Charleston Observatory


Data Aquisition

Software is used to aquire the digital data from the CCD camera. The software package used varies with the camera being used. Often the same software is also used to guide the telescope during the image exposure.

For planetary and lunar imaging, I use K3CCDTools to aquire the data from the camera.

For deep sky imaging, I use Canon DSLR software, and SharpCap to control and aquire the data from the Canon camera, to control guiding as well as to control the filter wheel.

Image Pre-processing

Following data aquisition, we must calibrate, align and scale the data, known as pre-processing. Software tools are used to pre-process the data.

For planetary and lunar image processiing, I use Registax 3.

For deep sky image processing, I use DeepSkyStacker initially for image alignment, calibration and stacking, then RawTherapee for gamma scaling.

Image Post-processing

Once the pre-processing has been completed, there are then a variety of software packages employed to recombine the individual L (luminance) and RGB (Red-Green-Blue) data into a final image.

I use the following software products for this purpose:

RawTherapee, Picture Window Pro, Paint Shop Pro. Each has it's strengths and weaknesses, but employing all of these packages has allowed me to utilize the strengths of each in assembling the final image.

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