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An introduction to quantative astrophotography on Linux: Part 1

30 Jan 2014, 01:42 UTC
An introduction to quantative astrophotography on Linux: Part 1
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My work duties briefly had me thinking about some basic astronomical image processing questions that ultimately did not need to be solved as part of that project. Nevertheless the issue was interesting enough to make me perform a simple astrophotography experiment with a normal camera and some open-source software. As many of the astro-photography websites I browsed as part of my research for the work project, and for this experiment, used much expensive hardware and essentially “black-box” GUI Windows-based software, I thought it would be possibly helpful to publish my experiences on this blog.The aimsThe aims of this first experiment are to get answers to the following questions:What kind of astrophotography can be accomplished with a basic DSLR and a static tripod in the middle of suburbia? What kind of spatial resolution, signal-to-noise, and limiting magnitude can we achieve without specialized equipment?What are the basic physical characteristics of DSLR astronomical imagery? How big are the pixel sizes, what are the dark current and bias levels, etc etc? Can satellites, in particular Geostationary satellites, be imaged with such a simple set of equipment? They definitely can be with slightly better equipment - see Dave Kodama’s astrophotography page and Sinnbilder’s post at ...

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