Astrophotography Skills – Calibrating and Stacking Images Page

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Outline of what it will contain:

  • What problems are we solving?
    • Noise
      • Camera noise
      • Atmospheric noise
      • Unwanted objects
    • Uneven light
      • Non-flat optics
      • Dust spots
  • Calibration Techniques
    • Bias frames
      • What are they
      • How to collect them
      • How many?
      • Pre-combined masters
      • Temperature libraries
    • Dark frames
      • What are they
      • How to collect them
      • How many?
      • Pre-combined masters
      • Temperature libraries
    • Flat frames
      • What are they
      • How to collect them
      • How many?
      • Pre-combined masters
      • Libraries don’t apply
    • Stacking
      • Combining multiple exposures to
        • Detect and eliminate spurious light
        • Average-out background noise
        • Increase effective exposure
  • Usual order of operation
    • Bias-adjust Dark frames
    • Dark-adjust all exposures
    • Flat-adjust all exposures
    • Stack exposures
      • If filtered monochrome: stack groups per filter
      • Steps
        • Reject bad images
        • Align images
        • Combine images
          • Selection of math formula
    • Colour combination
      • If filtered monochrome, combine colours last
    • Post-processing
      • Move to image processing software and fine-tune
      • Some prefer to do 3- or 4-colour combine in the image processing software

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