A Note from
the Developer of SkyTools
I am very happy to announce that after four years of development, SkyTools 4 Imaging is now available.
As I developed the imaging part of SkyTools 4, the visual observing and imaging parts diverged so much that it became impossible to keep them together in the same product. SkyTools 4 became two separate products, one for imaging and one for visual observing.
SkyTools 4 Visual will be available later this fall.
SkyTools Imaging is a pretty big deal. At its heart is a completely new, much more accurate, and carefully tested imaging model. It also has a new workflow approach that is unlike anything else. Your projects will be much more highly organized. It will keep track of your progress, and it is easy to look up what you have previously imaged.
It supports DSLR imaging on a tripod, a camera piggybacked on a telescope, multiple focal extenders/reducers, and any filter (including narrow band).
It has an advanced scheduler that will always maximize your SNR, not via the simple theoretical equations that people use, but by using the model to try different choices. For example, one thing people seldom consider is the time lost between exposures when reading out the camera, which turns out to have a major impact on how much SNR can be achieved in the real world when using short exposures.
SkyTools 4 Imaging controls your telescope directly, guiding you as you observe. It can generate ACP plans from its schedule for upload to ACP. It can directly submit your projects to ACP Expert Scheduler, intelligently calculating the Scheduler constraints in ways that a mere human can't approach.
For Itelescope.net users, it can generate a schedule for your reservation, then write an ACP plan that can be uploaded to the iTelescope. We monitor equipment changes to all twenty telescopes and they are automatically updated via the internet if a change occurs. There is even a tool that can pick the best telescope to use for a given target object.
It is my hope that you will no longer waste time observing targets that are not suitable to your imaging system, obtain higher quality images, better keep track of the projects you are working on, and in the end have a useful archive of your completed projects.