Friday, 7 June 2013

Imaging Toolbox Instructions

The imaging toolbox contains many features of use to the astro-imager, whether using your own equipment or a remote observatory, including:
  • View a selection of all-sky image surveys directly from your web browser with no need to install extra software.
  • Explore the sky interactively by panning, zooming and dynamically switching between surveys.
  • Find almost any deep-sky target by common name or catalogue number (Messier, NGC, ICC, etc.), or choose from a list of popular imaging targets.
  • Go to any location using Right Ascension and Declination coordinates.
  • Overlay the sky with a reticule which reproduces the field of view of your camera and telescope / lens.
  • Display multiple reticules at once to compare the fields of view of different camera and telescope / lens combinations. Great for evaluating prospective investments in new equipment!
  • Reposition the target and rotate the reticule to work out the best way to frame your image, as well as changing the reticule colour to suit different sky backgrounds.
  • Arrange multiple reticules on a single target to plan a mosaic.
  • Annotate the reticule with the field of view dimensions, pixel scale and the resolving power of your scope/lens. 
  • Set the reticule size by directly entering the dimensions of your field of view if you already know them, or calculate them if you don't.
  • Calculate field of view dimensions using camera chip or pixel dimensions, resolution and the focal length of your scope or lens.
  • Or choose from a database of hundreds of popular telescopes, astronomical CCD and DSLR cameras.
  • Determine the effect of adding a Barlow lens or focal reducer/field flattener on your set-up.
Read on for full instructions.