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jjosefsen

A new deep sky image capture software on the rise!

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Hi,

I wan't to tell you about a relatively new open source imaging suite that I have been using for around 7-8 months now.

Night time imaging n' astronomy or in short NINA!

The new website is really quite informative, so check it out here: https://nighttime-imaging.eu/

nina.thumb.png.26054d50456d13c73f9ac20c4a6707ea.png

As a software developer and IT professional I was blown away by this application these guys were creating, when I first stumbled upon it last year.

It is a really feature rich application as the very long feature list below will show, and it is absolutely free!

I was immediately drawn to the very simple but still quite information rich UI that was presented to me when I tried it the first time.

Isbeorn (the developer), Dark Archon (massive contributor) and Quickload (big contributor) have really created something impressive here, and it is constantly being improved upon.

It is quite normal to see these guys working on the next cool feature in the middle of the night :D

As it is a "hobby project" and Open Source, and these guys don't have every model of every camera available - sometimes there can be glitches with new equipment, but it is usually sorted out in quick fashion.

But this is where we "mere mortals" can help improve this amazing piece of software, by using it and providing feedback and logs (in case of errrors) via. Discord or the Issue tracker on bitbucket.

In return for this you get a very comprehensive piece of astro imaging software for absolutely nothing! :)

 

If anyone needs any help in settings this up, don't hesitate to write in this thread and I will try to help, or jump on Discord and join the "support" channel.

I recommend taking the latest beta version, pretty much always, as it has the latest fixes and is generally stable. :)

 

List of main features as grabbed from the webpage and personal experience (I surely missed some):

  • Equipment control
    • ASCOM
      • Cameras
      • Mounts
      • Filter wheels
      • Focusers
      • Rotators
    • Native camera drivers for
      • Atik
      • ZWO
      • QHYCCD
      • Altair Astro cameras
      • Canon
      • Nikon
      • Touptek
    • Can run multiple camera's and supports syncronized dithering (early version, but tested in the field!)
  • Image analysis
    • Image statistics
    • Auto stretch
    • Full image star detection with HFR calculation (used for autofocus as well)
    • Exposure time recommendation
  • Sequencing
    • Multitarget sequence lists (image multiple targets automatically)
      • Automatic mosaic capture as defined in framing assistant
    • Light, Bias, Dark, DarkFlat, Flat frames of various exposure lengths and gain/iso
    • Automatic filter change
    • Autofocus using full image HFR calculations
      • over time
      • number of exposures
      • Temperature change
    • Automatic centering and rotation of targets using platesolving
    • Save as raw (dslr), fits, xisf, etc.
    • Customizeable filename pattern
  • Automatic meridian flip
    • Can automatically flip and recenter target after flip has been completed
  • Sky atlas
    • Sky atlas with more than 10.000 objects.
    • Filtering on type, magnitude, size, altitude and more
    • Altitude chars showing showing altitude over time for your location
  • Framing assistant
    • Can pull data from various skyserveys, to make framing and planning easier
      • You can see a preview of your fov based on camera and scope details
    • Mosaic planning mode
      • Shows your mosaic tilesin the framing wizard
      • Set desired overlap percentage
    • Offline skymap shows gridlines and all sky atlas DSO's, constellations and coordinates ("Cartes du Ciel'ish")
  • Sleek and customizable UI
    • Imaging tab can be customized to show all the information you could possibly want to see
      • image (duh! ;))
      • Statistics
      • HFR history
      • PHD2 graph and statistics
      • Mount information
      • Camera information
      • Filter wheel information
      • Platesolve information
      • Weather data
      • and more..
    • Quick switch between light and dark scheme
    • Customizable colorschemes
  • Flats wizard
    • Set a desired ADU and tolerance for flats
    • Simple mode or multimode where flats are captured for each filter
    • Set minimum and maximum exposure time
    • Guide to help you get the desired flats
    • Can automatically capture matching darkflats
  • Other cool features
    • PHD2 integration with Dithering
    • Weather data from OpenWeatherMap API
    • List of bright focus stars for use with Bahtinov mask, clik and slew to it
    • Polar alignment tools
    • Configuration profiles, so different setups can be used

 

A word about open source:

The project is open source, this means that all source code is readily available from bitbucket, and anyone is free to contribute code.

The developer is Isbeorn (Stefan) and as the repository manager he decides when and if a submission (pull request) is deemed good enough to enter a release..!

There are a couple of other main contributors who do a lot of work, and put in a lot of their free time to this project.

You are free to ask for features and request support and people are generally very helpful and quick to implement something if it is a good idea.

BUT as this is a hobby project for these people, don't expect the same of them as you would of a company from whom you buy a product, IT IS UNFAIR! :)

 

A word about Discord:

Discord is a free chat (text and voice) platform that anyone can create a server on. Discord as a whole is not run by the people behind N.I.N.A., only the NINA server, and as such is not moderated by the developers.

