Imaging

The Imaging tab is your imaging cockpit.
Here N.I.N.A. will diplay a variety of information regarding the captured images and will let you control all the vital parameters of your imaging session.

The Imaging tab is organized in windows that can be arranged dynamicaly to create your own layout. Available windows can be activated and deactivated from the top bar. To arrange a window simply drag it from the window header and drop it according to the suggested placeholders.

The top bar is divided in two main sections: Info and Tools

topbarmenu

Info#

These windows provide important status information about captured images and connected equipment

A. Image imageicon
The image panel is the central part of the Imaging tab and is used to diplay the latest captured images

image

  1. Zoom In/out
  2. Zoom to Fit
  3. Zoom 100% (1:1 )
  4. Opens a 3x3 crop mosaic of the current image to check for distortion and tilt
  5. Initiates a platesolving routine for the current image
  6. Toggles crosshair overlay on/off
  7. Toggles automatic display of the displayed image (for autostretch settings refer to Options)
  8. Toggles automatic HFR (Half-FLux-Radius) star detection analysis. HFR is used for Autofocus routines. When HFR detection is ON, the average HFR value for each captured image are plotted in the HFR History wiwdow (M)
    > If "Annotate Image" is switched ON under Options Imaging, calculated HFR values will be displayed on the image
    HFR
  9. Activates the Bahtinov Analyzer aid tool for manual focusing with a Bahtinov Mask.

B. Camera cameraicon
This panel displays the main camera and sensor properties and cooling status

Requires a connected camera 1. Camera status details 2. Activate/Deactivate the camera cooling. If a Cooling/Warming period is set in Equipment this will be used to perform the temperature variation routine.

C. Filter Wheel fwicon
When a Filter Wheel is connected, this panel displays the current filter (1) and lets you manually switch filters by selecting them with the drop-down menu (2)

image

D. Focuser focusericon
This panel displays the focuser status and lets you manually move it to the desired position

Requires a connected focuser

focuser

  1. Focuser current status (Moving or Settling)
  2. Focuser current position (for absolute stepper motor focusers)
  3. Focuser temperature (if the focuser is equipped with an ambient temperature sensor)
  4. Toggles focuser temperature compensation
  5. Here you can set the target focuser position for the focuser to move by clicking on "Move" (7)
  6. Moves the focuser to the Target Position defined in (6)

    It is convenient to set the target position as the position of near-focus for your setup. This position can be determined by using a Bahtinov mask on a bright star (see Manual Focus Targets). Once the near-focus position is determined, input the number of steps indicated in "Position" (3) in Target Position field. You can then instruct the focuser to move to this position at the beginning of each imaging session before starting the Auto-Focusing routine

  7. The arrows will move the focusers back and forth of a pre-defined amount related to the Auto Focus Step Size defined under Options - Equipment:
    • Single arrow < > : half the Auto Focus Step Size
    • Double arrows << >> : twice the Auto Focus Step Size

E. Rotator roticon
Here you can control the Rotator

Requires a connected ASCOM Rotator

rotator

  1. Rotator current status
  2. Rotator current position
  3. Input the Rotator target position
  4. Moves the rotator to the Target Position

F. Telescope telescopeicon
The telescope panel provides all important information about your telescope like tracking status, sidereal time, time to meridian passing and current telescope coordinates.

Requires a connected ASCOM telescope

telescope

G. Guiding guideicon
The guider panel replicates the PHD guiding graph in real time.

PHD2 must be connected for the Guider to display the guiding trends and pulses (RA and DEC).

guider

  1. Select the scale range of y-axis
  2. Select the scale range of x-axis
  3. Select the units for y-axis:
    • Pixels: guide camera pixels
    • Arcseconds: units in arcseconds (this is calculated by PHD2 based on your guide camera pixel size and guide scope focal length)
  4. Clears the chart
  5. Chart area, this is where the PHD2 graph will be visualized

H. Sequence sequenceicon
Sequence panel lets you start/pause/stop imaging sequences and provides information on the active sequence. To learn how to set up a sequence refer to the Sequence section.

sequence1

  1. Sequence status: displays the completed/remaining sequences
  2. Estimated Finish Time: the estimated finish time of the active sequence
  3. Completed/remaining exposures for the active sequence
  4. Camera parameters of the active sequence
  5. Play: start the active sequence. When a sequence is running, the Pause (6) and Cancel (7) sequence options will be available instead

