The Window Sill Observatory

September 20, 2012

We have Moved!

Filed under: Software — Dave @ 1:03 pm

My new site is at

Hope to see you there.

Starry Dave


August 6, 2012

Autoguiding Celestron and Skywatcher Alt-Az Mounts

Filed under: Animations, Software, Sun — Dave @ 10:44 am

DSSR now has the ability to autoguide certain brands of alt-az mounts to allow you to track and record the Sun, Moon, planets, comets, etc.

The guider can guide your mount to within 2 or 3 pixels which is good enough for solar system work. Below are some solar animations that were captured on a Coronado PST on a NexStar 4SE mount.

May 31, 2012

DSSR v3 Released!

Filed under: Software — Dave @ 12:21 pm

We have just released a major upgrade to Dave’s Solar System Recorder (DSSR) which is now at version 3.0.

DSSR is detailed on its home page at right. The download link and the user manual are in the Support and Downloads page at right.

WHAT’S NEW in VERSION 3.0 (more…)

May 28, 2012

DSSR v3.0 will be released on 31st May

Filed under: Software — Dave @ 11:30 am

Hi all, Version 3.0 of DSSR will be released on the 31st May, 1012.

It will be able to read your existing settings files but you may want to make backup copies now. (more…)

May 22, 2012

DVS updated for easier cropping and overlays

Filed under: Animations, Software — Dave @ 10:41 am
Hi Folks,
DVS should automatically update itself the next time you run it.
The crop routine has been changed to allow for easier crop adjustments and you can also preview with the cropped area blanked out. This makes it easier to spot rogue bright borders.
The overlay routine now allows for easier and more precise positioning of overlays.
The changes are documented in the DVS manual which is available here:

May 15, 2012

New Astrometry Module for DVS

Filed under: Software, Tutorials — Dave @ 12:09 pm

DVS now has a new Astrometry module that allows you to measure the movement of an object between a pair of images. You can use this to calculate velocities of asteroids, comets, minor planets, satellites, etc. It can also be used to measure object parallax angle during transits such as the 2012 Venus transit. (more…)

May 4, 2012

Successful trial of AzTrak!

Filed under: Software — Dave @ 12:46 pm

I know there are a lot of users waiting for DSSR to be able to autoguide Alt-Az scopes using AzTrak. The good news is that the DSSR test version now has a working version of AzTrak which is accurate enough for Solar System targets.

AzTrak autoguided on a sunspot with a Celestron Nexstar 4SE for several hours yesterday and we are currently fine tuning the AzTrak algorithms to improve accuracy. We hope to release AzTrak very soon.

Here are some sunspot videos made with AzTrak

Sunspot AR1476 6th May 2012 6:49:49 to 7:37:16 (UT)

Sunspot AR1471 6th May 2012 6:21:10 to 6:45:34 (UT)

April 18, 2012

Adding Time Stamps to Animations with DVS

Filed under: Animations, Software, Tutorials — Dave @ 10:25 am

DVS now allows you to display time stamps on each frame of your animations for an accurate display of capture time. DVS can read the capture times directly from DSSR images or you can simply set the start and end times for your animation. Prefixes and suffixes can also be added to the time stamp. The relevant section from the DVS manual is copied below: (more…)

April 3, 2012

Solar Animation Tutorial

Filed under: Animations, Software, Sun, Tutorials — Dave @ 1:35 pm

This tutorial was produced to show the work flow involved in creating these solar animations.

You can download a zipped folder of solar Fits files to try out from here (190mb). Go direct to step 4 if you download them. Alternatively, you can download the complete set of processed PNGs here (59mb) and go directly to step 5. (more…)

April 1, 2012

Lunar Test for Focus Meter

Filed under: Moon, Software — Dave @ 1:40 pm

Below is a quick lunar mosaic captured by DSSR after focusing by DFM. It shows nice detail from a Nexstar 4SE 4″ telescope with 2.5x PowerMate which results from accurate and objective focusing. There is even a hint of the central rill in the Vallis Alpes – I think (see detail below). Click on the image for the full size version or check out the Zoomit version.


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