For those of you who do use Pixinsight, there is apparently a new photometry/astrometry tool in the latest installment 1.8 RC 5. I tried this last night and it works quite well! Perhaps one day I will know what to do with all the information! However I wanted to post this brief tutorial of its basic usage. Even if you are not doing photometry or astrometry, you might discover 'something' in one of your images and wonder if it's real or not. If you are already using PI for your processing it's actually quite easy to check your image right there instead of hunting the web for comparison star charts, etc.
Anyway here is how it works:
1) Open your image
2) In PI version 1.8 RC5 go to "script" > "image analysis" > "aperture photometry"
3) You will pull up the aperture photometry window. It looks like this
Make sure to start off you have the "images" tab open, active image button is on (for the image you have opened) and the 2 boxes at the bottom are checked
4) Next click on "configure solver" (arrow above). You should see this:
You should not have to enter anything under image parameters as this should be read automatically from your image by PI. Under model parameters, leave the defaults EXCEPT for "limit magnitude" which is too low (bright). Should be at least 15.
Then click OK
5) Next click on the stars tab and you should see this:
Make sure the reference image button is on and your image is shown in the drop down. Defaults are fine but check that magnitude is the same as that entered in the model parameters from before
6) Next go to the output tab here:
Click on the box "generate image with detected stars". Make sure you choose an output directory!
Click on OK and the script should start running! Make sure to check the process console for any errors
7) If the script runs successfully you should see your image show up something like this, with a bunch of green squares around the solution stars.
If you check your output directory you will find an excel file with all the data in it. There is a detailed documentation file in this script which explains all the information contained in the data file
8) Now how do we know which of these green stars or objects go with which stars in the database?! Glad you asked!
Go to "script" > "render" >"annotate image". You will then see this:
Don't worry about all the layers and stuff! All you need to do is realize that the catalog we used for the solution "PPMXL" which is their default that you see in the image and stars tab, is not listed there! So all we need to do to get that catalog is to click on the "add layer" plus sign shown with the arrow. This pulls up a catalog list which looks like this:
9) Select PPMXL as shown above and click OK
10) And Voila! Your image is shown with the stars labeled from the database in your very own output directory!