The NINA imaging software is an open source astrophotography sequencing suite allowing users to set up an imaging sessions that contain sequences of hardware control actions and exposures.
NINA stands for Nighttime Imaging ‘N’ Astronomy Software and it offers a sequencing application to compose an astrophotography session and then drive the session from start to finish. This means one may press “Start” on the sequence and go do other things: watch TV, enjoy visual astronomy through another telescope, or even just go to bed knowing that the application will take care of all the hardware manipulation and data collection and collation itself.
The software operates a to-do list done in sequential order. An example would be to point the telescope to this part of the sky. Select the luminance filter in the filter wheel. Perform a focus routine. Take N exposures at X gain (or ISO) and Y shutter speed. Tell the filter wheel to rotate to the red filter and take another N exposures, perform a dither… and so-on.
It is worth noting what NINA is not an image processing application. The sole purpose of NINA is to operate your astrophotography gear, get you the exposures you desire, and organize that collected data so that you can then import it into image processing software of your choice.
NINA is designed to be accommodating to the new astrophotographer as well as seasoned ones. Full observatory automation is not included however for the vast majority of amateur astrophotographers, however, NINA’s feature set is both powerful and, most importantly, accessible.
In Version 1.10 many new features have been added including support for flat panels, the native implementation of the MGEN2 Autoguider, native Omegon drivers, and Pegasus PowerBoxes to name a few, but the biggest news of this release is the large list of significant enhancements of already existing functionality.
You can see the full release notes here as well as how to learn more about the software suite.
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