Comment on Lucky Imaging and global telescope networks

£700 vs £7,000,000: Astrophotography Shoot Out

Ryan Fay?

Your link in the description is broken (luckyimage) should probably be

There are better ways to combine images from many different sensors. You talked about hundreds?, thousands?, millions?, billions? of people combining images to improve earth surface imaging. Take the human out of the loop. Don’t judge by eye. Don’t work from impressions. Use numbers and measurements. Archive in lossless formats, document and make available tools to reproduce all steps in processing. Share algorithms. Test and calibrate.

Many stars in the Whirlpool galaxy have been mapped. So you can use them for calibrating even the most odd shaped light gatherer. It just takes data and patience. I joined your Discord group but the text is hard to read.

M51 –
NGC 6729 — also called Caldwell 68

At first I thought “TBD (Northern Hemisphere)” was a galaxy I did not know, then it clicked “To Be Determined”. So I think you should just do the whole sky from any piece that anyone can see from the northern hemisphere and ask people to share their computers and processing like the Einstein@Home projects or Zooniverse projects or any of many “citizen scientist” projects. There are about 1.92 Billion first time learners (from 5 to 20) in the world now. Most every one of them will hear about telescopes one day, and about the sky. Don’t make them memorize when they can look and share.

There are thousands of 24/7 live webcams on the Internet now, many with sky for clouds, places, satellites, sun, moon, planets, stars and galaxies, comets, lightning and many other things. Set standards for those, and help people use that information for teaching, for anyone wanting to know what is in the sky.  A small app can put the whole universe and all the weather and all the worlds data over any image or video.  Why guess when looking through a cell phone, or telescope, when you can just hover and see.

You have some good things on your site, but you need to spend more time on processing methods. Discord is a closed site. And not really suitable for sharing technical content.

You do not need a secondary mirror if you substitute a camera and take the human eyeball out of the loop. It actually helps to get better resolution if you have sloppy but smooth tracking. Interpolating smooth motion from fixed cameras works. Interpolating smooth motion from human guided or algorithm guided motion works. It means using small computers for gathering. Add three axis gyro and accelerometers. Motion is good if it changes the subpixels in known ways. And that can be measured and used.

Cell phone cameras are up to 40 megapixels. A good cell phone app can read the GPS and gyros and accelerometers and clock to determine its position and direction. Take images and register itself to the night sky. It can determine colors and intensities. It can read the online databases and individually register and track keep recorded (including continuous data streams from “real” telescopes if they would ever get themselves in gear and actually share data not pretty pictures in lossy formats. A video of the night sky with a cheap cell phone or other camera and optics can be used to calibrate the lens and optics. Solve that once for the whole world and everyone can benefit and not have to keep reinventing millions of little memorized wheels and cycles.

I think Elon Musk should be required to put outward facing all sky cameras on every satellite he puts in space. Then dedicate some of that Internet bandwidth of his to sharing raw (lossless) images (archived and accessible to everyone) of the sky everywhere on earth with us poor people who never see a clear sky. I live in Houston and I was happy to see five stars a few weeks ago. So your M51 won’t work for me. But I could help someone who has data from a dark site and does not know mathematical statistics and astrophysics, computing and global networks.

Best wishes,
Richard Collins, Director, The Internet Foundation

Richard K Collins

About: Richard K Collins

Director, The Internet Foundation Studying formation and optimized collaboration of global communities. Applying the Internet to solve global problems and build sustainable communities. Internet policies, standards and best practices.

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