The purpose of "Astrophotography, Just the Facts!" is to outline a practical and concise approach to the collection and processing of astrophotography imagery.
PixInsight and Photoshop are used for the processing of raw astronomical image data. The book takes a step by step approach using the same methods the author uses for all his astrophotography imagery.
The author's astrophotography has been featured by National Geographic, Sky & Telescope magazine, Astronomy magazine and many online outlets. The processing approach outlined in the text will work regardless if you’re using a $1,000 portable setup from your front yard or a $30,000 observatory for your data collection.
While each set of imagery data has its’ own unique set of challenges, the processing approach remains the same. The author will use a set of imagery data that was collected from his Owl Mountain Observatory as the basis for this processing tutorial.
After you complete this tutorial you should have a sound understanding of PixInsight on which to base an exploration of the many other features that PixInsight offers.
Please join and follow along as we reveal and explore our amazing Universe.
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About the Author
I was born in the "Atomic City" (Oak Ridge, Tennessee) and then lived my formative years in the "Rocket City" (Huntsville, Alabama). I believe I was destined for a career in the sciences. I received my early education in the United States and Europe and later returned to Huntsville to complete my education at the University of Alabama Huntsville. I retired after thirty years of service at the NASA George C. Marshall Space Flight Center, as a scientist/engineer and am the proud father of three lovely daughters and six grandchildren. During my career at NASA, I had the privilege of working on a variety of NASA programs including the Spacelab and International Space Station. I also worked on the Spacelab “Astro” Observatory mission which was the first space telescope and precursor to the Hubble Space Telescope. I have published a variety of scientific papers and hold a patent for a "Hanging Drop" Protein Crystal Growth apparatus now currently flying on the International Space Station. Many of my memorable NASA experiences were at the Neutral Buoyancy Simulator where I trained Shuttle astronauts for various missions including the Hubble repair mission, Ease/Access and the Shuttle Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU) mission. During this training, I had the honor of working with many of the Shuttle astronauts including Story Musgrave, Bruce McCandless, George "Pinky" Nelson, James "Ox" van Hoften and Ronald McNair just months before he met his premature death in the Challenger disaster in 1986. When I am not traveling with my lovely wife Melody or romping with the grandchildren, I love to explore the Universe from my Owl Mountain Observatory. Here I can unleash the splendor and beauty of the Universe through astrophotography. My interest in astrophotography began with a modest LX-200 telescope in the early 1990's. These astrophotography interests eventually evolved into the fully automated Owl Mountain Observatory. Never stop learning! Fred Herrmann