Talk:Observational astronomy/Image processing

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This is the start of a series of activities in observational astronomy. The idea is to learn astronomy by going through the same process that astronomers use. I chose the Aladin program because it is easy to learn and is also able to do more advanced analysis. The first few activities will use images taken at major observatories, but later I can upload raw images taken with telescopes that I have access to. I hope that people who use the lessons will participate by editing questions into the page which I can then answer, or posting suggestions on this talk page.--mikeu 19:39, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

Is this Aladin program a free software, or do you need to buy it?--Rayc 20:13, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
It is not open source, but it is free. You can either use a java version from within a web page, or you can download it.--mikeu 21:05, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
Ok, I should develop a list of all free software we are having people use here, make it into a central hub (or portal). A tutorial like Mad Max's - Computer Set Up for Film Scoring] would be nice. 'll play around with this if I get some free time.--Rayc 00:51, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

wikipedia image links[edit]

How do I include a thumbnail of an image on wikipedia? For instance, to this Aladin screenshot.--mikeu 16:35, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

You have to either upload it here or on commons. I'm not sure of the fair use criteria on software screenshots, though.--Rayc 00:14, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
Take a look at the fair use copyright for the Photoshop screenshot.--mikeu 15:44, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
A better example is Template:Software-screenshot.--mikeu 15:23, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

I uploaded a screenshot of Aladin and also created a category for astronomy images. Should I have used Category:Astronomy instead? --mikeu 13:09, 16 December 2006 (UTC)

FITS file uploads[edit]

Speaking of uploads... Eventually I'd like to upload images that I've taken through a telescope. The raw images are in the FITS file format. The file contains metadata such as the date and time the image was taken. The Aladin software then uses the metadata when the image is analyzed. For instance, the program uses the metadata to map the pixels in the image to the coordinates in the sky and generates a grid over the image to measure the position of stars. The FITS format is not a standard format that a web browser would understand how to render. Is there a place here to upload such files that are not standard jpg or png images? I noticed that there is a Media: link that is used for sound.--mikeu 12:34, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

Virtual Moon Atlas[edit]

This appears to be a nice program. Designed for use with a telescope in observing the moon and has a lot of information packed into the program about specific lunar features. It is open source under the GPL. Mirwin 23:58, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

Cool. Have you tried the program?--mikeu 15:53, 22 December 2006 (UTC)
Didn't google do something like that? Also, I've found another program,, "a free open source planetarium for your computer." I'm thinking that Category:Free science software is a very good resource.--Rayc 02:56, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

Dead link[edit]

During several automated bot runs the following external link was found to be unavailable. Please check if the link is in fact down and fix or remove it in that case!

--Mu301Bot 07:37, 11 September 2011 (UTC)


Astronomy is the best subject ever. Like it. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 10:13, 9 October 2012‎ (UTC)