Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

Stellina - Expert mode

Astrophotography Imaging
  • Please log in to reply
327 replies to this topic

#1 CptNautilus

CptNautilus

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 528
  • Joined: 04 Aug 2020

Posted 24 June 2021 - 04:36 PM

 The smart telescope Stellina (by Vaonis) is known for its ease of use and the way it produces automatic images in JPEG format, straight from the beast.

 

  However, it has more to offer. It can be used as an astrophotography station that collects raw images in FITS format (from now on called FITS). Those subs are, at the moment of the writing, 10-second-long subs. Thanks to Stellina's automatic setup, automatic focusing, mechanical derotator and anti-dew heater, those subs are of very good quality. They can be processed in much the same way as subs produced by more regular rigs.

 

  The goal of this thread is to discuss all the tricks of the trade that are particular to the Stellina when it comes to stacking, stretching and processing its FITS.

 

  As a starter, I propose here a kind of tutorial explaining all you have to know to collect light frames and dark frames with Stellina and how to stack them in the free application DeepSkyStacker:

 

How to stack Stellina's FITS with DeepSkyStacker


  • roelb, estrela and safinsd like this

#2 Brainebula

Brainebula

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 721
  • Joined: 04 Feb 2021

Posted 25 June 2021 - 11:14 AM

 The smart telescope Stellina (by Vaonis) is known for its ease of use and the way it produces automatic images in JPEG format, straight from the beast.

 

  However, it has more to offer. It can be used as an astrophotography station that collects raw images in FITS format (from now on called FITS). Those subs are, at the moment of the writing, 10-second-long subs. Thanks to Stellina's automatic setup, automatic focusing, mechanical derotator and anti-dew heater, those subs are of very good quality. They can be processed in much the same way as subs produced by more regular rigs.

 

  The goal of this thread is to discuss all the tricks of the trade that are particular to the Stellina when it comes to stacking, stretching and processing its FITS.

 

  As a starter, I propose here a kind of tutorial explaining all you have to know to collect light frames and dark frames with Stellina and how to stack them in the free application DeepSkyStacker:

 

How to stack Stellina's FITS with DeepSkyStacker

AFAIK, there is no Mac version of DSS. Do you know of any FITS stackers for Mac? Affinity Photo can stack and can handle Stellina's TIFF but I don't think it handles the FITS format. 


Edited by Brainebula, 25 June 2021 - 11:15 AM.

  • Jose_Salcedo likes this

#3 rj144

rj144

    Aurora

  • -----
  • Posts: 4,854
  • Joined: 31 Oct 2020

Posted 25 June 2021 - 11:48 AM

Appreciate the thread, but once you have the FITS it's the same as processing and stacking and processing discussed ad infinitum here and many places on the net.

 

Also, if you have lots of subs, the average stacking method for light frames, is not the best algorithm to use.


Edited by rj144, 25 June 2021 - 11:58 AM.


#4 jonnybravo0311

jonnybravo0311

    Aurora

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 4,933
  • Joined: 05 Nov 2020
  • Loc: NJ, US

Posted 25 June 2021 - 12:41 PM

AFAIK, there is no Mac version of DSS. Do you know of any FITS stackers for Mac? Affinity Photo can stack and can handle Stellina's TIFF but I don't think it handles the FITS format. 

SiriL is free and works on Mac.


  • Craigar and DanMiller like this

#5 CptNautilus

CptNautilus

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 528
  • Joined: 04 Aug 2020

Posted 26 June 2021 - 02:41 PM

AFAIK, there is no Mac version of DSS. Do you know of any FITS stackers for Mac? Affinity Photo can stack and can handle Stellina's TIFF but I don't think it handles the FITS format. 

  The latest version of Affinity Photo can read FITS but in my experience, their stacking has problems. For me it crashes all the time.

 

  Many Mac users use SiriL (free) or AstroPixelProcessor (not free).


  • Jose_Salcedo likes this

#6 CptNautilus

CptNautilus

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 528
  • Joined: 04 Aug 2020

Posted 26 June 2021 - 02:50 PM

Appreciate the thread, but once you have the FITS it's the same as processing and stacking and processing discussed ad infinitum here and many places on the net.

