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Astrophotography on the Mac

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#26 CraigShelley

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Posted 28 July 2018 - 12:41 PM

Nice site. It was very useful. On iOS, I use ScopeNights for weather. I have TheSky HD and GNS (goodnight system for Sequence Generator Pro) for IOS but haven't used them much.  


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#27 astrodog73

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Posted 20 August 2018 - 07:36 PM

Nice.... I've just had a look, and will follow up some leads found.... Thanks.


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#28 Fivel

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Posted 22 August 2018 - 08:57 PM

For Andrew and others that tried Lynkeos for planetary processing, here is a Mars image I processed on 1 August this year.

Mars-Tiffs 20&33_Lynk_Adj_Affin-2_NI-gimp.jpg

 

Although the capture was done with a Windows app, all the PP was done with Lynkeos and the Mac native apps, including Neat Image and Affinity Photo. It took a bit of work to get Lynkeos to render the avi video, but the results were decent.

 


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#29 Lead_Weight

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Posted 22 August 2018 - 10:04 PM

For Andrew and others that tried Lynkeos for planetary processing, here is a Mars image I processed on 1 August this year.

attachicon.gif Mars-Tiffs 20&33_Lynk_Adj_Affin-2_NI-gimp.jpg

 

Although the capture was done with a Windows app, all the PP was done with Lynkeos and the Mac native apps, including Neat Image and Affinity Photo. It took a bit of work to get Lynkeos to render the avi video, but the results were decent.

Not bad. What kind of system/OS are you running?



#30 Fivel

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Posted 23 August 2018 - 10:23 AM

Thanks Andrew. I have an iMac 27" (late 2009) running El Capitan, with 32GB RAM.

 

The scope is a deforked Meade 8" LX200 OTA on an equatorial mount.

The camera is a ZWO asi185mc (not cooled).

 

I also have a laptop, at the observatory, with the (groan) Windows 10 OS.

 

To get Lynkeos to properly render the Sharpcap avi videos, I had to use Mpeg Bitstream to re-export the videos (no changes) as avi. The Mars image was stacked in Lynkeos with 4000 frames from four 30 second videos. Then careful iterations of Lynkeos Wavelets, Deconvolution, Levels, CA adjust and Unsharp Mask to do the post processing of the stacked videos. 

 

Fivel



#31 fteter

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Posted 18 October 2018 - 10:40 AM

I'm just getting into the imaging game myself and I'm heavily invested in Mac.  So thank you, Andrew, for the great info.  Bookmarked.

 

Tangent:  For those of you using Parallels or VMware Fusion to run Windows in a virtual machine on your Mac, you may want to consider VirtualBox.  It's an Oracle product and does the same things that the other vm platforms do, but with one huge differentiator:  it's freeware!  You can find it at https://www.virtualbox.org.


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#32 Lead_Weight

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Posted 22 October 2018 - 12:00 PM

I'm just getting into the imaging game myself and I'm heavily invested in Mac.  So thank you, Andrew, for the great info.  Bookmarked.

 

Tangent:  For those of you using Parallels or VMware Fusion to run Windows in a virtual machine on your Mac, you may want to consider VirtualBox.  It's an Oracle product and does the same things that the other vm platforms do, but with one huge differentiator:  it's freeware!  You can find it at https://www.virtualbox.org.

I might have to try this out. Would love to be able to run Autostakkert, at least until there's more support for planetary processing. 



#33 Garthid

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Posted 22 October 2018 - 01:32 PM

For those that would like to use Autostakkert with OS X there is a tutorial on making a Wine wrapper to run the program on the Autostakkert homepage under Features and Guides. It took about ten minutes to go through the steps and so far has worked perfectly on Mavericks and Yosemite without a dedicated virtual machine or dual booting.

Sorry, I don't know if it works with El Capitan - Mojave.

 

https://github.com/d...avericks-10.9.2


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#34 fteter

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Posted 22 October 2018 - 03:56 PM

I might have to try this out. Would love to be able to run Autostakkert, at least until there's more support for planetary processing. 

VirtualBox is pretty easy to install and use.  And the latest version works on Mojave.  If you try it out and hit issues, PM me.  Happy to help if needed.


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#35 viksmi

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Posted 25 October 2018 - 09:37 PM

I have installed Autostakkert using wine on Mojave and it seem to work ok- seems to be stable enough, although I haven't done anything meaning yet.



#36 dpastern

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Posted 27 October 2018 - 07:18 AM

VirtualBox is pretty easy to install and use.  And the latest version works on Mojave.  If you try it out and hit issues, PM me.  Happy to help if needed.

