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The Imaging options tab contains settings for file formats, save directories, Automatic Meridian flips, sequencing and image options.

The imaging options tab

File Settings#

Image Save File Format#


  • Select the compression method (if available)
  • Compression will require more time to save the image, but the file size will be reduced

Byte Shuffling#

  • Enable/disable byte shuffling for XSIF compression


  • Select a checksum method for XSIF (optional)
  • Checksums can be used to determine if a file was corrupted

Image File Path#

  • The file path where images will be saved

Image File Pattern and Preview#

  • The structure of folders and the filename for saved images can be adjusted here.
  • Each keyword will be replaced by its current value when the image is saved.
  • A list of all available keywords and their usage are described in the table below the pattern
  • Static text is also possible and will be kept
  • A preview of the file pattern is also displayed below
  • Furthermore you can expand this section to also specify different file patterns for FLAT, DARK and BIAS images. If no pattern is specified for those, the default image pattern will be used instead


You should avoid using non-ascii characters when filling the Target Name value in FlatWizard, Legacy Sequencer, Advanced Sequencer or Imaging Snapshot. Value in these fields will be passed to file pattern $$TARGETNAME$$. Due to compatibility requirements on FITS format and other image processing software, $$TARGETNAME$$ does not allow non-ascii characters. Greek characters are replaced using a special translation table, and other non-ascii characters are replaced with "_", for example
织女, Vega, α Lyr, BD +38°3238 -> __, Vega, alf Lyr, BD +38_3238


By using the backslash characters \\ you can separate your images into various folders and sub folders. For example N.I.N.A. will create separate folders on each new session and create sub folders for Lights Darks etc. and then inside these folders putting the actual image files when using a pattern like
which will result in
2020-01-01 -> FLAT -> 0001.fits
2020-01-01 -> LIGHT -> 0001.fits
2020-01-02 -> LIGHT -> 0001.fits

Auto Meridian Flip#

Minutes after Meridian#

  • This defines the minimum amount of time passed after crossing the meridian where a flip can be performed

Max. Minutes after Meridian#

  • With this setting the latest time to flip after crossing the meridian is defined


When you span a time range with Minutes after Meridian and Max. Minutes after Meridian it is possible to immediately flip without losing any time to waiting. E.g. you set it to 5 Minutes and 10 Max Minutes, and when an exposure finishes in between this time range the application can immediately flip the scope instead of having to wait for the remaining time where an exposure would not fit in.

Use Telescope Side of Pier#

  • Almost all mount drivers can tell N.I.N.A which side of the pier/tripod the telescope is on which is either west or east. Having this enabled will make the flip determination logic much more reliable and robust, as no assumptions about the pier state have to be made.
    Strongly recommended to be turned on

Recenter after flip#

  • When enabled, N.I.N.A. will begin a plate solving sequence after flipping to recenter the target
    Strongly recommended to be turned on. Requires a plate solver to be set up.

Scope Settle time#

  • After flipping the scope, waits for the specified number of seconds to settle the scope

    If you observe trailing in your first platesolve attempts after a flip, increase this value

Pause before meridian#

  • For some setups the equipment can touch the tripod or pier a while before passing the meridian. This setting enables the mount to disable tracking for the defined minutes prior to reaching meridian. Once this time and the defined minutes after meridian are passed, the flip will occur normally.
  • Only set a pause time, when your equipment cannot pass the meridian safely. If your equipment can safely track until the meridian flip time keep this setting at 0!

Auto Focus after Flip#

  • Turns ON/OFF the AF routine after flipping.

    Useful for scopes with mirror flop or focus shift after Meridian Flip.


In previous versions of N.I.N.A. a switch to enable meridian flip was located here. However this approach has been changed and the meridian flip needs to be enabled on sequence level. The legacy sequencer has a target set option to enable it and the advanced sequencer needs to have a meridian flip trigger added to the sequence

Rotate image after flip#

  • When enabling this option, the image inside the imaging tab will be automatically rotated by 180° after a meridian flip. This is for displaying purposes only and will not alter any raw image data.

Image Options#

Autostretch factor and Black Clipping#

  • These are the parameters for the display autostretch

    These values refer to the midtone transformation function. The standard values should already work for almost all cases

Annotate Images#

  • When this setting and HFR analysis in imaging is enabled, displayed images will exhibit annotated HFR values on detected stars

    Note that this is only for display in the imaging tab and has no effect on saved data

Debayer Image#

  • When a OSC camera is used, enabling this will debayer the images for display purposes only.

Debayered HFR#

  • If enabled, images will be debayered first before HFR analysis is done. In case you run into star detection problems with OSC camera and autofocus, enable this setting This setting is the memory and processing heavy and should not be activated for resource restricted machines

Unlinked Stretch#

  • When a OSC camera is used, debayering the image generates 3 channels R,G and B
  • By default the autostretch in imaging is linked and may result in unbalanced color channels
  • Enabling this will enable debayer image, and should result in balanced color channels when stretching This setting is the memory and processing heavy and should not be activated for resource restricted machines

Star Sensitivity#

  • This changes the sensitivity of star detection used for HFR analysis

    Only change this when the application doesn't properly recognize stars

Noise Reduction#

  • This changes the amount of noise reduction performed on the image for star detection and HFR analysis

    Only change this when the application doesn't properly recognize stars


Default folder for sequence files#

  • The user can set here the default folder for saving/loading sequences

Sequence Template Folder#

  • The user can set a default folder where sequence templates should be stored

Legacy Sequencer Template#

  • The user can set a default user defined legacy sequence template here. When a template is defined adding a new target to the legacy sequencer will use the template to prepopulate the values like centering, exposures etc.

    Templates can be made with the 'Save template as xml' button in the legacy sequence tab

Startup Sequence Template (Adv. Sequencer)#

  • A full saved advanced sequence that will pre-populate the advanced sequencer on application start. This is useful for startup and end instructions that you want to do each time in the same manner.

Sequencer Targets Folder (Adv. Sequencer)#

  • The user can set a default folder where advanced sequence targets should be stored

Collapse sequence templates by default (Adv. Sequencer)#

  • When enabled, templates that will be dragged into the sequencer will be collapsed by default

Disable Legacy Sequencer#

  • This will remove the legacy sequencer from the UI. Useful if you don't use the legacy sequencer at all and want to remove the then unnecessary decisions between the two sequencers.


In previous versions of N.I.N.A. some options where available to run end of sequence options. These have been moved into the sequencer.


Reset Layout#

  • This will reset the layout of docked windows in the imaging tab
  • In case the button is greyed out, visit the imaging tab at least once for the layout to be initialized

Backup Layout#

  • Backup the current layout into a separate file. This file can then be loaded in again at a later time using the "Restore Layout" button
  • In case the button is greyed out, visit the imaging tab at least once for the layout to be initialized

Restore Layout#

  • Restores the docked windows layout from a backed up file