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AstroArt v6 Software
CCD Control, Image Processing, Photometry, Astrometry & Image Stacking Software
  • Advanced filters with preview facility
  • Astrometry and photometry with integrated star atlas
  • Image stacking with sub-pixel correction
  • High quality 96-bit colour image processing
  • Controls most CCD/CMOS cameras on the market
  • Can control multiple cameras simultaneously
  • For Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10
  • Supported by Shoestring Auto-Guider connectivity kit
  • Multilingual support: French, German, Spanish, Czech, Hungarian, Dutch and English
CCD Cameras CCD Camera
AstroArt v6
Model / Description View in Showroom Order code Price inc VAT Shipping Dispatched witnin click button to purchase
AstroArt no MSBAA £ --- £ --- out of stock

AstroArt version 6 is the complete software for image processing, camera and telescope control, photometry, astrometry and image stacking.

All major CCD cameras are supported by Astroart. Focusing, autoguiding, imaging and scripting become easy and quick.

All major telescopes, filter wheels, focusers are supported too. New drivers are released every year.

Astroart is also an open system with plug-in support and free development kit for C++, C#, Pascal, Visual Basic.

Advanced filters
Adaptive denoise, Maximum entropy deconvolution, Larson Sekanina, hot pixel removal, unsharp mask, remove gradient, deblooming, DDP, FFT, mask, etc. with realtime preview.

Astrometry and photometry
with integrated star atlas, GSC included, USNO and UCAC supported. MPC reports, aperture photometry, batch photometry, estimation of measuring errors, plate solving, annotations. MPCORB minor planets.

Image stacking
Automatic on sets of images, with sub-pixel precision. Six algorithms (star patterns, one star, two stars, planet, correlation, spectrum), drizzle, batch processing.

Colour imaging
Native 96 bit, visualized in real time without modifying the underlying data. Quadrichromy LRGB, color balance, color curves, adaptive saturation, realtime debayering.

High speed
Astroart is an extremely fast software thanks to its code optimized in SSE assembly. Fully compatible from Windows XP to Windows 10. For further information

AstroArt contents.
AstroArt package includes printed user manual, CD and registration code.

New Features in Version 6

Add labels, figures and logos, without modifying the image.

New demosaic ("debayer") with real time preview.

Masks are used to analyze or filter a part of the image.
Denoise filter

New filter to reduce noise without blurring the image.

New white balance and colour fringes correction.

Image processing filters now use all cores of your CPU.
Minor planets

The star atlas has many new features dedicated to minor planets.

More than 30 minor new features.
New Features in Version 5
New algorithm based on star patterns, corrects rotation and translation on grayscale and color images.

Fully rewritten, with many new features to automatically align and stack images.

All filters have been rewritten and give better results in less time.

Plate solving
For astrometry and/or automatic recentering of the telescope after a GOTO.

For realtime visualization, histogram stretch and tone mapping.

New commands
Cosmetic filters (compress stars, remove lines, etc.), gradient removal, histogram stretch, adaptive saturation, batch photometry, reticle.

More speed
Thanks to SSE/SSE2 instructions up to 4 pixels are processed at once.

New Features in Version 4
New "Open File" dialog with fast preview of the image and the header. Opening and saving of PNG 8,16,24,48 bits, PNG-FITS (PNG with FITS header stored inside). TIFF 32 and 48 bits. AVI. JPEG optimizer in realtime. All DSLR RAW files supported, also in Preprocessing.

"All stars" algorithm which automatically aligns two images selecting the best stars, and "Star pattern" to align images which are also rotated.

High pass, Low pass (standard, adaptive and FFT) with range option to improve the signal to noise ratio. Iterative histogram scaling. Deconvolution with range to reduce noise over the background. Deblooming filter. New DDP. Hot pixel removal, also with care for Bayer patterns (colour CCDs). Defect Map to correct hot and cold pixels.

New Blink command with autoalignment and visualization tuning in realtime. More customizable and faster star finder. tar atlas with support of UCAC2 and USNOB. (USNOB with fast download in background). Proper motion of stars. Asteroids and comets displayed in realtime (MPCORB startup time is only 2 seconds on a 1 Ghz PC).

Colour Imaging
New CCD colour synthesis: automatic white balance, hot pixel removal, Bayer pattern assistant, improved algorithm for CMY and RGB cameras (MX5C, MX7C, SXV-H9C, SXV-H8C, SBIG, DSI I/II, DSLRs). New trichromy with realtime preview, white balance and autoalignment of colour planes.

