This page is a collection of useful links for astrophotography.
La ferme des étoiles (Gers)
This asociation allows astronomy courses of different durations and for all levels with a high quality seeing site that includes many materials with a 620 mm telescope. I have personally followed a 4-day course that left me a wonderful memory, both on human factor than technically.
This association offers courses and tutorials in astrophoto (the covered domain is from the acquisition, pretreatment and processing of astronomical images) They are taught by "expert" amateur astronomers who are recognized in the middle of astrophotography.
For those interested in photography (and not only astrophoto ;-) I recommend you the Nationnal Higher School of Photography in Arles that offers courses for all levels and where I had the chance to perform a very useful 4-days training to master the reflex camera in all conditions with also an introduction to the image processing with Lightroom.
Remote control & Acquisition
ASCOM Project - Standards for Astronomy
This platform provides a set of "unified" drivers in order to make the communication easy beetween a various astronomical software and a large set of materials (mounts, cameras ...) It is a mandatory prerequisite !
Just like the EQMOD platform, GS Server is an Ascom interface for Synta protocol mounts which aims to be more current by offering, for example, a 3D view of its observatory.
GSS acts as a server and allows multiple applications to connect to your mount simultaneously. We finds most of the functionalities as for EQMOD with the resumption of a personalized parking position.
There is also the possibility of managing the pulses sent by PHD2 in order to have a "pulse guide" mode less brutal for smoother guidance.
Official Link : https://sites.google.com/view/greenswamp
French documentation link : https://astronomy-outcast.com/gss-features
The EQMOD Project
This software platform provides a set of tools that allow different controls of a compliant equatorial mount with a PC.
Another tool offered by this platform can analyze the periodic error of the mount from a record file (PECPrep)
Cartes du ciel - Skychart
This is a planetarium that allow you to create your own maps of the sky but above all, the best asset is to send GoTo command to an ASCOM compliant mount.
Open PHD Guiding (PHD2)
Formerly "PHD Guiding v1", this version v2 has been reviewed in depth and remains easy to use. It should be noted that this version is much more resource-intensive than the older one.
Link : http://openphdguiding.org/
Astro Photography Tool (APT)
It is a powerful acquisition planning and control tool that allows manyactions which are for the most of them automated: regulation of the temperature of the camera, management of the motorized filters wheel, autofocusing using the focuser, centering known objects with the help of a stars catalog, creation and execution of acquisition plans with triggering of events and with possibility of inserting scripted commands, management of dithering orders for autoguiding, support of the meridian reversal, creation of flats, ...
Lien : https://ideiki.com/astro
NIGHTTIME IMAGING 'N' ASTRONOMY (N.I.N.A.)
This tool is very similar to the previous one (APT) but with the advantage of being able to prepare acquisitions directly from the integrated atlas. In addition, and this is a feature that APT does not have, you can do the framing directly by taking an acquisition and easily adjust the coordinates in relation to the map. Another advantage of N.I.N.A. is that we can modify the acquisition plan live even if the acquisitions are already in progress
Very good acquisition tool for the planetary, it allows in particular to make a track on the planet with the ST4 port of the mount which is very practical at high magnification and to limit the size of the snapshot. It also has an aid for adjusting an ADC (Atmospheric Dispersion Corrector) which is very practical. The programming of an acquisition plan and the control of the filters wheel are also available among the many features.
Lien : http://www.firecapture.de/
This tool is able to manage both aquisitions and treatments. It has many built-in scripts including a very useful one that can convert a series of images in FIT format to standard formats to be able to view and sort acquisitions quickly.
Simply the reference freeware planetarium.
Link : http://www.stellarium.org
Softwares & Tools
Very good freeware of automatic pre-processing and processing of astronomical images with frequent updates. Ability to use native scripts from the application or downloadable from the community.
Associated with the Sirilic tool, it is capable of automatically pre-processing several acquisition sessions with several different filters.
Lien : https://www.siril.org/fr/
Lien : Scripts Siril
Lien : Sirilic tool
The pre-processing and processing astronomical images software of Christian Buil. Easy to use for the usual pre-processing functions but also very complete with its many advanced features. It has the great advantage to allow automated processing for most functions that are scripted and can be chained with or without interruption.
