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Plate solving to help aim camera


astrohound24
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This may turn out to be a dumb question, but can I plate solve an image to help frame objects on my DSLR without a telescope mount or GOTO? Sorry, but I have never used anything remotely like it. I thought maybe if I snapped an image of the area of interest that I might be able to plate solve to help aim my camera or know what star or object I am near. Probably just wishful thinking lol. Thanks ahead of time. I did download the candidate release version thinking that would be necessary. 

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BYE 3.2.0 and later have plate solving built-in. It is available under Advanced Mode on the Imaging tab. It does require either a Trial or Premium license due to the need for ASCOM telescope integration.. I have never used it, or ASTAP, but if you have questions, others may be able to help.

Oh, and platesolving does not help to frame an object, per se. What it should do is to repeatedly place a target RA and DEC in the center field of view. The target RA and DEC may be that of an object, or the target may be empty space between multiple targets. You may slew the telescope to the empty space coordinates to allow you to frame multiple objects into the FOV. Examples may be the desire to frame the field so that Stephen's Quintet and the Deer Lick group are both visible, or to center the scope so that the center of the Leo Triplet is in the center of the FOV. You may need to rotate the camera to adjust how they objects appear in the field. 

Also if your imaging of a single target spans multiple nights, then platesolving can help you to accurately return to the same coordinates as previous sessions. This helps to minimize the amount of cropping that is necessary to eliminate stacking artifacts when all the images are aligned and stacked.

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I just re-read your question and realized that you were asking if BYE can plate solve an image even when it has no ability to change the camera's field-of-view. My answer was not particularly relevant to your question. Sorry about that! That is what I get for trying to answer intelligently in the middle of the night.

So from re-reading your post, I assume that you just want to use BYE to plate solve random images or plate solve a new image. Good question that I don't know the answer to. There are probably multiple parts to the question. First, which type of license is required to do platesolving and next how to use the feature. There does not appear to be any written guidance (yet) on this. The web site does not mention plate solving on the Compare Editions page. Neither does the user guide describe how to use this feature. I hope that the admins answer your question.

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I believe that you need to install ASTAP and a star database.

I just tried to solve an image with BYE and ASTAP, but did not get a result. That means that there may be some parameters in ASTAP that need to be set up. I would not wait until tonight to try this. I would use an image that you already have and read the ASTAP docs to figure out how to get it to solve an image.

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Well, an image must be displayed in the BYE window.... you can drag/drop and CR2 or JPG image in the displayed area.

Yes, ASTAP must be installed and configured.... AND the image MUST have been taken with BYE 3.2.0 because this adds data in the file name that is needed.

The alternative... since you need ASTAP installed and configure first...is to use ASTAP UI directly for your image plat solve.

The plate solve feature in BYE 3.2 is to help framing your images, it is not meant to be used as a stand alone plate solver.

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I dragged a random JPG file onto the Preview window and tried to solve it. It did not work; not that I expected it to work without some kind of configuration. All I did was install ASTAP and a star database and try to solve it.

Will it work well with wide field images that were taken with BYE 3.2? 

Thanks!

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5 minutes ago, astroman133 said:

I dragged a random JPG file onto the Preview window and tried to solve it. It did not work; not that I expected it to work without some kind of configuration. All I did was install ASTAP and a star database and try to solve it.

Will it work well with wide field images that were taken with BYE 3.2? 

Thanks!

It should, may need to download all ASTAP catalogues.  

When an image is taken with BYE while a telescope is connected to BYE, the RA/DEC coordinate are added to the file name in decimal format and this is required for image plate solving.  It's not a blind solve, so a starting RA/DEC is needed and it is taken from the file name.  

This is a new few feature, it may still need a few cycle of fine tuning.

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Oh ok. Looks like I won’t be able to do it since not having a telescope and mount with computer. All I have is a Skytracker and DSLR with lenses. I was thinking it would solve by looking at the image. You have forgive me because I know nothing about this stuff. I was just looking for a way to kind of find my way around when centering stuff. I think I need to break down and get a mount. It would make this much more fun for me.

Greg 

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Greg,

You may be able to use ASTAP  or some other platesolver without the BYE integration to solve your images. You are controlling your camera with BYE so you do have a computer. However, there is a bit of a learning curve with any piece of software. I would install the software and a likely star database and see if you can get it to solve one of your images, all without BYE.

There is a lot of computing that goes into plate solving an image, especially because the plate solving engine knows nothing the image scale, the orientation of the camera, or the area of the sky where the image was taken. Having some of this information can shorten the time taken to solve it. I use software that is no longer supported to plate solve and it uses hints like where the scope is pointing and what the size of the field of view is to shorten the solution time.

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