For those Mac users who can run Mojave...I love how Apple uses UEFI to block older macs from running the latest O/S...top notch support...NOT.  

 

note: 2009 macbook can run mojva, 2009 macbook pro cannot...go figure.  Hack the UEFI bios and you can install mojave with some effort...

 

Apple's dodgy hardware and dodgy anti 3rd party repairer tactics leave me appalled.  A clear case of anti competitive and antitrust behaviour but it seems the DOJ won't touch them...

 

edit: check this video out:

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=V7RXJP4mxCc

 

$1000+ quote from Apple genius bar idiot that wouldn't have even fixed the problem, and @ Louis, $6 for the part and whatever labour costs he charges.  There's a reason why Apple is colluding with the US government to try and wipe out 3rd party repairers...

 

Apple will not get another $ from this lad.  


Edited by dpastern, 28 October 2018 - 12:29 AM.

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#37 fteter

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Posted 29 October 2018 - 11:21 AM

@dpastern, at the risk to going off topic, I get it.  The cycle seems to up and down with many of the major PC producers, especially Apple and MS.  I've personally been an Apple user for the past decade plus, but I've seen a decline in their overall behavior.  The days of "it just works" and excellent support are long gone.  For myself, I stick with OS X as it appears to me to be the more stable OS in a choice between Windows and OS X.  Was looking hard at a move to Linux until the announcement came out that IBM was purchasing Red Hat - may be the funeral announcement for open source Linux, so I'll delay that until I can see how that turns out.

 

Note the Virtual Box also works well on a Windows or a Linux host.


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#38 dpastern

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Posted 31 October 2018 - 02:03 AM

@dpastern, at the risk to going off topic, I get it.  The cycle seems to up and down with many of the major PC producers, especially Apple and MS.  I've personally been an Apple user for the past decade plus, but I've seen a decline in their overall behavior.  The days of "it just works" and excellent support are long gone.  For myself, I stick with OS X as it appears to me to be the more stable OS in a choice between Windows and OS X.  Was looking hard at a move to Linux until the announcement came out that IBM was purchasing Red Hat - may be the funeral announcement for open source Linux, so I'll delay that until I can see how that turns out.

 

Note the Virtual Box also works well on a Windows or a Linux host.

Apple's support has gone downhill big time.  The genius bars are not "geniuses" far from it.  edit: having spent 18 months working for Apple in their tech support department, and 15 years working in IT, I think I can judge their technical abilities.  This is a broad statement however, some genius guys will be very knowledgeable.  

 

OS is certainly superior to Windows, no argument from me there!  

 

Red Hat is just One distribution, it's not even the most popular Linux distribution.  There is nothing to fear by IBM buying Red Hat.  I've long been a Debian guy anyway, the last time I used Redhat was in the very early 00s!  

 

New Macbook Airs released it seems:

 

https://www.apple.co...mac/macbook-air

 

Apple is being rather opportunistic in their pricing though.  I got my HP laptop with an i5 CPU (can't remember the speed), 128GB SSD and 8GB RAM for like AUD $800...that's a LOT of money to be paying for the name...for example, a Dell 13" 7000 range machine, has an i7, 16GB DDR4 RAM and 512GB SSD...true, it's on discount at the moment and it's normal price is higher than the base prices for the 3 variants that Apple lists on its website...add that extra RAM and SSD storage and the Mac is suddenly AUD $2800...a massive price differential...


Edited by dpastern, 31 October 2018 - 02:04 AM.


#39 sayitfast

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Posted 24 November 2018 - 05:29 PM

Yeah, I have Moonlite focusers on two telescopes.

Which software are you using to control the focuser... I have a moonlight nightcrawler.

 

I just visited your site.,.. very well done.   I love the how you're doing flats. I'm going to give that a shot. 

 

grin.gif



#40 Lead_Weight

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Posted 24 November 2018 - 07:59 PM

Which software are you using to control the focuser... I have a moonlight nightcrawler.

 

I just visited your site.,.. very well done.   I love the how you're doing flats. I'm going to give that a shot. 

 

grin.gif

Thanks! I'm using KStars/EKOS for everything. But I just read that AstroImager (Cloudmakers suite) just updated their system to use the Moonlite focusers too.



