Astronomy Software

My full time job is a software developer. This combined with my hobby of astronomy & astrophotography means that over the years I have developed various pieces of astronomy software. This page is where I intend to make some of that astronomy software available for download.

All this software is provided as-is by me for you to use if you wish. There is no warranty or guarantee, although I have of course done my best to make the software function as desired. If you encounter a problem please contact me and I will try to address it.

VB Scripts

In recent times Visual Basic Scripts have become very popular for controling telescopes and other astronomy software. I’ve built up a little collection of vbscripts which I use with CCD Commander, TheSky and other software. Below are some available for download (zipped for security reasons):

To use the VB Scripts extract the zip file(s) to a directory and double-click the script to run it. In reality you will probably want to include these scripts as part of some other automation, such as that using CCD Commander.


Occult Watcher Plugins

I have created a couple of plugins for the occultation scheduler software Occult Watcher by Hristo Pavlov. These addins allow you to use TheSky6 and TheSkyX with Occult Watcher.

The intention of these Occult Watcher plugins is to make it easy centering on the RA and Declination of an occultation event within TheSky. Due to limitations of the Software Bisque programming API they do not set the time & date to that of the occultation event.

  • Download Occult Watcher TheSky 6 Addin (requires TheSky6) – available soon, currently in beta testing (31/10/2012)
  • Download Occult Watcher TheSky X Addin (requires TheSkyX) – available soon, currently in beta testing (31/10/2012)

To use the Occult Watcher addins: Extract the downloaded zip files in to the Occult Watcher directory then restart Occult Watcher. Right-click an occultation event and you will see the option to centre on an RA and Dec in TheSky. Options are configured through the Add-in menu.

Read about using the Occult Watcher plugins here

CCDSoft Plugins

Also related to occultations, I have created a line analyzer plugin for CCDSoft. This program will read the pixel brightness of a star trail and output that pixel brightness to a CSV file for further analysis. You can choose the brightest pixel for each column or an average of the pixels for the column. This can be used for drift-scan occultation observations. From the resulting CSV file you can graph the light curve of the occultation.

You must first crop the FIT image down to just the star trail you are interested in, and rotated such that the star trail is horizontal (see link below for an example).

To use the CCDSoft plugin place it in the “Image Processing Plug Ins” sub-directory within your CCDSoft installation directory. Then restart CCDSoft. You will find a menu item in the Image menu under “Plugins” for “Line Analyzer”.

Read about using the CCDSoft Line Analyzer plugin here