 

Also, if you have lots of subs, the average stacking method for light frames, is not the best algorithm to use.

  That's true. I forgot that I had put that method in the PDF, which I had written very early after my first success with DSS. Nowadays, I use the "Median Kappa-Sigma clipping" algorithm for the light frames, and the "Average" for the dark frames. Is that the algorithm you had in mind?

 

  Besides, Stellina has some peculiarities with the FITS Bayer pattern due to the mechanical derotator, and there is also tricks to know to optimize the collection of light frames and dark frames.


Edited by CptNautilus, 26 June 2021 - 02:55 PM.


#7 CptNautilus

CptNautilus

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 528
  • Joined: 04 Aug 2020

Posted 26 June 2021 - 02:57 PM

  In my DSS for Stellina tutorial, I mention a Python script that helps sorting out all the FITS created by Stellina. You can download it from here:

 

SortStellinaFITS.py

 

# Name:         SortStellinaFITS
# Version:      1.6
# Purpose:      Sorts Vaonis Stellina's FITS into Lights, Darks and bad images
# Method:       It goes through the FITS produced by Vaonis Stellina telescope
#               and, based on the JSON files, sort them into
#               1. Lights (good images)
#               2. Darks (no star detected, used for sensor's hot pixel removal)
#               3. Bad images (not usable for stacking)
#               FITS in categories 1 and 2 are then copied to the target folder
#               and renamed with a name that allows to sort them in a stacking
#               application (e.g. DeepSkyStacker)
#               The new name contains the following information:
#               - Name of the featured object (or "Dark")
#               - Code of the Bayer pattern
#               - Star roundness (small values are better)
#               - Name of the original FITS
#               - Number of the folder inside the observation folder
#               The last JPG images are also copied to the target folder
#               All the TIFF images are also copied
#               4. Every FITS is then checked and if they are not in BGGR Bayer pattern
#               they will be rotated by 180° to make them in that pattern
#
#               Since version 1.5 the script loops over all the folders
#               that contain the word "capture". It copies the FITS, JPEGS and TIFFs
#               that are in those folders and put them all in the same target folder.
#               If you have reframed the view field, or do not want one of the
#               capture folders to be processed for any reason, delete it before
#               starting the script (or rename it to remove "capture" from its name.
#
#               Since version 1.6, FITS in RGGB Bayer pattern are rotated to BGGR
#               This is done with the astropy.io library, which must be installed
#               beforehand.
#
# Parameters:
#   sourceFolder: Folder of the USB key that contains the "observation.json" file.
#                 This is NOT the folder that contains the FITS.
#                 The original files will neither be deleted nor modified
#   targetFolder: Folder where the sorted FITS will be copied. A new folder will
#                 be created in it, with the date, time and name of the object
#   keepDarks:  Set to True if you have taken darks during this capture
#
# Requirements: There must be JSON files in Stellina's directories. Enable
#               debug mode in Stellinapp to get them (before the capture)
#               The only non-stock library you need is astropy.io, which is free
#
# Author:       Cpt Nautilus
#
# Created:      30/04/2020
# Updated:      23/11/2020
# Copyright:    © CptNautilus 2020
# Licence:      Not for commercial use
#
# New in 1.6:   Convert all FITS with RGGB pattern to BGGR pattern
# New in 1.5:   loops over the entire observation folder
#               gives the JPEG and TIFF more meaningful names
# New in 1.4:   upgraded to work with firmware v20
# New in 1.3:   keepDarks
#
# convertBayerRGGBtoBGGR function derived from HandleFitsFile, developped by Paul de Backer


  • JoeRomeo likes this

#8 JoeRomeo

JoeRomeo

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 30
  • Joined: 29 Mar 2021
  • Loc: Denver, CO

Posted 20 August 2021 - 12:06 PM

Moving the topic I posted elsewhere over to this thread.

 

Very happy Stellina owner here. I've been slowly getting better at stacking FITS and editing manually (Siril and Affinity Pro for now) and would love to figure out how to create flats and biases. Is this a great idea, or a terrible idea?

