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Imaging

The Imaging Tab is the most important tab of all. You will spend most of your time here while actually imaging, thus it is the most powerful tab of them all as well. It allows you to show the currently captured image, lots of information about it, plate solve images, show your image history and many more things, which are going to be explained during the next pages.

First a quick overview over the imaging tab.

Tab: Imaging
  1. The Image itself
    • This panel cannot be disabled and will always be displayed
  2. Various panels on the left side of the image
  3. Various panels on the right side of the image
  4. The panel bar where you can enable and disable panels
    • To enable or disable a panel click on the corresponding icon

Panel Adjustment and Personalization

The imaging tab can be completely personalized to your wishes. You can enable and disable various panels or reposition them freely, designing the User Interface to your personal liking. The settings are stored and will be reused the next time you start N.I.N.A..

Panel: Customization 1

To start personalizing first you need to select the panel that you want to move. You can click and drag it either by the tab below it (see mouse cursor) or at the title bar to the left of the [x]. This action will detach the panel and give you following view:

Panel: Customization 2

As you can see the panel is free floating now and can be attached to various points marked with the red circles. You can move any panel this way to any position. This also allows you to split panels, for example here on the left side with the Plate Solving panel:

Panel: Customization 3

To split a panel move the new panel to the location where you want that split to be. Since I want to split the Plate Solving panel horizontally I move it to the bottom. Feel free to experiment with various splits and designs and change the imaging tab to your liking. After releasing the mouse button, you should have a layout like this:

Panel: Customization 4

Panel: Image

The image panel displays the latest captured image. You can zoom, plate solve or stretch the image from here to freely look at it.

Panel: Image
  1. Image Controls
    • From left to right: Zoom in, Zoom out, Fit image to Screen, Show image at 100% scale
  2. Plate Solve current image
    • This will trigger the plate solving mechanism that will attempt to plate solve the currently captured image
      > The solved result will be displayed in the Plate Solve panel
      > For Usage of the Plate Solver refer to Usage: Plate Solving
  3. Crosshair
    • Displays a crosshair overlay over the image
  4. Auto Stretch
    • Stretches the image should it be too dark to see anything
      > Auto Stretch factor can be set in Settings
  5. Star Detection and analysis > Will also enable (4)
    • Tries to detect the stars in the image to output a HFR result
    • When annotation is enabled in the Settings, will annotate the stars with their respective calculated HFR
  6. Bahtinov Helper (Experimental feature)
    • Tries to detect the bahtinov Pattern on an image
    • Displays a rectangle which can be dragged around
      > Beta status, might not work as expected, report bugs or issues if you have any!
  7. Subsampling Rectangle (Experimental feature)
    • If your camera allows subsampling of a frame will display a rectangle, which can be dragged around the image
    • Enabling subsampling in the Imaging panel will only download the displayed rectangle as long subsampling is enabled
      > Currently only implemented for native Atik cameras
  8. Your captured image
    • Display of the last captured frame or a loaded frame from the Image History
    • Is affected by (4) and will be displayed autostretched when enabled

Panel: Image History

Displays the last captured images in a thumbnail with mean ADU value, HFR, selected filter, duration and time. You can open a single image in the Image panel by clicking on it.

Panel: Image History

Panel: Camera

The Camera panel displays various information about the current state of the camera. It shows you the connection status, default set gain and allows you to enable cooling.

Panel: Camera

Cooling requires a camera with an active cooler that reports to N.I.N.A.
Requires a connected camera to display information

  1. Display of the current cooler status
  2. Target temperature
    • You can set the target temperature in C here
  3. Duration
    • You can change the duration for cooldown here (in minutes)
  4. Start cooling
    • Will start the cooling of the camera with duration, if set

Panel: Telescope

The Telescope panel displays various information about the current state of the mount.

Panel: Telescope

Requires a connected telescope to display information


Panel: Plate Solving

The Plate Solving panel allows you to start the plate solving procedure to align your mount to its actual location in the sky, making framing and finding targets way easier without utilizing star alignment.

For Usage of the Plate Solver refer to Usage: Plate Solving

Panel: Plate Solve
  1. Information about the latest plate solve
    • It will display information about the location of the mount and camera rotation after one successful solve has been run
  2. Sync
    • When enabled will sync the plate solve information to the mounts ASCOM driver
      > Should generally be enabled
  3. Reslew to Target
    • When enabled will reslew to the target where the mount was supposed to be
  4. Repeat until
    • When enabled will do plate solving until the error quota in (5) is met
  5. Error < # arcmin
    • Allows you to set the maximum error after a plate solving procedure for (4)
      > Is disabled when (4) is not active
  6. Exposure Time
    • Allows you to set the exposure time for the plate solve capture
  7. Filter
    • Allows you to set the filter for the plate solve capture
  8. Binning
    • Allows you to change the binning for the plate solve capture
      > Only really useful for CCD
  9. Gain
    • Allows you to change the Gain for the plate solve capture
      > Might be unavailable depending on camera
  10. Start Plate Solve
    • Will capture an image and try to plate solve it using the Plate Solver as defined in Settings
      > Should the plate solve fail it will ask whether to attempt the solve with the Blind Solver as defined in Settings
  11. Platesolve history
    • Display of the last plate solves with various information

Panel: Polar Alignment

The polar alignment panel gives you two ways to determine how off your polar alignment is and to improve it. One is plate solved polar alignment and the other is DARV slew.

