calastro New Member
- Skill Level
- Time with Product
Mar 25, 2008
- User Notes:
Great program for stacking astro images!Pros:
Does a great job; Easy to use; Works on multiple platformsCons:
One of the greatest concepts in recent years, in the area of astro imaging, is the ability to stack multiple images. Stacking is a process where the digitized contents of multiple images of the same object are added together. This provides a means of highly reducing noise in the final image by allowing a number of "shorter" exposures to be taken and added together. Also, by taking shorter exposures, much of the effects of "seeing" can be reduced or even eliminated.
There are a few programs that have been written to accomplish the stacking process and AstroStack is one of the better ones.
One of the key features of AstroStack is that it is not platform dependent. It is written in Java and will run on Windows, Linux, and OS/X as long as a Java environment is installed. It also works equally well with color images as with Black & White.
There are two versions of the product available. One is a free version called AstroStack 3 LE. It contains basically the features as the full version, but limits picture size to 1280 X 960 and does not allow you to have multiple concurrent projects open. A full version of the software is available that allows pictures up to 3000 X 2000 and does allow multiple concurrent projects. The price of the full version is $39.
One of the most interesting features is the facility for plug-ins. This means that the program can be extended. In fact the functionality of the program is mainly built around plug-ins. There will be a growing list of plug-ins in the future, many of them free of charge!
Both the free version and the full version have become standards within the astro imaging community. I myself have used the free version of the software for many years on Linux machines and have been quite impressed with the ease at which stacking can be accomplished. I have found the program quite useful for stacking selected frames of "Solar System" objects obtained with inexpensive webcams.
For the FREE price, it's hard to beat! And it does an excellent job too!Sort by