 

I know the field derotator could make one or both impossible, but I'd love to know if anyone more experienced than me has tried or has thoughts to share. I am currently using your script Cpt Nautilus to convert the FITS pattern. 



#9 CptNautilus

CptNautilus

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 528
  • Joined: 04 Aug 2020

Posted 20 August 2021 - 12:56 PM

Moving the topic I posted elsewhere over to this thread.

 

Very happy Stellina owner here. I've been slowly getting better at stacking FITS and editing manually (Siril and Affinity Pro for now) and would love to figure out how to create flats and biases. Is this a great idea, or a terrible idea?

 

I know the field derotator could make one or both impossible, but I'd love to know if anyone more experienced than me has tried or has thoughts to share. I am currently using your script Cpt Nautilus to convert the FITS pattern. 

It can't be done the usual way because Stellina can't work when the sun is up.

 

Someone on the Facebook group managed to take flats with a specialised spotlight. After an update of the software, it is no longer possible though. Also, an ingeneer from Vaonis seemed dubious about the validity of such flats due to the derotator. Not being a pro, I can't comment about this. Only relaying the info.



#10 JoeRomeo

JoeRomeo

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 30
  • Joined: 29 Mar 2021
  • Loc: Denver, CO

Posted 18 September 2021 - 10:07 AM

You've probably already solved for this but it looks like Vaonis changed or removed the status "StackingLackOfStar" in their .json files, because my dark frames aren't being categorized by your script anymore. Do you know what I should be looking for now?

Thank you for putting this script together, it's been immensely helpful processing photos from Stellina manually. And a lot of fun!



#11 CptNautilus

CptNautilus

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 528
  • Joined: 04 Aug 2020

Posted 20 September 2021 - 04:04 PM

You've probably already solved for this but it looks like Vaonis changed or removed the status "StackingLackOfStar" in their .json files, because my dark frames aren't being categorized by your script anymore. Do you know what I should be looking for now?

Thank you for putting this script together, it's been immensely helpful processing photos from Stellina manually. And a lot of fun!

  Yes, they have remove "StackingLackOfStar" and replaced it with "StackingMatchingError". Unfortunately, this not just a change of name. It covers different errors. I tried to replace it in my script and it will detect dark frames, but there will also be other bad frames among them. In DSS, make sure to look carefully at every dark. If you see any star, anything that's not just black and hot pixels, throw away that frame.

 

  Also, the new firmware has made it more difficult to collect dark frames as Stellina will abort the session after 5 or 7 dark frames.

 

  I complained on the Facebook group and Vaonis said the advanced mode should arrive "soon", and it should allow us to get dark frames without all the current fuss. Still no precise date about what "soon" means now. We'll just have to wait.



#12 Brainebula

Brainebula

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 721
  • Joined: 04 Feb 2021

Posted 20 September 2021 - 04:22 PM

Meanwhile, when will we be able to image the Sun? I'd love to experiment with the difference between JPEG, TIFF, and FITS with Moon and Sun data. 


Edited by Brainebula, 20 September 2021 - 04:23 PM.


#13 CptNautilus

CptNautilus

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 528
  • Joined: 04 Aug 2020

Posted 20 September 2021 - 05:10 PM

Meanwhile, when will we be able to image the Sun? I'd love to experiment with the difference between JPEG, TIFF, and FITS with Moon and Sun data. 

  No idea.



#14 CptNautilus

CptNautilus

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 528
  • Joined: 04 Aug 2020

Posted 21 September 2021 - 08:55 AM

  A member of the Stellina Facebook group made a full video tutorial about how to process the light and dark frames collected with his Stellina.

 

  You can find it here: https://deepskyworkf...nlnp94Xk5v052lg



#15 CptNautilus

CptNautilus

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 528
  • Joined: 04 Aug 2020

Posted 27 October 2021 - 09:32 AM

  Great news for those of us who use Stellina to collect FITS and process them manually:

 

  Stellina has just received a new firmware (v28) as well as a new controlling app, Singularity. The great news is that you can now:

  • Change the gain of the individual subs, from 0 to 27 dB
  • Change the exposure time of the subs, from 5 to 20 seconds
  • You can also collect darks even when the sky is cloudy (or during the day!). You no longer need to waste clear night time for that. Just make sure you let the sensor warm up for, say, 30 minutes. You can select how many darks you want, and their gain and exposure time.