Panel: Polar Alignment
  1. Polar scope
    • Shows position of polaris when looking through the mount’s polar scope
      > Will not work for southern hemisphere. Uses latitude and longitude from settings.
  2. Exposure Time
    • Defines the exposure time that should be used for a plate solved polar alignment measurement
  3. Filter
    • The filter for the alignment
  4. Binning
    • Camera binning
  5. Gain
    • Camera gain
  6. Measurement location for altitude where the telescope is pointing at
    • Can be either east or west
  7. Measure Altitude Error
    • Will start a platesolve of current position, then slews half a degree along RA axis, takes another platesolve and compares the result of both to measure the amount of error
      > Telescope should point east or west at 0 declination
  8. Meridian Offset and Declination for telescope
    > The values entered here will be saved as settings for using next time
  9. Slew
    • Slews mount to specified meridian offset and declination
  10. Measure Azimuth Error
    • Will start a platesolve of current position, then slews half a degree along RA axis, takes another platesolve and compares the result of both to measure the amount of error
      > Telescope should point south near meridian at 0 declination
  11. Same as Step (8) except for azimuth
    > The values entered here will be saved as settings for using next time
  12. Same as Step (9)
  13. Duration and Rate in which the scope should move for a DARV Slew
  14. Slew
    • Initiates a DARV Slew by slewing half the specified Duration in one RA direction and then back while taking an exposure.

Panel: Weather

Display of latest weather information from the selected weather provider in Settings if an internet connection is available.

Panel: Weather

Will only work with an internet connection

  1. Weather information
    • Will only be displayed when refreshed (2) at least once
  2. Refresh
    • Will toggle automatic refreshing of weather information

Panel: Guider

This panel will display information as provided by PHD2.

Panel: Guider
  1. Guider Status
  2. RMS Display
  3. Guider Graph
    • Will utilize the scale as set in the PHD2 tab
    • X-Scale can be changed in the Settings

Panel: Sequence

This panel displays the current active sequence.

Panel: Sequence
  1. Estimated finish time
    > Will update itself automatically while the sequence runs
  2. Active Sequence Details
  3. Start Sequence
Panel: Running Sequence
  1. Pause Sequence
    • This will pause the sequence after the current image
  2. Cancel Sequence
    • This will cancel the current image capture and pause the sequence
      > Will still allow you to continue the sequence later

Panel: Filter Wheel

Here you can see the current selected filter, the state and are able to change the current filter.

Panel: Filter Wheel

Requires a connected Filter Wheel

  1. Filter Drop Down
    • Allows you to change the current filter in the filter wheel

Panel: Focuser

This panel displays information about the focuser status and allows you to move the focuser.

Panel: Focuser

Requires a connected focuser

  1. Focuser Status
  2. Temperature Compensation
    • When enabled the focuser will try to compensate for ambient temperature if a temperature sensor is available
      Will disable (3) and (4) when enabled
  3. Target Position
    • Sets the focuser target position
  4. Move
    • Moves the focuser to the target position (3)

Panel: Imaging

The imaging panel allows you to take snapshots with your camera, for example for focussing or looking at the framing.

Panel: Imaging

Requires a connected camera

  1. Exposure time
    • You can set here the exposure time in seconds
  2. Filter
    • You can set the filter that should be used for this snapshot
  3. Binning
    • This allows you to change the binning
      Only makes sense on CCD cameras
  4. Gain (not shown)
    • Allows you to change the gain
      Some cameras might not have the ability to change gain
  5. Loop
    • When enabled takes subsequent snapshots until cancelled
  6. Save
    • When enabled will save the images to the image path as defined in Settings
      Image type will be “SNAP” for those images
  7. Enable SubSampling (Experimental feature)
    • Toggles the capture of only the subsampled frame as defined in the image panel
      Currently only supported by native Atik cameras
      To get the full sized frame again disable subsampling
  8. Start Snapshot
    • Starts the snapshot
      When loop (5) is enabled, will loop until pressed again to cancel

Panel: HFR History

Here you can read useful information about your average HFR and the amount of stars in the image.

Panel: HFR History

Requires HFR detection to be enabled

  1. Display of HFR and Stars in a graph
    • Limited to 300 entries by default
    • Right side Y axis displays the amount of stars
    • Left side Y axis displays the HFR
      You can click on points to read out their absolute value
  2. Legend
    Colors will depend on the selected active color scheme

Panel: Statistics

This panel shows you useful statistics about your latest captured or loaded image.

Panel: Statistics

Will display the statistics only at least one image capture

  1. Display of statistics
    Stars and HFR will not be calculated unless HFR detection is enabled
  2. Optimal Exposure Calculator (Experimental feature)
    • Based on your camera values as defined in the settings will try and determine the necessary exposure time for a decently exposed image
    • Calculations will be done once an image has been captured
      You should expose for at least 30s for this to work properly
      You need to set the correct values in the settings, please refer to the PixInsight script ccdparameters or sensorgen.info for your cameras’ values
      This is only a rough guideline and should work if you enter the correct values in the settings
  3. Histogram
    • This will show your exposure histogram
      Histogram resolution can be set in Settings

Panel: Auto Focus

With this panel you can start the auto focus sequence if you have a motorized focuser connected.

Panel: Auto Focus

Requires a connected focuser

  1. Display of the focus steps and HFR
  2. Start Auto Focus
    • This will start the auto focus procedure
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