Blackie's Cloudy Skies Pages M31  

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Useful Astro Software

K3CCD Tools: This is the software that got me started in astro-photography. I started with a TouCam webcam and a free version of K3CCD Tools to take pictures of the Moon and Planets. It worked great and got me hooked on this hobby. Probably still the standard for imaging the solar system. 

DSLR Focus: I have used DSLR Focus for several years to control my Canon 10D. I like the program and the interface. Unfortunately, it does not yet support my new Canon 1000xs. Chris, we are still waiting for DSLR Focus, version 4. Otherwise, it's a nice program. 

Nebulosity 2: Craig Stark is a true benefactor to the astro-photography community. What with his free PHD guiding software, his very well designed Nebulosity camera control and processing software, and all his other contributions, I don't think you can go very wrong using his products. 

Neat Image: Very nice application to cut the noise in your images. This application has helped me a lot. Check out: 

Astonomy Tools for Photoshop: A set of very useful filters that can be loaded into either Photoshop or Photoshop Elements to aid in your processing efforts. I know my images got a lot better after I purchased this very reasonably priced set of add-ins from Noel Carboni. 

Photoshop: Yes, I finally broke down and purchased Photoshop. I had been using Paint Shop Pro 7.02, and it worked, mostly, but Photoshop is the standard and the add-ins I wanted usually require Photoshop to operate. I choked at the price of the newest versions, but I did manage to get a new, original set of discs for Photoshop 7 for a very reasonable price through Craig's List. I did have to meet the guy at 9:00 P.M. at a gas station and pay cash, but the software had the proper stickers attached and installed just fine. I figure I'm good...


NexStar Observer List: Any owner of a Celestron NexStar telescope really needs to know about Mike Swanson's NexStar Resource Site  Not only will you find some very useful information about NexStar telescopes, but you will also find the free software "NexStar Observer List." Give it a try, you'll like it. Well, at least I do.

WhatsUp: My normal viewing site has a very restricted view of the sky. Essentially, I have East and overhead. To the north I have a street light. To the south I have a street light and some very large trees. To the west, I have to shoot over my two-story house. Anyway, WhatsUp gives me an accurate listing of all the Messier and Caldwell objects available in my restricted area of the sky. I have the ability to add more objects to the database, for instance, the listing of Sharpless objects. Very cool. Anyway, I recommend this very handy piece of astro planning software and the price is certainly right. Thanks, Rick. Check out: 


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