  Link to the user manual: https://vaonis.com/s...rvation-station


Edited by CptNautilus, 27 October 2021 - 09:45 AM.

  • Which one is Polaris likes this

#16 Brainebula

Brainebula

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 721
  • Joined: 04 Feb 2021

Posted 27 October 2021 - 09:50 AM

  Great news for those of us who use Stellina to collect FITS and process them manually:

 

  Stellina has just received a new firmware (v28) as well as a new controlling app, Singularity. The great news is that you can now:

  • Change the gain of the individual subs, from 0 to 27 dB
  • Change the exposure time of the subs, from 5 to 20 seconds
  • You can also collect darks even when the sky is cloudy (or during the day!). You no longer need to waste clear night time for that. Just make sure you let the sensor warm up for, say, 30 minutes. You can select how many darks you want, and their gain and exposure time.

  Link to the user manual: https://vaonis.com/s...rvation-station

I'm so happy to see confirmation that the creators included that potential for such functional flexibility within their design. I only hope thety can come up with a matrix protocols to achieve increased resolution and wider angle acquisitions. 


Edited by Brainebula, 27 October 2021 - 09:50 AM.


#17 Brainebula

Brainebula

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 721
  • Joined: 04 Feb 2021

Posted 27 October 2021 - 09:53 AM

By the way, if anyone cares to share their experience processing FITS on a Mac, it would be GREATLY appreciated. DSS isn't available on Mac, but there's SiriL and Affinity Photo (and others, I think), but for whatever reason, the procedure for generating TIFFs from stacks and then adjusting the miriad of parameters for processing is just a bit too overwhelming for this geezer so far! wink.gif


Edited by Brainebula, 27 October 2021 - 09:54 AM.


#18 CptNautilus

CptNautilus

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 528
  • Joined: 04 Aug 2020

Posted 27 October 2021 - 09:57 AM

By the way, if anyone cares to share their experience processing FITS on a Mac, it would be GREATLY appreciated. DSS isn't available on Mac, but there's SiriL and Affinity Photo (and others, I think), but for whatever reason, the procedure for generating TIFFs from stacks and then adjusting the miriad of parameters for processing is just a bit too overwhelming for this geezer so far! wink.gif

  On the Facebook group I've seen a lot of Mac users using AstroPixelProcessor with great results for stacking and calibrating/revealing the FITS. APP is also available for Windows.

 

  Also, Sebastien, who wrote the TIFF-development tutorial on Vanois website, recently shared with us (on Facebook) his first tries at stacking TIFF in Affinity Photos, along with his process. His image was amazing. I think he works on a Mac too.


Edited by CptNautilus, 27 October 2021 - 09:59 AM.

  • Jose_Salcedo likes this

#19 Brainebula

Brainebula

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 721
  • Joined: 04 Feb 2021

Posted 27 October 2021 - 02:05 PM

  Also, Sebastien, who wrote the TIFF-development tutorial on Vanois website, recently shared with us (on Facebook) his first tries at stacking TIFF in Affinity Photos, along with his process. His image was amazing. I think he works on a Mac too.

Are you referring to the Sebastien of Software Bisque notoriety?


Edited by Brainebula, 27 October 2021 - 02:10 PM.


#20 nwcs

nwcs

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1,113
  • Joined: 12 Nov 2013
  • Loc: Tennessee

Posted 27 October 2021 - 02:36 PM

I got my Stellina today and immediately got the new firmware and such. I saw the expert mode settings for gain and time. The FAQ site on the expert mode lists links to a document but they didn't actually link. Anyone see on FB (I'm not on FB) what guidelines they may offer for changing those modes? Also any change to the process of what they export? I'm not looking to do FITS today but I probably will before too long once I get familiar with my Stellina.

 

As for stacking on a Mac, there is also the older (and likely abandoned) Nebulosity. If you have a license that would work. Of course I'd imagine PixInsight would handle them no problem. I have a PI license so that's what I'll use when the time comes.


Edited by nwcs, 27 October 2021 - 02:37 PM.