#41 Alien Observatory

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Posted 24 November 2018 - 10:40 PM

For Andrew and others that tried Lynkeos for planetary processing, here is a Mars image I processed on 1 August this year.

attachicon.gif Mars-Tiffs 20&33_Lynk_Adj_Affin-2_NI-gimp.jpg

 

Although the capture was done with a Windows app, all the PP was done with Lynkeos and the Mac native apps, including Neat Image and Affinity Photo. It took a bit of work to get Lynkeos to render the avi video, but the results were decent.

Sort of found this link/topic by accident.  Being a dedicated Mac user, I had good luck with Mars, Jupiter and Saturn this summer.  Running ASICAP SW on the Mac (latest versions) with my ZWO 178 Color cam and using Lynkeos for processing 40 - 60 frames on average.  Not an expert using Lynkeos, but learning...CPC 9.25 Alt AZ Telescope at F20...Screen Shot of ASICAP Jupiter...Looking forward to next year to see if I can improve...Images reduced in size for CN Posting...Pat Utah smile.gif

Attached Thumbnails

  • Mars 8-28-2018 ZWO178 F20.jpg
  • Saturn 9-01-2018 ZWO178 F20.jpg
  • Jupiter July 2018 ZWO 178 F20.jpg
  • ASICAP Jupiter F20.jpg

Edited by Alien Observatory, 24 November 2018 - 11:43 PM.

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#42 Lead_Weight

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Posted 25 November 2018 - 12:33 AM

Nice job! I just processed my first planetary image on the Mac this week of Uranus, shot through my C5 on an ASI224MC, and processed in Siril. Pretty small, but still came out ok.

get.jpg?insecure

#43 WyattDavis

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Posted 15 December 2018 - 08:41 AM

Hi Andrew,

 

Wow, thanks for doing this! I'm a long-time Mac user, and I have just totally forgotten how to navigate Windows at this point. I would vastly prefer staying in OSX. I'm also just getting started with astrophotography, so your site is a great find. I am also a total beginner at AP and am just getting started and don't even know enough to select between these packages for my starting point. A question to all if I may:

 

I am trying to set up to shoot with a tethered DSLR through a Vixen ED81S (with reducer/corrector) on a Losmandy mount and had planned to use Windows and the following:  SharpCap for polar alignment, PHD2 for guiding, BackyardEOS for camera control, and ''unidentified/to be determined" for image processing. My goal is deep sky photography. Any recommendations for equivalent software packages on the Mac and any adds/strikes to the software I listed above to get off to a good basic start?

 

All input greatly appreciated!



#44 WyattDavis

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Posted 15 December 2018 - 09:10 AM

One solve looks like:  

 

Hi Andrew,

 

Wow, thanks for doing this! I'm a long-time Mac user, and I have just totally forgotten how to navigate Windows at this point. I would vastly prefer staying in OSX. I'm also just getting started with astrophotography, so your site is a great find. I am also a total beginner at AP and am just getting started and don't even know enough to select between these packages for my starting point. A question to all if I may:

 

I am trying to set up to shoot with a tethered DSLR through a Vixen ED81S (with reducer/corrector) on a Losmandy mount and had planned to use Windows and the following:  SharpCap for polar alignment, PHD2 for guiding, BackyardEOS for camera control, and ''unidentified/to be determined" for image processing. My goal is deep sky photography. Any recommendations for equivalent software packages on the Mac and any adds/strikes to the software I listed above to get off to a good basic start?

 

All input greatly appreciated!

One solution might be:  CloudMakers AstroDSLR + PHD2 for guiding and polar alignment (any advantage to going with the CloudMakers AstroGuider if using the CM AstroDSLR?) + "to be identified" for image processing.



#45 Ron359

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Posted 15 December 2018 - 02:36 PM

Hi Andrew,

 

Wow, thanks for doing this! I'm a long-time Mac user, and I have just totally forgotten how to navigate Windows at this point. I would vastly prefer staying in OSX. I'm also just getting started with astrophotography, so your site is a great find. I am also a total beginner at AP and am just getting started and don't even know enough to select between these packages for my starting point. A question to all if I may:

 

I am trying to set up to shoot with a tethered DSLR through a Vixen ED81S (with reducer/corrector) on a Losmandy mount and had planned to use Windows and the following:  SharpCap for polar alignment, PHD2 for guiding, BackyardEOS for camera control, and ''unidentified/to be determined" for image processing. My goal is deep sky photography. Any recommendations for equivalent software packages on the Mac and any adds/strikes to the software I listed above to get off to a good basic start?

 

All input greatly appreciated!

