With modern digital cameras is it relatively easy to get decent startrail-images. Instead of taking one long exposure one can take many shorter exposures and combine them in Photoshop using layers in "lighten"-modus.
My procedure: When visual observing with my 12" dobsonion style Newton telescope I usually can't resist taking some startrails. I put my Canon 10D on a tripod with a wide angle lens at maximum aperture. Camera is set to ISO 400 at an exposure time of 30s.
So as you can see taking the images is easy, stacking them (usually about 200 to 300 images) in Photoshop is not too much fun.....
This is why I decided to develop the "Startrails.exe"
What does it do?
You can load the Images and optionally some dark.frames (will be averaged and subtracted automatically if exist).
The resulting image can be saved in Jpeg,TIFF or BMP format
Another feature is the creation of a time-lapse movie as an "AVI"-file
As it is developed in C# you need the Microsoft .NET framework installed. If you use Windows XP, Win 2000 or Windows 7 with automatic updates enabled the .NET framework should be installed.
If you are interested in using Startrails you can download it here:
Donations are kindly accepted and will help towards further development
11th February, 2013: Fixed a Windows 8 bug (menus not working)
5th November, 2012: French Version!
29th August, 2012: Version 2.1!
1th May, 2012: Version 2.0 is here!
18th March, 2012: Dear friends of Startrails, I am really overwhelmed how many people are interested in the software. As you can see in the history log below, last update was back in 2005.
Feel free to share your images at Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/mystartrails
Or visit my blog Macrosphaere
02/11/2013: Version 2.2
Win 8 bug fixed (menus not working)
29/08/2012: Version 2.1
Crescent (growing) trails
05/01/2012: Version 2.0
Closing the gaps!
05/30/2005: Version 1.1
- minor changes
- memory improvements
- fixed problems with averaging
- processing large files for AVIs
- statusbar improved
- ESC-key to abort processing
- fixed problem when starting per desktop link
- scaling to screen size per default
- fixed memory problem
- added progress bar
Just unzip it to a place you want and start the exe....
Disclaimer: This software is free and you can use it as it is. If you find any bugs please report them to me, I will try to fix them when I find the time. Any comments are welcome and I would be happy if you send me some images you created (please no videos ;-)