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Astrophotography on the Mac

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#51 Grimstod

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Posted 06 March 2019 - 08:17 AM

Bookmarked!

 

I would love to help too if there is any way that I can. I personally have a Mac Pro 3.33ghz Dual processor with 32gb of ram. 30" Cinema and 24in Cinema displays hooked up. I am actually on the hunt for a newer graphics card for it to help with image processing my asto pics.


Edited by Grimstod, 06 March 2019 - 09:13 AM.


#52 drjustice

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Posted 11 March 2019 - 01:14 AM

Bookmarked also. This is a great resource for mac users.



#53 toddegg

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Posted 23 March 2019 - 10:19 PM

thanks so much!!



#54 Lead_Weight

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 07:00 PM

I've started adding vendor specific Mac software to the Mac software section. Let me know if I'm missing some. I'm sure I am! smile.gif



#55 wendylou

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 07:05 PM

Nice website Andrew. Nice to see all the Mac software in one place! I'm a longtime Mac OS user.  I have a Celestron Evolution 8HD and want to get into HyperStar with a ZWO camera. Then I started looking around for capture and processing software.  I just asked for a trial license to explore PixInsight for image processing, after watching hours of video about it.  If I understand correctly, it can also capture.  It's not cheap getting into HyperStar imaging, but it's really what I want to be able to do with my Celestron SCT.  A lot of people have said they can do things with PixInsight that they never could with Nebulosity or other Mac OS stackers, so I figure 'why skimp on the software' after all this hardware investment. smile.gif


Edited by wendylou, 08 May 2019 - 07:06 PM.


#56 Fivel

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 07:58 PM

Hi again Andrew.

Have you looked at AstroImageJ? It is obviously based on ImageJ.

It is free and cross platform.

It has a debayering filter/tools, but it sets up the debayer pattern using just the first row of the matrix. That makes it a bit challenging, if you don't know your complete matrix layout.

If you have seen it, or check it out, maybe you have a link to common bayer patterns, showing the whole matrix.

 

Fivel

 



#57 Alien Observatory

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 08:44 PM

This is a link to a new CN thread for a Mac Imaging SW...It is available from the author for testing on your own...I sent an email to him a got a copy that I was able to install on my iMac and did some testing today...Pat Utah :)

 

https://www.cloudyni...1/#entry9345738



#58 Lead_Weight

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 09:13 PM

Nice website Andrew. Nice to see all the Mac software in one place! I'm a longtime Mac OS user.  I have a Celestron Evolution 8HD and want to get into HyperStar with a ZWO camera. Then I started looking around for capture and processing software.  I just asked for a trial license to explore PixInsight for image processing, after watching hours of video about it.  If I understand correctly, it can also capture.  It's not cheap getting into HyperStar imaging, but it's really what I want to be able to do with my Celestron SCT.  A lot of people have said they can do things with PixInsight that they never could with Nebulosity or other Mac OS stackers, so I figure 'why skimp on the software' after all this hardware investment. smile.gif

Thanks! PixInsight can take images through its INDI support, but I wouldn't recommend it. There are plenty of full featured imaging systems on the Mac that will do guiding, plate solving, image sequences, meridian flips, etc. For processing images, it's hard to beat PixInsight's comprehensive feature list. I prefer Astro Pixel Processor for integration, calibration, and color correction. All the rest of the image tweaks need PixInsight to bring out that extra detail.



#59 Lead_Weight

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 09:16 PM

Hi again Andrew.

Have you looked at AstroImageJ? It is obviously based on ImageJ.

It is free and cross platform.

It has a debayering filter/tools, but it sets up the debayer pattern using just the first row of the matrix. That makes it a bit challenging, if you don't know your complete matrix layout.

If you have seen it, or check it out, maybe you have a link to common bayer patterns, showing the whole matrix.

 

Fivel

Thanks! I haven't seen this one. I'll have to add it to the site.



#60 Lead_Weight

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 09:18 PM

This is a link to a new CN thread for a Mac Imaging SW...It is available from the author for testing on your own...I sent an email to him a got a copy that I was able to install on my iMac and did some testing today...Pat Utah smile.gif

 

https://www.cloudyni...1/#entry9345738

Oh this is awesome. I've seen Bob post about it before, and asked for a copy back then, but don't think he was ready to pass it out. I wish he would polish it up for release, and stick it on a website somewhere. I bet a lot of people would like it. I think it's really the future of imaging. Lucky imaging for DSO will help people overcome lots of seeing and mount issues.



#61 wendylou

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 10:20 PM

Thanks! PixInsight can take images through its INDI support, but I wouldn't recommend it. There are plenty of full featured imaging systems on the Mac that will do guiding, plate solving, image sequences, meridian flips, etc. For processing images, it's hard to beat PixInsight's comprehensive feature list. I prefer Astro Pixel Processor for integration, calibration, and color correction. All the rest of the image tweaks need PixInsight to bring out that extra detail.