  • Jose_Salcedo likes this

#21 CptNautilus

CptNautilus

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 528
  • Joined: 04 Aug 2020

Posted 27 October 2021 - 02:47 PM

Are you referring to the Sebastien of Software Bisque notoriety?

  I don't know this Bisque, nor do I know Sebastien personally. I've only exchanged with him on the FB group. I think he is a photographer, not a developer but I might be wrong.



#22 CptNautilus

CptNautilus

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 528
  • Joined: 04 Aug 2020

Posted 27 October 2021 - 02:55 PM

I got my Stellina today and immediately got the new firmware and such. I saw the expert mode settings for gain and time. The FAQ site on the expert mode lists links to a document but they didn't actually link. Anyone see on FB (I'm not on FB) what guidelines they may offer for changing those modes? Also any change to the process of what they export? I'm not looking to do FITS today but I probably will before too long once I get familiar with my Stellina.

 

  You must not be connected to Stellina to access the FAQ site as it makes you lose connectivity to the Internet.

 

  As for the new parameters, we'll all have to test them. Basically, I think that for fainter objects you might try pushing the gain up and maybe the exposure time too... To begin with, I advise you to stick to the basic mode and enjoy the normal parameters with easy objects (less than one hour of advised time in the catalog). Once you get a good grasp of what Stellina can do, you can go farther. The normal parameters are good enough for most objects.

 

  I don't think there is any change in the FITS. Those come directly from the sensor, which obviously did not change.

 

  The ability to capture darks in cloudy sky is GREAT though!



#23 Brainebula

Brainebula

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 721
  • Joined: 04 Feb 2021

Posted 27 October 2021 - 02:56 PM

...The FAQ site on the expert mode lists links to a document but they didn't actually link....

https://support.vaon...ity-application

 

Vaonis confirms that Vespera can use the "new mosaic mode", but I can't find any reference to that feature in Stellina! 


Edited by Brainebula, 27 October 2021 - 03:01 PM.


#24 Brainebula

Brainebula

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 721
  • Joined: 04 Feb 2021

Posted 27 October 2021 - 03:30 PM

What on earth is going on at Vaonis?

 

- I downloaded Singularity which requires me to set up a new login... my Vaonis login doesn't work with Singularity. Likewise, I can't log into the Vaonis site with the Singularity login! 

 

- Am I the only one who thinks the font size in Singularity is ENORMOUS? It's at least 3x the font size of any other app I'm using. Certainly 3x the font size used in Stellina.app. Hardly enough info fits on a screen to make any sense of it. 

 

- Their FAQ on Expert Mode has two instances of "read this article" but the text doesn't include an actual link to the articles. 

 

- The Vespera FAQ confirms that the new update provides the "mosaic mode", but I see nothing on the website or in Singularity that hints at any mosaic mode available for Stellina.

 

- The blurb about Singularity gives a link to more details, but it direct to https://support.vaon...singularity-app which is incorrect. "app" should be "application" as in https://support.vaonis.com/portal/en/kb/faq/singularity-application !!!

 

What's up with that?


Edited by Brainebula, 27 October 2021 - 04:18 PM.


#25 nwcs

nwcs

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1,113
  • Joined: 12 Nov 2013
  • Loc: Tennessee

Posted 27 October 2021 - 04:26 PM

You must not be connected to Stellina to access the FAQ site as it makes you lose connectivity to the Internet.

As for the new parameters, we'll all have to test them. Basically, I think that for fainter objects you might try pushing the gain up and maybe the exposure time too... To begin with, I advise you to stick to the basic mode and enjoy the normal parameters with easy objects (less than one hour of advised time in the catalog). Once you get a good grasp of what Stellina can do, you can go farther. The normal parameters are good enough for most objects.

I don't think there is any change in the FITS. Those come directly from the sensor, which obviously did not change.

The ability to capture darks in cloudy sky is GREAT though!

With the iPhone you can be connected to the Stellina and use regular cell connectivity at the same time. I know some Androids can do that as well.

My first thought was exposure time instead of gain right away. But I definitely will get used to the beast first. Perhaps this mode will be best used for darker sites?


CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Astrophotography, Imaging



Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics