Re: Astrophotography.

From: Greg Roberts (grr@telkomsa.net)
Date: Sun May 17 2009 - 11:08:50 UTC

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    Afternoon Gerhard
    
    APEX-II is not available for general download as the site has  password 
    protected access. The reason for this is that the author Vladimir Kouprianov 
    does not want to get swamped with questions from people as to what the program 
    does, how it works etc. Through a contact I was able to contact Vladimir and he 
    gave me access to his site and the agreement was that Scott and I , once we had 
    acquired some experience with the program, would serve as the interface for the 
    program - ie Scott and I would handle questions re its setting up and useage, 
    and ONLY IF WE COULD NOT PROVIDE were we to contact him with questions etc. The 
    main reason for the limited access is that there is very little or no 
    documentation. I am in the process of putting an english manual together for the 
    program - based on what Vladimir supplied us with and what Scott and I have 
    experienced with the program. Since Scott and I are now fully operational with 
    the program we feel that we can offer the service that Vladimir requested. We 
    are by no means experts but we are learning fast!
    
    Scott and I are also actively engaged in suggesting improvements etc with 
    Vladimir and this has produced a quite productive arrangement for all parties. 
    Once the author is completely happy with the program and the documentation it 
    will probably be made generally available for anyone as it is open-source 
    software.
    
    Currently the program is intended for FITS images and geostationary or other 
    high altitude objects. I believe it should be possible to use an image from a 
    modern digital camera , convert it into a fits image and then use this image. 
    This has still to be explored which is why I have asked you for some images to 
    experiment with - hopefully with a geostationary or high altitude satellite in 
    it. Images secured with a video camera are more of a problem though as they are 
    a lot noisier than a CCD or digital camera image.
    
    If it is found your camera can produce images that are suitable I will gladly 
    send you the documentation that Scott and I have and where to download the 
    program and give you what assistance we can. The author of the software also 
    likes to know who uses his program as this information is necessary for his 
    annual report at his work at the Pulkova Observatory.
    
    At this stage Scott and I would NOT appreciate the link and passwords being in 
    the public domain as we could then be swamped with queries from every Tom,Dick 
    or Harry who have no real interest in using the software BUT we are perfectly 
    happy to make it available to people who WILL genuinely use the program and WILL 
    PRODUCE results with it.
    
    Cheers
    Greg
    
    
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