I have StarSense for plate solving alignment, as my mount is Alt-Az, good enough for short HyperStar exposures.  I had been using Sky Safari Pro to locate targets and track for viewing and DSLR photography. So, I have no guider, which is why I want to try HyperStar imaging. What is a good Mac program for running a scope and capture session?  I think I was incorrect thinking that PIxInsight also runs capture sessions. I'll have to buy a MacBook for the telescope too I guess. I heard about the new ZWO ASIair Wi-Fi device which is a standalone scope control and image capture unit that works with SkySafari Pro that replaces the need for a laptop, but I believe it was made for equatorial mounts, not Alt-Az. If true, I'll need a good Mac program to control the scope and manage image capture for HyperStar or even DSLR sessions. As I have purchased nothing yet to get into HyperStar imaging, I feel I need a game plan for all the stuff I'll need to get into this. Getting my telescope was just half the equation!



#62 Lead_Weight

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 10:43 PM

For a DSLR, there is AstroDSLR by CloudMakers. Quite a good application. Easy to use. If you need guiding, they make AstroGuider, or you can always use the free PHD2 for Mac. Another option which does everything is KStars/EKOS (planetarium, scope control, imaging, focus, plate solving, guiding, and scheduling). It's also free. ASIAir is based off of EKOS, which is an open source system.


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#63 wendylou

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 11:25 PM

For a DSLR, there is AstroDSLR by CloudMakers. Quite a good application. Easy to use. If you need guiding, they make AstroGuider, or you can always use the free PHD2 for Mac. Another option which does everything is KStars/EKOS (planetarium, scope control, imaging, focus, plate solving, guiding, and scheduling). It's also free. ASIAir is based off of EKOS, which is an open source system.

Thanks, this is most helpful!



#64 Starslinger

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Posted 31 October 2019 - 11:40 PM

Thanks for making this Mac-centric site, just stumbled upon it. Grand. I was starting to consider the idea of buying a *shudder* PC to run some stuff on but I'm trying hard to keep it Mac OS X. 

 

FWIW, as I've been getting back into all of this, for the first time in over a decade, I stumbled upon a suite of apps by a guy called Ralph Hill. He seems to make three apps at the moment:

  • Starry Sky Stacker - Aligns and stacks straight up sky pictures (even with movement from being taken on a static mount).
  • Starry Landsape Stacker - Aligns and stacks skies while producing a mask for foreground elements (think Milky Way with Arches NP in the foreground kinda stuff)
  • Long Exposure Stacker - non-astronomy app for stacking multiple exposures to create blur (for those times you don't have an ND filter on hand). 

He sells them on the App Store, separately, and as a bundle. He also has downloadable demos linked there, too. I'm fairly new to stacking but they seem to do a pretty decent job and they're a doddle to use. 

 

I use Starry Night Pro for planning etc. Been using it probably since v1 or v2 and currently up to date with v8. 


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#65 sbradley07

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Posted 01 November 2019 - 01:51 PM

Hi Andrew - this is a great thread, and I finally read thru the whole thing today.  Even though I'm an avid Mac user....hate Windows and all things Microsoft...one thing I would not use my Mac for is image capture when I'm imaging DSOs...which is primarily what I do.  I think it's fine for folks new to the hobby to learn the process of AP, but once you are at the stage of running sessions thru the night, I don't want my Mac doing that.  While it's certainly capable, it's too awesome to subject it to dew, frost, cold temps, etc.  Even my old Mac is too good to put outdoors!  Instead, I'm happy to sacrifice a scrub Windows laptop or some mini PC/Linux/Raspberry Pi solution to be the capture engine; kstars/ekos kinda gives you the best of both worlds there.  

 

So I guess what I'm saying is, when it comes to AP, I'm not exclusive wink.gif   Just my $0.02...


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#66 Jay6821

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Posted 02 November 2019 - 10:36 AM

I'm firmly entrenched in the Apple ecosystem and just found your website. Thanks for the work you've done on this!  


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#67 Marcelofig

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Posted 02 November 2019 - 09:53 PM

The sad truth is that 99% of the capture software is only available for PC and that there are more and better options. SGP, NINA, Voyager, etc, etc... all available only for PC frown.gif .

 

The good news is that for processing we do have options: PI, APP, PS, all available for Mac. And to that we have to add the programs just mentioned here that I didn't know.

In the end what most Mac users do is have a cheap PC next to the mount (a laptop or a mini PC) and control that PC remotely from our Mac from the comfort of our home.



#68 richorn

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Posted 02 November 2019 - 10:48 PM

The sad truth is that 99% of the capture software is only available for PC and that there are more and better options. SGP, NINA, Voyager, etc, etc... all available only for PC frown.gif .

 

The good news is that for processing we do have options: PI, APP, PS, all available for Mac. And to that we have to add the programs just mentioned here that I didn't know.

In the end what most Mac users do is have a cheap PC next to the mount (a laptop or a mini PC) and control that PC remotely from our Mac from the comfort of our home.

Yup...  I gave up, and purchased an Eagle which solved all of my control issues.  I still do all processing on a Mac.



