When you take your very first
astroshots - presumably much the way described on the
chances are, that you will be both disappointed and
confused at first sight:
Have I captured any stars at all? If
so, which are they? What is star and what is noise??
You will sooner, rather than later
discover that in
order to fully exploit the "astrophotographic power" of
even a fairly simple compact camera, you will have to
do some digital imaging post-processing and thus, that
you will need an adequate image processing software.
good news here is, that you can go a long way with
fairly simple imaging software suites that are 1)designed
for ordinary photographic work and thus, versatile and 2) not very expensive
- in fact, you may use some simple freeware for a start.
Some general recommendations/comments on such software
are to be presented on the
general photo pages and
simple, astro-specific guidelines can be found in the
tutorials later in this section.
But there are two dedicated types of software that I
would urge any would-be astrophotographer to acquire
right from the outset. They are free, relatively easy to
install and use and they add greatly to the exploitation
of your efforts and achievements under the starry sky.
Normally, I am not the (competent) one to recommend
software by brand or name, but the following two, I do
recommend by name. These are:
Cartes du Ciel / Sky Chart:
A digital star map and planetarium program.
Stacking software dedicated for astrophotography.
For enhancement of lunar and planetary detail --- and
very well suited for levelling out camera sensor (colour
and luminance) noise