Edited by jjosefsen
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Yep! all nice

tried it before moving to SGP :)  (around 5 months ago) and it did not want to recognize my ZWO filter wheel :)

I was unlucky and was made to cash out a bit ;(

Edited by RolandKol

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23 minutes ago, RolandKol said:

Yep! all nice

tried it before moving to SGP :)  (around 5 months ago) and it did not want to recognize my ZWO filter wheel :)

I was unlucky and was made to cash out a bit ;(

It works with my ZWO wheel now. :)

 

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Had a look at their website, very nice I must say.
I may well take a look at this over the new few months as an alternative to my current imaging setup.
Now if they was to implement a web based control that would be something else ;)

 

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53 minutes ago, DarkAntimatter said:

It's open source but looks like it is Windows - only?

Correct. It is not cross platform.

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Thanks for sharing this.  Not heard of NINA before. I will certainly give it a go.

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Looks very " nice " will also give a go..

Thanks for sharing !

 

Martin

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Seems like a great piece of software. I've set up most things, only I can't seem to find a link on the internet to the sky atlas needed for the object browser!

Regards Dave

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5 hours ago, DavM said:

Seems like a great piece of software. I've set up most things, only I can't seem to find a link on the internet to the sky atlas needed for the object browser!

Regards Dave

Hi Dave,it has been added to the bottom of the download page now. ?

https://nighttime-imaging.eu/download/

Strictly speaking though it is only needed if you want full offline image preview capability.

Edited by jjosefsen
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14 hours ago, Proietti said:

Hi,

 

NINA do not support Canon cameras. Am I right?

Thanks in advance, Fernando

Hi,

It does support both Canon and Nikon natively, and you can choose between dcraw and FreeImage for download and raw conversion.

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Dear all,

NINA is great news. To have a free software with its specifications and capabilities seems fantastic!!!

Is there any tutorial contemplating a full imagingn session with N.N.I.N.A?

Regards, Fernando

 

 

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4 hours ago, Proietti said:

Dear all,

NINA is great news. To have a free software with its specifications and capabilities seems fantastic!!!

Is there any tutorial contemplating a full imagingn session with N.N.I.N.A?

Regards, Fernando

 

 

A few users have talked about making videos, but don't think they are up yet.

It is a good idea though, worth looking into.

For now the closest thing would be the quick start guide, here:

https://nighttime-imaging.eu/docs/quick-start/quick-start-ui-overview/

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On 21/02/2019 at 04:31, DarkAntimatter said:

It's open source but looks like it is Windows - only?

Oops... :(

It's a big minus of this very very awesome software.

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3 hours ago, oleg_astro said:

Oops... :(

It's a big minus of this very very awesome software.

For some people yes. But I am sure there is other software for the Linux people, and being Linux it is probably free too. ?

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3 hours ago, oleg_astro said:
On 21/02/2019 at 08:31, DarkAntimatter said:

It's open source but looks like it is Windows - only?

Oops... :(

It's a big minus of this very very awesome software.

It's pretty hard and a lot of effort to write good cross platform software that works well on all systems (that's probably why there aren't many around). I don't think the fact that it only runs on one platform should be seen as a minus. Almost all astro applications are locked into one platform or another, it's just a decision that is made to keep things manageable.

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1 hour ago, AngryDonkey said:

 

It's pretty hard and a lot of effort to write good cross platform software that works well on all systems (that's probably why there aren't many around). I don't think the fact that it only runs on one platform should be seen as a minus. Almost all astro applications are locked into one platform or another, it's just a decision that is made to keep things manageable.

I agree with Mr donkey, it may be a very big minus for you that it only runs on Windows, but it's hardly a shortcoming that sets it apart from the rest... 

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, jjosefsen said:

For some people yes. But I am sure there is other software for the Linux people, and being Linux it is probably free too. ?

Yes, of course.

Each programmer creates what he thinks fit. This is absolutely normal.

We have free CCDciel and KStars/Ekos for astrophoto capture on Linux, OS X and Windows.

Edited by oleg_astro

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Once your started programming in a language/integrated development environment (IDE) it is very difficult to switch and you could be locked to Windows or an other operating system or facing fading compiler support.  I assume most start coding in an environment they like or are used to and don't consider multi platform support until much later.

The development of NINA goes very fast and programmers seems to be permanent online for support so this promises a great future. :) (for Windows users only :( )

 

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I have downloaded a copy but Canon does not show up on the drop down list of cameras. Can anyone help please? Earlier it was confirmed that Canon cameras are supported.

Graham

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1 hour ago, Red meteor said:

I have downloaded a copy but Canon does not show up on the drop down list of cameras. Can anyone help please? Earlier it was confirmed that Canon cameras are supported.

Graham

It detects if your camera is connected.

So make sure that your DSLR is turned on and connected - windows should detect it too before NINA can.

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Installed on my 'test' win10 x32 laptop but could run.
Got the start-up splash (picture of an observatory) and then it quit itself.

Pity - it looked quite user friendly.

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