Jul 20, 2023

Astronomic calibration service

Astrometry engine aims to create correct, standards-compliant astrometric meta data for every useful astronomical image ever taken, past and future, in any state of archival disarray.

The engine will take any image and return the astrometry world coordinate system WCS – i.e., a standards-based description of the usually nonlinear transformation between image coordinates and sky coordinates – with absolutely no “false positives” but maybe some “no answers”. It will do its best, even when the input image has no – or totally incorrect – meta-data.

Astro-related tasks couldn’t get easier with FreeBSD’s ‘astrometry’ port—the software that aids solving identifying astrophotography images. With this port, you have a tool that matches the celestial objects in your shot with star catalogs to figure out what you’ve captured. It’s a powerful, robust, and reliable piece of software that can substantially streamline the work of astronomers and astro-enthusiasts alike.

Getting Started

Firstly, you need to install the ‘astrometry’ port on your FreeBSD system. You can do this through either the binary package or from the source.

Install Binary Package

For the binary package, use the pkg command

# pkg install astrometry

Install From Source

If you wish to compile from source, first navigate to the ports directory and then run make install

# cd /usr/ports/astro/astrometry/
# make install clean

Now that you’ve installed ‘astrometry’, it’s all set to work its magic on your astrophotography images.

Using Astrometry

The core appeal of ‘astrometry’ is that it’s simple to use and yet yields highly precise results. Here’s a guide on how to solve an image.

# solve-field myimage.jpg

Just replace ‘myimage.jpg’ with the path to the image you want to investigate. More often than not, ‘astrometry’ will successfully solve the image and generate a slew of output files.

The Output Files

After solving an image, the output files can include the following, among others

  • myimage-indx.xyls contains peaks from the image.
  • myimage-indx.rdls contains sources extracted from the image.
  • myimage-indx.wcs World Coordinate System file that includes the astrometric calibration.
  • myimage-indx.png an annotated image shows which celestial objects have been identified.

Enhancing Astrometry Efficiency

You can make ‘astrometry’ faster and more efficient by passing some optional flags to the ‘solve-field’ command. For instance, you can specify the scale of the image in terms of arc seconds per pixel.

# solve-field --scale-units arcsecperpix --scale-low 1 --scale-high 2 myimage.jpg

Benefits of Astrometry

With ‘astrometry’ in your FreeBSD toolkit, you can solve astrophotography images with ease and accuracy. This portable utility packs a powerful punch in terms of features and benefits.

  1. High Precision Astrometry can be trusted for its precise astrometric calibration.

  2. Wide Range Astrometry can solve a wide scope of star fields, ranging from wide-angle sky shots to images from the Hubble Space Telescope.

  3. Robust & Reliable Whether you’re an amateur enthusiast or a professional astronomer, astrometry doesn’t fail to deliver reliable results.

  4. Efficient Stellar astrometric solutions can be found in a matter of seconds.

In conclusion, ‘astrometry’ is a substantial addition to any astro-enthusiast’s toolkit. With its streamlined, efficient operation, this FreeBSD port makes the magnificent task of identifying celestial bodies an incredibly straightforward endeavor. Get your hands on ‘astrometry’ and embark on your astro-adventure!

Besides ‘astrometry’, there’s a gamut of other exciting FreeBSD ports that you might find interesting. For instance, if you’re into IT security, the ‘nmap’ port is a must-have tool. It’s a free and open-source utility for network discovery and security auditing. You can view and install it from [here]https// Enjoy exploring the vast world of FreeBSD ports!

Checkout these related ports:
  • Xworld - Earth as seen from the direction of the sun
  • Xtide - Harmonic tide clock and tide predictor
  • Xplanet - Draw pictures of the earth textured by an image
  • Xphoon - Set the root window to the moon in its current phase
  • Xmoontool - Version of John Walker's classical moontool for X11/Motif
  • Xephem - Interactive astronomical ephemeris program
  • Xeartk - Small demo for tkgeomap
  • Xearth - Set the root window to the image of earth
  • Wmsun - Dockapp that displays the rise and set times of the Sun
  • Wmspaceweather - DockApp that shows the weather at geosynchronous orbit
  • Wmsolar - Dockapp that displays the Solar System viewed from the top
  • Wmmoonclock - Displays the phase of the moon, plus orbital data
  • Wmjupiter - Dockapp that displays information on Jupiter
  • Wmglobe - Neat xearth-like WindowMaker dockapp
  • Weather - Utility to provide current weather conditions and forecasts