#69 Fivel

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Posted 03 November 2019 - 10:32 AM

Hello to all MAC users and astrophotographers.

I just want to chime in with a couple of comments about using MAC based apps for image capture and session control.

1. It was previously mentioned that kstars/Ekos/Indi can do all the same control as SGP or N.I.N.A.

It is cross platform, free and open architecture. I had used some of it's features, especially plate solving and mount control. It is a highly capable suite of modules.

2. My needs are a bit simpler, so for image capture I use the free app oa Capture. It is also cross platform.

I have great success in doing captures with it. It has many interesting features, including "Autorun" which allows the user to set up and run an imaging session automatically. It also has the advantage of being able to save image in the tiff format if desired. It can control videos as well, and save them in AVI or SER formats.

3. As to the comment made, that one OP did not want to use a MAC computer at the scope, Here is what I successfully use.

    - iMac in my office

    - Used MAC Mini at the scope (with all these apps I need loaded, including SkySafari 5 Pro).

      I live in Colorado with some pretty extreme temperature swings. I have not had any issues with the MAC Mini.

    - Connect the two via 370" of Cat5e cable (no major issues, just some files transfer slow down).

       I also have an Ethernet switch at the MAC Mini, a powered USB 3.0 hub mounted on the scope and all work           quite well.

    - Remotely control the MAC Mini using the Apple Screen Sharing feature. It works flawlessly.

4. I do image registration/stacking and some PP with Siril (free and cross platform), or some registration/stacking and PP with Lynkeos (free and MAC only), more PP with Affinity Photo, Gimp and noise cleanup or sharpening with Neat Image.

 

This is just one, all MAC setup, that works flawlessly. And yes, there are several MAC apps for all the astrophotography and observing needs. I only use a (groan) Windows laptop so I can use Sharpcap Pro to do polar alignment. Although kstars has a polar alignment routine, as does PHD2 for MAC, I could not get them to work properly. That could be (not sure) due to my old MAC OS of El Capitan.

 

Dark, clear, stable skies to all.

 

Fivel

 

 


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#70 Joe Bergeron

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Posted 07 November 2019 - 10:28 PM

I wish there was a more modern Mac option for stacking planetary images. The available options seem to be abandoned, and as 32-bit apps, they will not work at all with Catalina or succeeding OSX versions.


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#71 Lead_Weight

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Posted 07 November 2019 - 10:39 PM

I wish there was a more modern Mac option for stacking planetary images. The available options seem to be abandoned, and as 32-bit apps, they will not work at all with Catalina or succeeding OSX versions.


Siril will do planetary stacking. Apparently Lynkeos got an update and still works for planetary too. It takes some work, but PixInsight can do it as well. Still the best overall stacking program is Autostakkert on windows. Currently, Siril is the best on the Mac. I know they are also regularly updating it with improvements for planetary stacking.

Edited by Lead_Weight, 07 November 2019 - 10:39 PM.


#72 GaryShaw

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Posted 07 November 2019 - 10:54 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

Got excited when I first came across the site but still have found nothing like Sharpcap 3.2 Pro available running MacOS. I read so many posts about people longing to have Mac based EAA that its surprising no one has seen any value in that market....


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#73 Lead_Weight

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Posted 07 November 2019 - 11:24 PM

Got excited when I first came across the site but still have found nothing like Sharpcap 3.2 Pro available running MacOS. I read so many posts about people longing to have Mac based EAA that its surprising no one has seen any value in that market....


There was an EAA program for some time called AstroLive http://astrolive.io/astroliveusb.html but it’s been abandoned. It might run, but not sure anymore. KStars/EKOS is adding EAA abilities, and should be released soon in an upcoming update.

#74 airscottdenning

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Posted 09 November 2019 - 12:19 AM

Got excited when I first came across the site but still have found nothing like Sharpcap 3.2 Pro available running MacOS. I read so many posts about people longing to have Mac based EAA that its surprising no one has seen any value in that market....

TheSkyX Pro does EAA very nicely. It runs on Windows, Mac, linux, and Rasp Pi. I use it quite a lot. 

 

I have a PC with Sharpcap 3.2 Pro but I actually prefer the EAA interface in TSX. Standard TSX interface and also the newer LTI workbench work very well. 


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#75 GaryShaw

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Posted 09 November 2019 - 10:39 AM

TheSkyX Pro does EAA very nicely. It runs on Windows, Mac, linux, and Rasp Pi. I use it quite a lot. 

 

I have a PC with Sharpcap 3.2 Pro but I actually prefer the EAA interface in TSX. Standard TSX interface and also the newer LTI workbench work very well. 

Hi

Thank you for pointing TSX out but I found nothing astro-related on LTI. I’d be interested to know what TSX does or has that is EAA-ish. Everything on it that  I scanned through after seeing your post seemed to be deeply into full AP and it’s a fairly pricey application as well. Is there perhaps a basic version of the program that has the same functionality of Sharpcap Pro - mainly the live stacking, and ‘on the fly’ application of Dark and Flat frames?

thank you!




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