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All round good Astronomy software package

  • Mike
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Hi All
Just a quick message inquiring about astronomical software packages that has generous features such as telescope control (in my case Celestron), can be used with Video and CCD astronomical cameras for recording, frame integration, processing FITS, AVIs etc, can also help correct for tracking errors, has large astronomical databases, easy to use, good support and updates available.
From this, can anyone recommend a good all round astronomical software package? Or do I need to purchase more than one software package? I looked at “The Sky 6 - Serious Astronomer Edition” which on first impressions looks a good all rounder, but I simply do not have the practical experience of using such software and therefore I do not want to simply dive in and purchase.
Any experiences, advice and recommendations you could offer would be most welcomed.

Clear skies
Mike
I83 Cherryvalley Observatory

After one look at this planet any visitor from outer space would say; "I WANT TO SEE THE MANAGER".
15 years 7 months ago #47779

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  • carlobeirnes
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Replied by carlobeirnes on topic Re: All round good Astronomy software package

Hi Mike,

Try this this website it will get you started.

www.cyanogen.com/

carl.
Carl O’Beirnes,
Scopes and Space Ltd,
Unit A8 Airside Enterprise Centre,
Swords, Co Dublin,
Ireland.
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15 years 7 months ago #47781

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Replied by dmcdona on topic Re: All round good Astronomy software package

Mike - MaximDL fits the bill as you state. Whether it will control your *particular* equipment depends on the availibilty of drivers. You'd have to ask.

TheSky will offer telescope control but none of the imaging stuff.

Personally I use ACP for telescope control and MaximDL for image capture and processing. I sometimes use Photoshop for cleaning images up.

ACP controls all the equipment (focuser, filter wheel, imager and mount), Maxim does the image processing. I'd also use either Canopus or Astrometrica to do my MPC reports - but I don't think you're in that game.


HTH

Dave
15 years 7 months ago #47799

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  • michaeloconnell
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Replied by michaeloconnell on topic Re: All round good Astronomy software package

Mike,
Here's my personal favourites:

For controlling the camera, filters, focuser etc: Maxim DL is the biz. Imagesplus is an excellent piece of software too, particularly if you have a DSLR. Operates the DLSR, controls ISO settings, expousre settings, aperture, and then does a fine job of processing too. If you are only using a DSLR for imaging, I'd go for Imagesplus over Maxim DL. If using a CCD camera, I'd recommend Maxim DL.

The Sky would appear to be the "standard" in terms of telescope control. However, Starry Night Pro can control telescopes too, but AFAIK, doesn't have as large a database of objects, particularly of asteroids. Has more than enough for most of us amateurs though. Starry Night Pro is also much easier on the eye and can do lots of other stuff too which The Sky can't, AKAIK (such as animations and video slips of upcoming celestial events etc). Please correct me here someone if I am incorrect.

Stellarium, which is free, is probably the best software for depecting what the sky looks like to the naked eye. Looks extremely real - really puts The Sky to shame in terms of appearance.

Best program for image processing is Photoshop. Only does image processing though, no camera control or anything like that.

Unfortunately, there isn't any program out there which does EVERYTHING perfectly.

Hope this helps,
15 years 7 months ago #47801

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  • Mike
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Thanks guys for all the advice, appreciate it! 8-)
The software packages mentioned such as Maxim DL, ACP, Starry Night Pro and Photoshop are all excellent and would provide excellent foundations for target acquirement, tracking and image processing. Looks like it worth purchasing good software that can handle the various items of PC controlled equipment (and get the most out of them), to help enhance image results and is upgradeable as new technology comes along. The software mentioned is not cheap, but I guess you pay for what you get, which seems to be excellent quality and excellent support service, to paraphrase a well known TV add, “it does exactly was it says on the tin”
I think the results of astronomical images I have seen here on the forum by other amateur astronomers speak for themselves and I guess good quality software is an integral part of the astronomer’s toolkit for such work.
Michael, I really like Stellarium, I remember when I first loaded it onto the PC which had a mediocre monitor at the time, the graphical display of the sky was still astounding, it felt like you were almost outside (minus the clouds and rain :) ).

Clear skies
Mike
I83 Cherryvalley Observatory

After one look at this planet any visitor from outer space would say; "I WANT TO SEE THE MANAGER".
15 years 7 months ago #47838

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