Saturday, February 8, 2014

Elbrus for plate solving

Using a local astrometry.net server for plate solving is great as it doesn't require me to have an active internet connection (important for star parties)! But astrometry.net always does a blind solve, i.e. it can take many seconds until an image is plate solved.

After reading a lot about the Elbrus on the SGPro mailing list, I wanted to try it out. The mainsequencesoftware.com hosts its own version of Elbrus with a special installer. Downloaded it, installed it (as administrator), set Elbrus as my plate solver in SGPro and entered resolution (arcsec / pixel) and location.

Tried it with an image of Thor's helmet that I took recently: came back in less then 1 sec!!! Then I tried it with an image of M82: same speed. The good thing is that SGPro automatically uses astrometry.net as a blind solver. I invoked it on the same image and it took 11 seconds.

Finally, I tried it with an image of the Rosette Nebula that I took. Here the resolution is quite different - still it could solve it in less then 1 sec.

I also updated ansvr to 0.9 and installed a startup shortcut for it, so that it gets started automatically.

Very cool! Can't wait to try it out next time!

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Just tried it out: a simple center from 0 degree declination to NGC1491 (declination 51 degrees). This consists of taking an image, plate solving, slewing, taking an image, plate solving, correction slew, taking an image and plate solving.
Using Elbrus: 1:04 minutes
Using astrometry.net: 1:42 minutes