Imaging Toolbox

Reticule
Compare
Target
RA/Dec
Share and Save
Chip Size
Pixel Size
Equipment

Full instructions for the imaging toolbox can be found here. The imaging toolbox requires a modern browser (try Chrome or Firefox). If you don't see an image of the Horsehead Nebula above, check the instructions for browser compatibility advice.

Powered by Aladin Lite. All trademarks are acknowledged.

35 comments:

  1. Adding a scaleable, rotating reticule (eg Al's reticule (freeware)) would help confirm target stars. Postion of cross-wire centre, taken from the reticule could allow off-sets, and directions to be calculated and shown....

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  2. This is a great resource, thanks. Many people (including me) do much of their deep sky astrophotography from remote sites where there is no internet access. Can you produce a version of this software that can be downloaded and run off line?
    Thanks

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    1. Michael, I'm not sure that I can. Technically it would be entirely feasible since it's just a HTML page, a few javascript and JSON files and a whole bunch of image files for the background surveys. There are two problems though - firstly the Aladin Lite software is developed and hosted by the CDS. Secondly the surveys are quite large and hosted by the CDS and others. Using them direct from source like I have on this site is definitely OK but I am not sure of the copyright situation if I was to try to redistribute them in an offline version. If I get time I'll try to look in to it further but at the moment this tool is online only. There are other options, e.g. you can set up Stellarium to give you an accurate reticule for your camera scope, but it lacks the detailed background imagery which makes it hard to figure out if you have framed an obscure target well.. Also bear in mind that you can save any view from the imaging toolbox as a PNG image to your laptop before heading out - that's the way I tend to work myself, lots of advanced planning.

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  3. Superb tool, thanks so much! I came here from a link on /r/astrophotography on Reddit, and I'll promote your tool more heavily if you'd like. This is perfect for astrophotographers.

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  4. There is an error in you equipment list. Selecting 'Celestron 8 inch SCT (C, VX, CGEM, CPC)' gives a focal length of 2932mm. This is not correct. Per the Celestron specs for my scope are: aperture 203mm, focal length 2032mm, f/ ratio 10. Until the problem in the equipment list is fixed, an easy solution is to adjust the barlow/reducer number to obtain the correct total effective focal length. In my case I need to enter a barlow/reducer number of .693 to achieve the correct 2032mm focal length. For a .63 reducer enter .437. The entry box will only display 2 digits but it actually uses more, 3 significant digits will get within 2-3mm, enter 4 or 5 digits if you more accurate results. I tried different scope options with which I am familiar and they all seem to be correct. I believe the error to be typographical as the 0 and 9 are next to each other the number row on a QWERTY keyboard.

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    1. Thanks - this was a typo and I have fixed it.

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  5. Would it be possible to have common camera lens on the equipment list as well.

    Thanks

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    1. Camera lenses are difficult. There are far too many for me to keep up with, plus they have variable apertures and in the case of zooms variable focal lengths. Use the equipment calculator with your camera and any scope. This populates the pixel size calculator. Now put in your desired aperture and focal length for the lens in the pixel calculator and hit calculate. Name and save the reticule and you are good to go.

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  6. Could you add the Teleskop Service 107mm f/6.5 triplet and the William Optics f/4.9 Star71 please. Thanks! :)

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    1. Done, along with a bunch of others. Also fixed some problems which meant some SX cameras were missing from the list.

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  7. Hi Ian,

    Your imaging toolbox is an incredible resource for astrophotographers. It is outstanding!

    Thank you very much for creating it.

    Here's another wish that you could create an off-line version for use at remote observing locations that don't have internet access... maybe just with the DSS catalog of images?

    Thanks again!

    Jerry
    AstroPix.com

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    1. Jerry, unfortunately I can't do so as it relies on Aladin Lite to power the interactive sky background and the necessary code and images are only available online.

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    2. Hi Ian,

      No problem, thanks for a truly great resource!

      Jerry

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  8. Ian,

    This site is great! I am looking, but can't find, the Borg 55FL apo (55mm aperture, 250mm focal length). I'm not sure how the Borg listings in the pull down work. Are they the model number for the objective, or for the telescope set?

    Thanks!

    Justin

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    1. Justin, the Borg entries are for some of the sets that they offer. As you know, you can build up almost anything you want from the individual parts (assuming no wife and kids of course !).

