This page is a collection of useful links for astrophotography.
La ferme des étoiles (Gers)
This asociation allows astronomy courses of different durations and for all levels with a high quality seeing site that includes many materials with a 620 mm telescope. I have personally followed a 4-day course that left me a wonderful memory, both on human factor than technically.
This association offers courses and tutorials in astrophoto (the covered domain is from the acquisition, pretreatment and processing of astronomical images) They are taught by "expert" amateur astronomers who are recognized in the middle of astrophotography.
For those interested in photography (and not only astrophoto ;-) I recommend you the Nationnal Higher School of Photography in Arles that offers courses for all levels and where I had the chance to perform a very useful 4-days training to master the reflex camera in all conditions with also an introduction to the image processing with Lightroom.
Softwares & Tools
The now famous pre-processing and processing astronomical images software of Christian Buil. Easy to use for the usual pre-processing functions but also very complete with its many advanced features. It has the great advantage to allow automated processing for most functions that are scripted and can be chained with or without interruption.
Reference software for pre-processing of planetary images (movies or photos) Its best asset is the treatment of wavelet deconvolution that provides sharpness and slightly noisy images.
Very good software for registration of the planetary images. Easy to set up and with an automatic mode by pre-treatment phase. Sorting the best images by quality criterion is its best asset.
Link : http://www.autostakkert.com/
Good tools provided as plugins to process astronomical pictures with Photoshop.
A good tool to use in Photoshop that removes much of the gradient from astronomical images.
Hasta La Vista Green
A good tool to use in Photoshop that removes the green chromatic noise from astronomical images.
Software I do not know well but capable of carrying several pre-processing steps including calibration images (white balance)
Startrails & Starmax
The both softwares allow to create star trails from a series of photos
Tool that allows the sort of images from the metadata contained in for compliant photo formats (available on all platforms). I personally use the Linux version that can be used through bash scripts.
Remote control & Acquisition
ASCOM Project - Standards for Astronomy
This platform provides a set of "unified" drivers in order to make the communication easy beetween a various astronomical software and a large set of materials (mounts, cameras ...) It is a mandatory prerequisite !
The EQMOD Project
This softwares platform provides a set of tools that allow different controls of a compliant equatorial mount with a PC. For example, you can connect from your home throw your WiFi network (if distance permits or with an additional access point) in "remote desktop" mode on the laptop which is itself directly connected to the mount and perform well (especially during winter ;-) the control and snapshots on differents deep sky objects. Another tool offered by this platform can analyze the periodic error of the mount from a record file (PECPrep)
Cartes du ciel - Skychart
Planetarium be able to create your own maps of the sky but above all, the best asset is to driving an ASCOM compliant mount.
Although this guidance software is no longer maintained, it is a reference in the field. It allows to take into account an important game in declination for the mount that does not PHD Guiding V2 and it is with Guidemaster I get the best tracking for my mount that begins to have significant mechanical games over the years.
Open PHD Guiding
Formerly "PHD Guiding", the V2 version thoroughly reviewed this guidance software that remains easy to use. I recommend to test tracking between the 2 guidance tools because they are software-dependent for mechanical behavior of your mount and therefore not to give the same accuracy. For my part, I opted for Guidemaster that gives the best correction for important declination game.
Link : http://openphdguiding.org/
Simply the reference freeware planetarium.
Link : http://www.stellarium.org
Some recommended personnel websites
Thierry Legault website
"Expert" amateur astronomer in the field of astrophotography made famous by his beautiful pictures of the ISS transit in front of solar eclipses for example. He published a book called "Astrophotography" which is a reference for those who want to start or improve in this area and I highly recommend.
Link : http://www.astrophoto.fr/
Nicolas Outters website
"Expert" amateur astronomer in the field of astronomic image processing with numerous technical articles published in the monthly magazine "Astronomy Magazine". He has discovered four planetary nebulae to date and which bear his name (OU1 to 4)
Link : http://www.outters.fr/
Laurent Bourgon website
Many freeware developed tools related to its experience concerning the automation of his remote observatory.
Link : http://www.felopaul.com/
Robert Gendler website
"Expert" amateur astronomer in the field of astronomic image processing with many pictures posted on the "APOD" NASA site and with several books published on the subject.
Bob Franke "Focal Pointe Observatory" website
Site that offers many tutorials on techniques related to astrophotography.
Link : http://bf-astro.com
Site that offers many tutorials mainly on image processing.
Link : http://tifloastro.free.fr
"Bastien Foucher" website
Site that offers general tutorials about astrophotography.
The Astrosurf website
Forum covering all topics related to astronomy (many evaluations of) Synthetic ephemerides of the main events for the next night
Link for forums : http://www.astrosurf.com/forums
Link for ephemerides : http://www.astrosurf.com/ephem/
French Astronomy Association
This is the french astronomy asociation website
Link : http://www.afastronomie.fr/
French Astronomy Community
This is the french astronomy community website
Link : http://www.webastro.net
The defense of the night sky is more than ever the business for all of us !
Link : http://www.anpcen.fr/
To understand the effects of light pollution on the night biodiversity and the challenges of the "real" night.
Link : http://www.nuitfrance.fr/
The Solar Dynamics Observatory" website from SDO Mission (NASA)
In order to verify the presence of solar tasks through the live observation
"Astronomical seeing" from Meteoblue website
In order to check local forecasts of cloud layers, wind, but especially the seeing indexes. As this site is based on meteorological data, the forecasts are not accurate in the long term.
"Nebulosity observation" from Meteociel website
To check the cloudiness and therefore the quality of the sky in terms of clarity (measured in octas).