Nebulosity and PHD 2 -both Mac native- are all you need unless your DSLR is a Nikon.  Neb will both run your camera and do all the stacking and processing you need with maybe finishing touches from Photoshop or other photo software.   When/ if you really want to dive deep into processing Pixelinsight is very advanced, expensive and Mac too.  


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#46 WyattDavis

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Posted 16 December 2018 - 08:07 AM

I have a Canon 50D. So, PHD2 for polar drift alignment and guiding and Nebulosity for camera control, image capture, and (at least basic) image processing?


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#47 Ron359

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Posted 16 December 2018 - 03:14 PM

I have a Canon 50D. So, PHD2 for polar drift alignment and guiding and Nebulosity for camera control, image capture, and (at least basic) image processing?

yes,  PHD has a drift align tool - I've never used that particular tool as I mostly image from an observatory mounted scope.  Since they come from same 'creator', they also work together well together for dithering between exposures which reduces color noise from DSLRs.  Processing in Nebulosity goes far more than 'basic', but like a lot of Mac software it appears simple and basic till you dig deeper and deeper as you learn more.   Be sure to watch the Neb videos of Craig and others and read/follow the procedures in the manual.  There is a lot in those.  There is a stark-labs yahoo group for questions & problems you might want to join. 


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#48 Don Rudny

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Posted 16 December 2018 - 06:51 PM

I started a website some time ago for Mac users who are into Astrophotography. It's called the Mac Observatory. I'm not in it for any money, but would like for some people to take a look to see if I've missed anything in the software section that might be useful to others on the Mac. I hope to keep updating the site as a resource for Mac users. I've seen a few other sites that tried to do this, and they've not been updated in some time.

 

One area I've not covered is vendors that support the Mac with hardware drivers or specific software for their hardware (camera vendors, etc).

 

Anyhow, if you could take a look, I would appreciate it.

 

Regards,

Andrew

Hi Andrew,

 

One program I use extensively for outreach and live view imaging is Starlight Live.  It’s available for both Mac and Windows, both native.  It only works with SX cameras and is available for download on their website.  I use it for shorter exposure near real time viewing, but it could be used for longer exposure AP.  It has on the fly stacking and image control.  It also has non linear contrast settings for better dynamic range.  Darks frame can be applied as well.  SLL also has capability to do multispectral imaging.

 

Last night I gave in to auto guiding and used PHD2 and SLL on my MacBook Pro and got the attached result.  I realize it’s not real AP, but the visitors at the VIS on Maunakea here in Hawaii love seeing these.  I also can Airdrop the final capture to their iPhones for a nice souvenir.  Another great Apple feature.

 

I use SkySafari to control my AP1100gto, and it works flawlessly.

 

M1 Crab Nebula 9x90s

 

FC58C4F3-C3BA-4B83-A38A-E78361982F9A.jpeg


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#49 Taylor

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Posted 05 January 2019 - 06:57 PM

Just thought I would share my solution. 

My primary computer is a MacBook Air that is docked to a 24" Ultrasharp monitor.

No desire to have a main Windows 10 computer and their auto update fiasco ruined some stuff on my old desktop, completely ditched Win10 after that. 

 

Got a tablet off of eBay for $50 in great condition, use a bluetooth mouse and keyboard for it that fit in a $5 Husky hardware bag that I keep the rest of my AP accessories in. I turned off WiFi as I have no use for it on the tablet, that way no forced Win10 updates that might break something. It has a full size USB port to connect to a powered USB hub, and a micro USB that I keep plugged into the LiIon power bank that powers the imaging gear as well. 

 

It is able to be charged over micro USB to run the telescope and to run Deep Sky Stacker, so it sips small amounts of power all night and will never run out of juice.

The Atom processor in the 10" processor is enough to stack RAW DSLR files, it isn't as fast as a brand new Ryzen 7 or i7, but it gets the job done. Once finished, I copy the file over to my Macbook and finish processing there. 

Attached Thumbnails

  • telescope setup.jpg
  • telescope setup1.jpg

Edited by Taylor, 05 January 2019 - 06:59 PM.

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#50 Peter Polakovic

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Posted 26 February 2019 - 03:12 PM

One solve looks like:  

 

One solution might be:  CloudMakers AstroDSLR + PHD2 for guiding and polar alignment (any advantage to going with the CloudMakers AstroGuider if using the CM AstroDSLR?) + "to be identified" for image processing.

The advantage of using AstroGuider with AstroDSLR is a much better integration. E.g. AstroDSLR can make AstroGuider to dither between captures or suspend guiding during image download. Peter




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