sequence2

I. Switches switchesicon
This panel will let you control the active switches

Requires connected switches

switches

  1. Available switches and status
  2. Manually select switch
  3. Toggle active switch ON/OFF

J. Weather weathericon
Weather and temperature information from OpenWeatherMap

OpenWeatherMap API key must be set under Optrions Equipment

weather

K. Statistics statsicon
In this panel all the important information about the last acaptured image are reported

statistics

  1. Basic statistics relative to the last capured image:

    • Width and Height, in pixels
    • Mean, Standard Deviation, Median and MAD values in ADU
    • Minimum and Maximum ADU values in the image
    • Number of detected stars and mean HFR > Stars and HFR will only be displayed if Automatic HFR is active
    • Bit Depth as reported by the image header
  2. Optimal Exposure Calculator: this tool will suggest recommended exposure times based on the measured Min and Max ADU values of the last captured image. The tool takes into consideration the average skyglow and will calulate the exposures to swamp the camera read noise by a factor of 3x (Min) and 10x (Max).
    The Optimal exposure time will factor in the download to data ratio. For fast download cameras this will basically match the Min recommended time. Min and Max exposure times are calculated as follows: MinimumRecommendedExposureTime = ((MinExposureADU - _offset) / (mean - _offset)) * exposureTime MaximumRecommendedExposureTime = ((MaxExposureADU - _offset) / (mean - _offset)) * exposureTime where: MinExposureADU = _offset + 3 * _squaredReadNoise
    MaxExposureADU = _offset + 10 * _squaredReadNoise

    Formulas rely on the camera parameters set in Options-Equipment and are only valid for one specific gain level. If you change the gain of your camera, a new set of parametes must be entered in Equipment.

  3. Image histogram of the last captured image

M. HFR History HFRicon
When automatic HFR (Half-FLux-Radius) star detection is ON, this panel will diplay the history of HFR values and number of stars used to evaluate the HFR for each exposure.

HFRHistory

  1. Yellow line: number of stars used for HFR evaluation
  2. Green line: mean HFR

Tools#

N. Imaging image1icon
The imaging panel allows you to take a single exposure or live view when supported by the camera

image1

  1. Capture exposure time in seconds
  2. Filter to be used for the capture (if a Filter Wheel is connected)
  3. Camera Binning
  4. Toggles ON/OFF image looping. This is particularly useful for manual focus with a Bahtinov mask
  5. Toggles ON/OFF the saving on HD of the current capture
  6. When supported by the camera, this will activate the Live View mode
  7. Takes the exposure

O. Image History imagehistory
The Image History panel shows a list of thumbinalis of the current sequence captured images with basic statistics: Meean value in ADU, average HFR, Filter used, duration and capture time.

By double-clicking on any of the thumbinails the relative image will be opened in the Image panel (A)

history

P. Plate Solving platesolvingicon
Platesolving is a very important step in the imaging process, for further information on the Plate Solving process refer to Platesolving in the advanced topics. This panel lets you perform a manual platesolving and keeps the history of all platesolving sessions.

Prerequisites for platesolving to work are: * An external Platesolver is defined in Options Platesolving * Telescope focal lenght is defined in Options Equipment * Camera pixel size is defined in Options Equipment * The image to be plate solved has been captured with the specified focal length and pixel size

platesolve

  1. Plate solving results
  2. Toggles ON/OFF synching the telescope mount with the plate solved coordinates (recommended when )
  3. Toggles ON/OFF reslewing the mount to the plate solved coordinates if the plate solved position is not matching with the expected one
  4. Toggles ON/OFF recentering the mount to the target until the error is less than what defined in (5)
  5. Error threshold for (4)
  6. Exposure that will be used to capture the image for plate solving
  7. Filter that will be used to capture the image for plate solving
  8. Binning that will be used to capture the image for plate solving
  9. Captures an image for plate solving
  10. History of plate solving sessions

Q. Polar alignment polaricon
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.

polaralign

  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. Defines the exposure time that should be used for a plate solved polar alignment measurement
  3. Filter for the alignment
  4. Camera binning
  5. Measurement location for altitude where the telescope is pointing at. Can be either east or west
  6. 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
  7. Meridian Offset and Declination for telescope > The values entered here will be saved as settings for using next time
  8. Slews mount to specified meridian offset and declination
  9. 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
  10. Same as Step (7) except for azimuth > The values entered here will be saved as settings for using next time
  11. Same as step (8)
  12. Duration and Rate in which the scope should move for a DARV Slew
  13. Initiates a DARV Slew by slewing half the specified Duration in one RA direction and then back while taking an exposure.

R. Auto Focus AFicon
This panel lets you manually trigger an Auto Focus routine based on the Auto Focus parameters set in Options Equipment.

AF

  1. Autofocus curve
  2. Last Auto Focus run parameters
  3. Start Auto Focus routine
  4. Start Auto Focus backlash measurement routine

S. Manual Focus Targets MFicon
When you have to manual focus your scope this tab lets you conveniently choose among the current visible brighter stars according to your location and time.

MFtargets

  1. List of stars to choose from
  2. Selected star properties
  3. Slews telescope to the selected star