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What software do I need

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Hi stargazers

I have been imaging with Dslr for some years now but about to tip my toe into cooled ccd namely an Atik 314L.

Do I need any software other than Atiks for image acquisition/ stacking and processing? 

I currently use phd dss and photoshop

Many thanks for any replies 


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You have the essential software for imaging and processing

To assist with imaging, you could think of software for:

  1. Autofocus, to compensate for drift in focus due to temperature.
  2. Astrometric solving (plate solving), to find any faint blog and allow accurate pointing over several nights.
  3. Scheduling, to image when object is at the highest position in the sky.
  4. Automation of everything such as roof opening, cloud detector, so you can sleep while the automation is working
  5. Additional processing software.

I think 1) and 2) are a great help for consistent and productive imaging. Most likely you need an image acquisition program with these functions integerated. Eg. with  CCDCIEL, Kstars, APT, SGP, MaximDL, TheSkyX in order of cost. 3) can be done with a planetarium program bother others prefer an dedicated program. For 5) some can't work without  APP or PI but others do everything with Photoshop or Gimp.


Edited by han59
  • Thanks 1

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Thanks for the reply Han

I appreciate the list too! 

I’ll look into the suggested extra software, but it’s nice to know I’ll be able to get started without buying any! 

Many thanks 


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32 minutes ago, Stu Todd said:

Have a look at freeware Audela too - http://audela.org/dokuwiki/doku.php/en/start and Prism if you want to pay!? https://www.hyperion-astronomy.com/

Not aware of these two so thanks for sharing.

The audela one was intriguing but on further investigation there has been no activity on its forums for over a year and the original code is very old.

Prism lite looks possible but it doesn't seem support ZWO cameras.

For the price I think APT takes some beating especially for someone taking their first steps into cooled CCD imaging.

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Prism does indeed support ZWO cameras via ASCOM. As for Audela, it just works. 


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