ASTROPHOTO IMAGE ENHANCEMENT: June 1

Article number: /WS-AP103
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Delivery time: Ships Next Day

So you’ve collected good data.  You made sure you had your scope collimated, your target centered and sharply focused, and you had good tracking/guiding.

Now it is time to process and stack your images.

This portion of the workshop will concentrate on the need for Dark frames, Flat frames, Bias frames, and Flat-Dark frames, and how they should be applied to your Image frames.  It will also discuss and explain various stacking and demosaicing algorithms, and briefly touch upon methods to fix bad-guiding, and even poorly focused stars.

This course is designed as an introduction to the techniques for obtaining, processing, and analyzing astronomical images. Currently, virtually all astronomical data is obtained as an "image" of some kind. Furthermore, the detector of choice in astronomy is currently the CCD, so this course will deal exclusively with digital images obtained with CCD detectors. Since digital images and CCD detectors are now quite common in most of the physical sciences, this course can also serve as a general introduction to scientific image processing and analysis. However, this course could also be used merely as an excuse to obtain and enhance images of those spectacular objects visible in the night time sky.

Image Capture:
- Finding
- Centering
- Focusing
- ISO (Gain) / Exposure
- Tracking/Guiding
 
Calibration:
- Dark, Flat, Dark-Flat, Bias frames
 
Processing:
- Combining, Stacking, Aligning
 
Post-Processing:
- Background intensity and color balance
- object intensity (stretching) and color balance
- tonal contrast / distribution (curves)
- sharpening/layer masks
- noise reduction
- small "tricks" to fix badly shaped or bloated stars
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