Reference software for the preprocessing and processing of astronomical images. Very dynamic community with many scripts and tutorials available
Lien : https://pixinsight.com/
Reference software for pre-processing of planetary images (movies or photos) Its best asset is the treatment of wavelet deconvolution that provides sharpness and slightly noisy images.
Very good software for registration of the planetary images. Easy to set up and with an automatic mode by pre-treatment phase. Sorting the best images by quality criterion is its best asset.
Link : http://www.autostakkert.com/
Good tools provided as plugins to process astronomical pictures with Photoshop.
A good tool to use in Photoshop that removes much of the gradient from astronomical images.
From the same author, an interesting tool to use in Photoshop that allows you to remove stars from astronomical images. Very useful to isolate them and treat them separately.
Still from the same author, an effective tool to use in Photoshop that allows you to remove noise from preprocessed images. The efficiency is optimal if this treatment is applied to the source and therefore to the monochrome images (before the creation of the RGB color images)
Hasta La Vista Green
A tool to use in Photoshop that removes the green chromatic noise from astronomical images.
This plugin allows you to manage image noise reduction in Photoshop or Lightroom but it remains less effective than the NoiseXTerminator plugin for astronomical images
Software capable of carrying several pre-processing steps including calibration images (white balance)
Startrails & Starmax
The both softwares allow to create star trails from a series of photos
Tool that allows the sort of images from the metadata contained in for compliant photo formats (available on all platforms). I personally use the Linux version that can be used through bash scripts.
This project proposes Python libraries and tools (under Linux platform) for astronomy. It allows for example to read the header of image files in FIT format to retrieve metadata.
Lien : https://www.astropy.org/
Some recommended personnal websites
Thierry Legault website
"Expert" amateur astronomer in the field of astrophotography made famous by his beautiful pictures of the ISS transit in front of solar eclipses for example. He published a book called "Astrophotography" which is a reference for those who want to start or improve in this area and I highly recommend.
Link : http://www.astrophoto.fr/
Nicolas Outters website
"Expert" amateur astronomer in the field of astronomic image processing with numerous technical articles published in the monthly magazine "Astronomy Magazine". He has discovered four planetary nebulae to date and which bear his name (OU1 to 4)
Link : http://www.outters.fr/
Laurent Bourgon website
Many freeware developed tools related to its experience concerning the automation of his remote observatory.
Link : http://www.felopaul.com/
Robert Gendler website
"Expert" amateur astronomer in the field of astronomic image processing with many pictures posted on the "APOD" NASA site and with several books published on the subject.
Bob Franke "Focal Pointe Observatory" website
Site that offers many tutorials on techniques related to astrophotography.
Link : http://bf-astro.com
Site that offers many tutorials mainly on image processing.
Link : http://tifloastro.free.fr
"Bastien Foucher" website
Site that offers general tutorials about astrophotography.
"Maxime Oudoux" website
Site offering courses and tutorials on nocturnal landscape photography.
The Astrosurf website
Forum covering all topics related to astronomy (many evaluations of) Synthetic ephemerides of the main events for the next night
Link for forums : http://www.astrosurf.com/forums
Link for ephemerides : http://www.astrosurf.com/ephem/
French Astronomy Association
This is the french astronomy asociation website
Link : http://www.afastronomie.fr/
French Astronomy Community
This is the french astronomy community website
Link : http://www.webastro.net
The defense of the night sky is more than ever the business for all of us !
Link : http://www.anpcen.fr/
To understand the effects of light pollution on the night biodiversity and the challenges of the "real" night.
Link : http://www.nuitfrance.fr/
Study of light pollution and its impacts on ecosystems (Manager : Sébastien Vauclair)
Mission : Delivery of public (communities) and private (industrial) lighting diagnostics in order to protect the nocturnal environment and save on energy expenses.
The Solar Dynamics Observatory" website from SDO Mission (NASA)
In order to verify the presence of solar tasks through the live observation
"Astronomical seeing" from Meteoblue website
In order to check local forecasts of cloud layers, wind, but especially the seeing indexes. As this site is based on meteorological data, the forecasts are not accurate in the long term.
Lien : Sky quality
"Nebulosity observation" from Meteociel website
To check the cloudiness and therefore the quality of the sky in terms of clarity (measured in octas).