Astrometry and Photometry
Quick astrometric and photometric reduction thanks to automatic star match with the atlas. Realtime selection of residuals. Growth curves. Aperture photometry with three circles (signal, gap, background) and autocenter option. Settings for gain and readout noise of the CCD.

Median and Sigma of a group of images. Options of resize, crop, autoalignment "All stars", hot pixel removal, defect map, deblooming. Tracking of minor planets calculating the proper motion. "Missing borders correction" to prevent dark borders. Drizzle 200% to enhance the resolution of undersampled images. New manual alignment. All functions work also on colour CCDs.

Minor Functions
Mouse wheel supported to tune the visualization and zoom in realtime. New 3D window. "Formula" command to apply any math function to the image. Dockable toolbars. "Close all" and "Crop" commands. Full screen view with pan, zoom and visualization tuning. Many speed optimizations.

Advanced Filters
Maximum entropy deconvolution, Richardson Lucy, adaptive, Larson Sekanina, unsharp mask, DDP, FFT, erosion, etc ... with full preview.

With the deconvolution commands of Astroart it is possible to restore an image corrupted by blur or bad tracking. Some amateur astronomers use this feature to restore also film photos.

The image on the right is a two minute exposure of M13 with a TMAX 400 B&W film. The image was not tracked but after the Maximum Entropy deconvolution it is perfectly restored. This image was scanned with a low cost A4 scanner.
Deconvolution filter.
Fast Rotational Gradient
The rotational gradient filter, also known ad Larson-Sekanina, can reveal faint details and jets inside comets.

Thanks to the speed of Astroart, this complex filter takes less than a second on a 512x512 image, using a 1 Ghz PC.
Fast Rotational Gradient.
Gradient Removal
This is a filter available as free plug-in. It can correct almost any kind of uneven level of brightness in your images (usually caused by light pollution).

In the screen-shot above, the three processing steps on a comet image: at left the original image (note at the bottom the intensity profile), the "synthetic flat field" and finally the corrected image on the right.
Gradient removal.
Click on image to enlarge.
Adaptive Filters
Astroart contains two unique adaptive filters. The Non-Linear high pass filter improves the sharpness of an image without black rings around stars or other artifacts.

The Adaptive Low pass reduces the noise of an image without blurring and without loosing definition. Try them in the demo version.
Adaptive filters.
Stacking Images Before Filtering
An high pass filter (sharpen filter) should be applied on a picture only if the noise hidden in the image is very low. This is usually false for a single shot of a planet.

On the left a single saturn image after an Unsharp mask filter, the noise become visible. On the right 20 frames was averaged (and automatically aligned) before filtering.
Stacking Images Before Filtering.
On the background there is a raw image of a sequence with a star selected as reference for the automatic alignment. On the foreground the powerful Preprocessing Window with the file boxes filled by a simple Drag & drop.

In a few seconds all the images are corrected for dark frame, flat field, aligned and summed into a single image. Note that the Dark frame and the Flat field are not a simple file; it's the result of a list of files, by average or median.
Click on image to enlarge.

Astrometry And Photometry
Integrated star atlas, GSC included, USNO supported; MPC reports, aperture photometry, extimation of measuring errors.

Astrometric And Photometric Calibration
The astrometric and photometric calibration was the main feature of Astroart. It is assisted by a integrated star atlas (18 Million stars, up to 15° mag. compressed into 250 Mbytes on CD), based on the GSC catalog. The USNO catalog is also supported (all stars up to 19.5° mag). With just a few mouse clicks it's possible to assign the reference stars of the image, for the subsequent reduction. Since 1998 many amateur astronomers are using Astroart for photometry and astrometry on comets, minor planets and supernovas.
Astrometric And Photometric Calibration.
Click on image to enlarge.
MPC Reports
After measuring RA, DEC. and magnitude of minor planets or comets, a correctly formatted report should be sent to the MPC.

AstroArt automatically creates a correct report from your measures, saving you precious time.
MPC reports.
Click on image to enlarge.
Star Atlas
This is one of the fastest star charts available now for Windows. On a standard PC (1 Ghz) it can explore the star fields at 10 frames/sec.old using the GSC and USNO together (all stars until 19° magnitude) For every star it's included the maximum error (position and magnitude).

The star atlas is not a "planetarium": planets, eclipses etc. are not included, we recommend GuideTM, Skymap PROTM or PerseusTM for this purpose. The atlas can be used rotated by any angle to easily identify the photographed zone.
Star Atlas.
Click on image to enlarge.
Header FITS
AstroArt strictly follows all recommendations of FITS and WCS standards, and let the user to edit safely the Header.

The Header can be used as a simple text file, with Copy and Paste, and some keywords can be saved in the Preferences.
Header FITS.
Click on image to enlarge.