      I'd suggest that you start with the "Equipment" box, pick your actual camera and any old scope that you like then hit "Calculate". This will populate the "Pixel Size" calculator with the correct values for the camera, and you can then adjust the "Focal Len." and "Aperture" values to match the desired Borg values in the "Pixel Size" calculator and hit "Calculate" there. You can then enter a name in the "Description" box and hit "Save Reticules" to avoid having to repeat the process.

      I'll take another look at the Borg options when I get a chance to see if there is anything else I can add.

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  9. Ian,

    Thanks a lot for this site. Fantastic for exploring equipment options and for composing a shot before getting started.

    A most valuable resource!

    Robert

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  10. Ian

    As per previous comments a fantastic resource and thank you for making it available.

    There is just one issue I am having which is driving me crazy and not sure the cause, when
    I move the pointer onto the image box the pointer grabs/locks onto the image and drags the image without need to left click the mouse, the icon remains a pointer when it would normally change to the grab icon when the left mouse button is depressed. I have checked my mouse setting and all are same as my other computer when using the imaging toolbox.

    Windows 7 + Chrome = works fine
    Windows 8 + Chrome = works fine
    Windows 10 + Chrome = problem as above

    Any ideas appreciated!

    Mike

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    1. Mike I'm unable to reproduce this on Windows 10 (64 Bit) using Chrome Version 47.0.2526.111 m (64-bit). What version of Chrome are you running?

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  11. Ian

    I should add I went back to using 'Microsoft Edge' browser on 'Windows 10' and so far 'Imaging Toolbox' seems to work fine... fingers crossed!

    Thanks

    Mike

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  12. I tried this on Windows 10 + Chrome and did not have any problems.

    Jerry

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  13. Ian & Jerry

    Many thanks for your prompt replies, sorry for delay in my reply... been away.

    Ian the version of chrome is same as you... Version 47.0.2526.111 m (64bit), however I am happy to report all now works fine, I uninstalled Chrome/restarted computer/installed Chrome again/restarated computer and whatever it was seems to have corrected itself, this is a brand new computer so probably just one of those little glitches that sometimes happen.
    Hope this experience might be helpful should anyone else experience this little problem.

    Thank you both again...clear skies!

    Mike

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  14. Do you think you could add the Orion EON 130mm triplet (focal length is 910mm). Thanks for such a useful tool! I use it constantly.

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    1. Done, along with a bunch of other Orion scopes and ZWO cameras. Sorry for the delay!

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  15. Sorry for multiple replies, the QSI 683 camera would also be useful. 5.4µm x 5.4µm pixels, 3326x2504 array, 17.96mm x 13.52mm chip size.

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    1. You can using any KAF8300 CCD camera like the Atik383L+ which has the same exact ship as the QSI683 or QSI853 even the SBIF 8300. Hope this helps.

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    2. It's already in there as "QSI RS 8.3 / 683 / 583 (inc. c)". Where a manufacturer has basically the same camera but with different packaging options I tend to combine them in to a single line - sorry if that's confusing but if I didn't the list would be unusably long.

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  16. Thank you for a terrific tool!

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  17. Ian

    Thank you very much for your time and effort in creating this fantastic tool.

    All the best

    Hamza.

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  18. The Imaging Toolbox appears to be broken, as of this writing. Tried both Chrome and I.E. with same result. Hopw you can fix this very useful tool.

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  19. .....And now working after being down for several days. Whatever the problem was, thank you for fixing it promptly.

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  20. Drop down boxes for scope and camera not working

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    1. Hopefully we're back up and running today. Google made some changes to the ways things work and I have now fixed them.

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  21. Hi Ian

    As per previous user I also find scope & camera drop-down menus not working, in addition over the past couple of weeks or so the toolbox has been increasingly temperamental to load correctly often requiring refreshing the page several times, also image window sometimes doesn't show and form becomes stretched requiring scrolling the page just to view the input boxes, I tried clearing all browsing cookies but no difference. Past couple of days the page doesn't load correctly at all.

    Windows 10 64 bit + Chrome-latest version fresh installation.
    (Internet explorer latest version same issue)

    Mike

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    1. Hopefully we're back up and running today. Google made some changes to the ways things work and I have now fixed them.

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  22. Hi Ian

    Indeed I confirm all up and running here as normal, many thanks for fast response and making available such a useful resource to the astronomy community, good to have you back.

    Kind regards

    Mike

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