Plate Solving

Plate solving, once enabled, is automatic. But for good results, you need to first calibrate the system.

Basic checklist

  • Use a steady mount for the device
  • Set your location
  • Ensure the stars are in focus. See the focussing guide for tips.

Choose a familiar part of the sky

You should be able to easily recognize constellations and asterisms in that part of the Sky.

Set the exposure and ISO

Bump up the ISO and lower the exposure time as much as possible, while ensuring that bright stars are easily visible. Ideally, the brightest stars should be saturated (appearing fully bright on the screen).

Start calibration

To start calibration, pause the capture and then select Menu -> Calibrate.

Step 1: Pre-processing settings

Margin
Specifies a space around the borders of the image. Anything outside this margin will be cropped out.
Gradient removal strength
Gradient removal helps in removing light pollution and extended objects such as clouds, and trees! However, it may also reduce the brightness of stars, if the stars are not well focussed.
Examples of before and after pre-processing:

Before Processing

Image before pre-processing.

After Processing

With Margin 4% and Gradient Removal Strength of 0.8

Step 2: Calibrate the detector

  • First set the Min area to a low value and Max area to a high value.

  • The Level is a threshold above which stars are detected. Set it to a high value initially and then lower it until enough objects are detected.

  • The max number of objects is currently 40 (will be configurable later). It is recommended to have at-least 15 sources detected. The more the better.

  • If there are small unwanted objects, increase the Min area

  • If there are large unwanted objects, decrease the Max area

Step 3: Calibrate the FOV

An overlay of objects will be shown on top of the detected objects.

Try to match the overlay with the detected objects. When the system is able to recognize the pattern, it will say Matchable.

Now, click Auto-Tune to let the system figure out the exact match.

After Auto-tune is successful, click Save

Enable Live Plate Solving

After calibration, enable "Live Solving" to solve images as soon as they are captured.

Ensure that the capture settings are similar to the capture settings that were used for calibration. This restriction may ease in a future version, but as of version 0.9, please use similar settings.

The solution is only visible as an overlaid map for now. More details like RA, Dec will be shown in a later release.