Image Stacking And Colour Imaging
Automatic on sets of images, with sub-pixel precision. Four algorithms (one star, two stars, planet, correlation). Alignment and rotation. Native 96 bit, visualized in real time. All filters work on color images. Quadrichromy LRGB and WCMY with automatic L.A.B. conversion.

Auto Alignment
Since no telescope can track a lunar photography, to increase the signal to noise ratio it is necessary to take many images and then sum them.

But every image will be probably shifted and a software auto-alignment is then compulsory. The lunar image on the right is the sum of 9 frames.
Auto Alignment.
Click on image to enlarge.
AstroArt fully supports RGB and CMY tri-colour imaging as well as LRGB and LCMY, with standard L*A*B color conversion.

This example shows the benefits of using a fourth frame (luminance). Bad tracking and noise in the color frames don't affect the sharpness of the final image.
Click on image to enlarge.
This is a simple example of a processing on some frames of Jupiter taken with a video-camera.

The best 25 frames are summed together to increase the signal/noise ratio, then a high-pass filter was applied. The profile graphs confirms the improvement. (Courtesy M. Facchini, Cavezzo Observatory, MPC 107).
Click on image to enlarge.
Common Pictures
With AstroArt it is possible to apply the most powerful filters like Deconvolution and FFT to your own photos

Working with 96 bits (32 for every R,G,B channel) it is possible to correct better the defects and to balance accurately the colors.
Common pictures.
Click on image to enlarge.
Supported File Formats
FITS (.fit, .fts, .fits) 8, 16, 32 bit, (integer and floating point); Hi-SIS and Audine 16 bit (.pic); SBIG 8, 16 bit; Starlight XPress 12, 16 bit; PixCel 255-237 16 bit; Cookbook 12 bit (.pix, .p1-3, .pa-b); Lynxx 12 bit (.ccd, .lnx); Electrim 8 bit (.elm, .tif); TIFF 8, 16 bit (.tif) gray levels, not compressed; TIFF 24,48 bit (16 bit x 3 colors), TARGA 8, 16 bit (.tga) gray levels; BMP and JPEG, ASCII 8, 16, 32 bit (.txt); GENERIC FORMAT with custom size (up to 8000x8000 pixels), data types (8, 16, 32 bit integer & f.p.; signed, unsigned, PC or MAC).

File Export
FITS 8, 16, 32 bit and color; ASCII 32 bit; RAW 32 bit; TIFF 8, 16; TGA (256 gray levels); BMP, JPEG 24 bit colors. Print with options for orientation and scaling.

Image Editing
Functions of UNDO, COPY (whole image or a selection) and PASTE (as a new image or into selection). CREATE new images (artificial images) with the possibility to insert statistical and gaussian noise with a given sigma. SELECTION of pixels and rectangular areas. EDITOR of pixels in real time. DUPLICATE of an image, FLIP horizontal, vertical or both. Automatic ALIGN of images using centroids (for star fields) or correlation (for the moon), automatic for planets. Sub-pixel precision. ROTATE, Sub-pixel SHIFT of the image. RESIZE: bilinear and bicubic. DIGITAL BINNING (2x2 and 3x3). Trasformation of coordinates: from POLAR TO RECTANGULAR and RECTANGULAR to POLAR. COREGISTER of two images of the same image but with different magnification and/or rotation of field. REPAIR of columns and rows. Average or median BINNING on X and Y axes for spectroscopic applications. Background NORMALIZATION with a reference image. Automatic DARK FRAME OPTIMIZATION with different temperatures and/or time exposures.

Image Analysis
HISTOGRAM: linear, logarithmic and exponential transfer functions with fine tuning of BRIGHTNESS, CONTRAST, LOW AND HIGH THRESHOLDS. PALETTES: gray scale, negative, saw-tooth rainbow, flame, jazz or fully customizable. ZOOM WINDOW in real time with functions of photometry, auto-contrast, palette and printing. 3D WINDOW in real time with change of point of view. STATISTIC WINDOW of the whole image or a selected area. ISOPHOTES with user defined steps and thresholds. PROFILE WINDOWS with functions of zoom, printing and exporting to file. BLINK of 2 images with auto alignment. BLINK of 3 images. Night visualization. FFT transform and inverse transform, to analyze and correct the periodic noise of the image.

