Astronomical Observing From the Red Zone
I wrote this application to allow me to Observe DSOs using my DSLR, I enjoy watching the image develop out of darkness as the light is collected. ( AstroToaster is a newer version of the "Observing ToolBar for DSS", it is now a free standing application and does not need DSS to be runing )
AstroToaster is a freeware application for obtaining semi-live views of astronomical images using a DSLR, CCD (or any camera that can produce static astronomical images)
AstroToaster uses the Deep Sky Stacker (DSS) Processing Engine. It accomplish what DSSLive does, but using the full capabiblities of DeepSkyStacker, and has a Viewer with easy to use color and light enhancement tools.
- The camera drops image files into a 'monitoring' folder, and they are automatically processed and continuously stacked and updated into
a viewer window
- You can use darks, flats etc.
- Color adjustments, levels, curves are re-applied automatically to the refreshed image in the viewer
- It performs a complete align and re-stacking of the images instead of a running average
- It uses DeepSkyStacker's engine and settings, to perform the processing
- You can edit and tweak, stacked images from earlier in the session, while acquiring and processing a new image
DeepSkyStacker is a freeware program developed and maintained by Luc Coiffier, which you can obtain from his website http://deepskystacker.free.fr
It allows you to add data from many faint exposures, through a process know as aligning and stacking to produce a much sharper and intense image.
Once you learn how to use DSS and get it working nicely for your camera, and setup, there is no reason you cannot obtain the same results while using it for live viewing. In the viewer the images can be adjusted to a quality similar to what can be accomplished in a brief Photoshop session.
The screen shots below are of the raw Filelist processing page, with the colored toolbar on top, The image on the right also shows the drop down viewer and color adjustment tool. The Toolbar collects images from the camera for DSS to process, and displays the results in an adjustable viewer.
I have found this to be a fun application for astronomy, you can download the current version 2.04, or 2.05beta) it from the Links below.
Version 3.21 (beta) last updated 05/06/2022( fixed BetaTest, issues with startup, and monitor of FIT files, color profiles, lens gradient )Added DeSaturate Background to color adjustmentsAdded Denoise to color adjustmentsAdded Stacking Mode for Video ( experimental, 64bit windows only)Added Video to FileTypes Added Fitsci (fits scientific hdr) to FileTypes (experimental)Added Filter select option to filelist context menuImproved image panning in viewerImproved Sharpening with wavelet sleeves in color adjustmentsImproved sliders, and rotate in color adjustments
Version 3.01 last updated 12/21/2018Added RSync - monitor and sync folders and sub-folders on remote computer Added StackingModes - KappaSgmaAvg, RunningAvg, Comet, Multispectrum Added Mono processing - combines monochrome images made from multiple filters into a color image Added Camera - ASCOMCamera ControlAdded Filelist - context menu OpenWith - can open stacked or individual files with another programAdded ColorAdjust - Negative as well as Postivie Lens gradient corrections Added ColorAdjust - Color Profiles for White Balance, SHO, HOO Pallets
Version 2.05c last updated 07/02/2016Added Fits SuperPixels checkbox Added Hot pixel detection/removal tool Added Master Dark Calibration builder (also Master Flats, Offsets ..)Added Mouse Wheel functionality (Zoom and fine adjustments for color-adj sliders )Changed: Re-opening sessions, and added some file list management/viewing abilities Fixed: Can now process input files with 4 char extensions ( .TIFF, .FITS ) Fixed: Other bugs, including installation, and stacking problems
Version 2.04 last updated 01/12/2015Added Sharpen to Color Adjustment (windows Vista, 7,8,10 Only)Added Pan to move image in viewer (Left Mouse+Hold to pan )Added Hide/UnHide stack to FileList Context menuFixed Changing folders in settings, No Longer requires a restart
Version 2.03 (beta) last updated 08/20/2015Added Rotate, Flip to image viewerAdded Dark Frame Factor to stacking optionsFixed Color Adjustment Saturate,Tint, and Resize artifactsFixed Color Adjustment Slider behaviorSeveral other minor enhancements, bug and stability fixesSpecial thanks to Don, (NSN Channel: HeavensDeclareGodsGlory) for testing, ideas, and getting it working with the Atik414 and Mallincam Xtreme).Version 2.02 last updated 4/07/2015Added Image Text/Status overlay Fixed some issues with gradient corrections and calibration files.
Version 2.01 last updated 3/13/2015Added Mallincam Universe raw type MCURAW ( full sized 16bit files .. see FAQ)( Special thanks to Mark Roberts for his help )Several bug fixes and other enhancements
Version 2.00 1/15/2015 (AstroToaster)Now free standing application no longer need to have DSS running ( easier and less confusing to use )Numerous bug fixes, and enhancements.New FileList is better suited for live viewingAutoStarThreshold automatically adjusts star threshold for optimal stacking.Added sky gradient correctionCorrectly handles monochrome images.
Version 1.04 5/27/2014 (Observing Toolbar for DSS)Fixed issue where the DSS Star Detection Threshold was not implemented correctly. This was preventing dimmer images from stacking, and some brighter images would process too slowly.
Version 1.03 5/24/2014Fixed some sync issues between toolbar and dssFixed some fits issuesAdded viewer clip/zoom to "Rectangle" controlAdded ability view previous group results from sessionAdded optional stacking frame limit
version 1.02 5/12/2014Fixed problems processing tif filesFixed some initialization issues