programs that can read the Bayer RGGB color FITs files exported from Starlight Live for manipulation. Or something that can demosaic and export the files for manipulation in Photoshop? Maybe Nebulosity4.
StarlightLive V3.3 is now available to download:
Bug fixes and some feature updates - from the README:
- Image display processing and stacking performance (speed) enhancements.
- Added option on the settings tab to select night mode which modifies the user interface to use a subdued dark room theme. A separate option also allows the main image display to be rendered in luminance-red pixel format.
- Added options on the settings tab to allow the display image to be mirrored horizontally and vertically such that image orientation can be corrected for different optical configurations.
- Added command line argument '-prepend-title-text <TEXT>' to allow a user specified string to be prepended to the window title bar such that it allows multiple sessions of the application being used concurrently to be easier distinguished.
- Modified exposures of 1 second or less to be timed via the H/W based timer in the camera as opposed to timed by S/W. This facilitates exposures of 1ms or greater. User interface has been modified to permit minimum exposure time of 1ms which is the smallest permitted by the camera. Exposures of greater than 1 second are stilled timed by S/W such that periodic ping and cooler read-out, in addition to exposure progress bar update still occur. Exposures of less than 250ms on interlaced cameras are no longer at half resolution. Non-binned exposures less than 1 second on interlaced cameras will expose for the required time on the odd field and then the required time on the even field. Therefore the time to take the exposure is double, but the total exposure time for the whole sensor is as requested. This does not apply for binned exposures which complete in the exposure time period.
- Fixed Bug: Modified histogram processing to help avoid issues when pixels become saturated (either black or white) which caused the display processing to select the wrong peak as the point of which to centre display stretching around.
- Fixed Bug: Non anti-aliased fonts being selected on some Windows platforms (fuzzy fonts).
The issue tracker is available at: https://bitbucket.org/Paul81/starlightlive/issues?status=new&status=open