Photometry And Astrometry
STARS WINDOW with automatic DETECTION of stellar objects (selectable FWHM and S/N) and automatic PSF integration: all the objects are catalogued in an interactive data-sheet with X and Y position of centroids, intensity in ADU, FWHM on X and Y axes, S/N ratio, RA, DEC. ASTROMETRIC and PHOTOMETRIC CALIBARTION based on one (or more) of the Star Atlas catalogues: (GSC, USNO SA1.0, SA2.0 or USNO A2.0): all catalogue data, like position and magnitude are editable for your own correction, extimation of measuring errors. Measure of angular separation, APERTURE PHOTOMETRY, measure of brightness both in ADU and in magnitude; automatic background detection or user defined. Automatic compilation of a MPC REPORT (Minor Planet Center) correctly formatted. WCS (World Coordinate System): reading and/or writing of the FITS keyword based on this standard astrometric system. Easy and safe EDITING of FITS HEADER like a text file.

Filters And Image Processing
LOW-PASS FILTERS (light, medium, heavy, Gauss, FFT, adaptive) HIGH-PASS FILTERS (light, medium, heavy, optimal FFT, adaptive) UNSHARP MASK (with user-defined sigma e coefficient), EROSION filter, AVERAGE and MEDIAN on a customizable matrix of coefficients, removal of hot and cold pixels, DDP. CONVOLUTION FILTERS (up to 15x15 matrix) and calculation of the PSF. DECONVOLUTION of MAXIMUM ENTROPY, WIENER, VAN CITTERT and RICHARDSON-LUCY. Contour filters, SOBEL, PREWITT, FREEMAN, KIRSH, GRADIENT, LARSON-SEKANINA for comets.

Math Functions
SUM, SUBTRACT, DIVIDE, MULTIPLY, MINIMUM, MAXIMUM, DISTANCE, AVERAGE, MERGE (fully customizable, i.e to perform DDP processing), ADD OFFSET, PEDESTAL, MULTIPLY or DIVIDE by a coefficient, CLIP minimum and maximum.

User-defined MACRO COMMANDS with simple drag & drop to process many images at the same time. Fully customizable PREPROCESSING: sum or average of images, automatic or manual ALIGNMENT, correction for dark-frame, flat field and bias using sets of frames. TRICHROMY with LRGB and LCMY. Integrated STAR ATLAS with 15 millions GSC stars. The same atlas can read other CD-ROM catalogues like USNO SA1.0, SA2.0 or USNO A2.0. HIGH SPEED (USNO A2.0 display in real time, 10 frame/sec on a P200), printing of high quality sky maps. Supports PLUG-INS, with free SDK and technical support. CCD control also available as plug-ins, with telescope control.

Multiple Language Support
AstroArt is written in English but supports other languages like French, German Spanish, Czech, Hungarian and Dutch. The translation is performed automatically using a translation file. Click a link below to download:
French 4.00 + Help
German 3.00
Spanish 3.00
Czech 3.00
Hungarian 3.00
Dutch 3.00

Software Development Kit
Version 3.01. This SDK (software development kit) makes possible to write your own image filters and CCD drivers. Includes complete documentation and a sample plug-in made with:
  • Visual C++.
  • C++ Builder.
  • LCC (free compiler).
  • Visual Basic.
  • Delphi (Pascal).
Sample CCD driver made with:
  • Visual C++.
  • Delphi (Pascal).
Please visit the MSB-AstroArt website for the latest SDK and plug-in downloads.

We are constantly checking the accuracy of the technical data. We are prepared to provide more detailed information on request. Technical data is subject to change without notice.

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Opticstar News
New DS-616C XL+ Model
posted: 24th August 2017
Opticstar DS-616C XL+.
Star product, improved.

The new Opticstar DS-616C XL+ deep-sky CCD is the successor to the popular DS-616C XL that earned the annual star product award back in 2013. It maintains all the features of the original model as well as other improvements.

DS-616C XL is Astronomy Magazine's Star Product
posted: 12th September 2013
Opticstar DS-616C XL is Astronomy magazine's product of the year.
Star product.

The Opticstar DS-616C XL deep-sky CCD camera has earned the annual star product award from Astronomy, the world's best-selling astronomy magazine. Read about it in the September 2013 issue.

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updated: 18th June 2019
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Willmann Bell
Books for Astronomy
updated: 20th September 2019
Willman Bell books.
Acclaimed books from Willmann Bell...
Centroid Noise And Precision Photometry
Centroid noise.
Centroiding noise is a random error, or "noise" component...
A&M 152mm f/8 Review
"Fantastic Performance" "Beauty of a Ferrari"
updated: 25th March 2009
A&M 152mm f/8 TMB.
Read the latest review about the A&M 152mm f/8 A&M/TMB on Cloudy Nights. According to the review this telescope combines the "beauty of a Ferrari" with "fantastic performance". The review also states that "the manufacturer's claims are valid".
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