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About nakbrooks

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  • Birthday 12/12/1951

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    Wiltshire (England) & Hautes-Pyrenees (France)
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  1. Happy to exchange thoughts if useful. I may be a bit ahead of you on Python in photometry but you’re streets ahead of me on most other aspects of astronomy as I’ve come to it late in life - and it appears we live only 30 mins or so away from each other. Feel free to private message me.
  2. George, was your immediate objective to extract star locations from fits images? If so then you may want to look at astrometry.net. This is a free platesolving service that, as a byproduct, will give the xy coordinates of all stars in the image. There is an api which can be accessed using Python but you can also do it interactively here: http://nova.astrometry.net/ Note that the distortion coefficients generated (which seek to adjust for optical distortions, particularly away from the image centre) use the professional system, not the one used by most amateur tools such as Maxim and PinPoint, so if you use astrometry.net platesolve solutions for subsequent processing you’ll either need to use Astropy or platesolve again using PinPoint. If you do use Astropy then there are good tools in it to easily convert between image xy coords and RA/Dec in various epochs and coordinate frames.
  3. If you do get into using Python then make sure you use the Anaconda Python framework - it is free and includes all the scientific/astronomy Python packages you’re likely to need so makes things easier. For program writing I strongly recommend Microsoft Visual Studio Code (NOT Visual Studio itself which is much more complex). VS Code is also free and has a Python extension which does syntax checking etc.
  4. Yes it is far and away the most popular language for professional astronomers and is well supported by the Astropy and wider Python community.
  5. Yes that’s why I use Astropy. It handles all that stuff.
  6. Also, if you’ve not already located them: The formal FITS file standard: https://fits.gsfc.nasa.gov/standard40/fits_standard40aa-le.pdf The SBIG FITS extensions (an industry standard followed by Maxim and most camera drivers): http://www.company7.com/library/sbig/pdffiles/SBFITSEXT_1r0.pdf
  7. Astropy does require a good working knowledge of Python programming (under either Windows, IOS or Linux). It isn’t a shrink-wrapped package - it is a library of astronomy-related Python modules. Core Astropy is documented here: http://docs.astropy.org/en/stable/ Astropy-affiliated packages are numerous. The most relevant include: ccdproc (FITS image processing) https://ccdproc.readthedocs.io/en/latest/ photutils (source detection and photometry) https://photutils.readthedocs.io/en/stable/ Astroquery (automated querying of Vizier, Simbad and dozens of other data sources): https://astroquery.readthedocs.io/en/latest/ astroplan (scheduling observations based on observability and other constraints) https://astroplan.readthedocs.io/en/latest/ Python isn’t a difficult language to learn (easier than C# in my view). I’m 67 years old and my previous programming experience has been Excel macros and VBA but I’ve picked it up well enough in just 9 months to write a full data reduction pipeline. Best of all it’s totally free. I’m keen to work with other amateur Python programmers as I’m looking to open source what I’m doing. Nigel
  8. Catching up on this thread very late but if your friend is familiar with Python there are very extensive tools in the Astropy package and affiliated packages that would do pretty much everything you’d want. I’m sliwly building a web application, mostly using Astropy packages. This is primarily to support Photometry work.
  9. Hi Daniel. You’ll have to ask ASA. I decided not to do the upgrade so I don’t have a price. Nigel
  10. Does anyone know if Sequence has any undocumented command line parameters (eg to use a specific configuration)?
  11. Thanks Mark. I’ll check that link out.
  12. Sounds the same issue as this one last year. http://forum.astrosysteme.com/index.php?/topic/1045-strange-new-problem-with-sequence/?fromsearch=1
  13. Did you install any other software (not ASA) around the time that Sequence stopped working? In particular any Microsoft .NET software? Was there a Windows 10 update about that time? Personally I use my observatory PC only for astronomy and I disable Windows updates on it.
  14. nakbrooks


    Anyone else going to the IAU-100 event in Brussels on 13 April? https://www.iau-100.org/programme-amateur-day
  15. Indeed. I’ll believe it when I see it.
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