Tycho Software Now Runs Natively on macOS

Tycho is a software program designed to facilitate the detection and measurement of asteroids, comets, and variable stars. It supports a technique known as synthetic tracking, which enables the detection of very faint moving objects. The publisher has announced that the software now runs natively on macOS.

Tycho Software Now Runs Natively on macOSTo detect both NEOs and MBAs Tycho uses what is known as the synthetic tracking technique. It leverages the graphics processing unit (GPU) to facilitate this technique while also being able to handle large size images. It can easily stack hundreds of images in a short time with GPU acceleration and is compatible with AMD, NVIDIA, and Apple Silicon.

As the publisher notes, “Synthetic Tracking enables an improvement in signal to noise ratio (SNR) that is not possible with conventional techniques. This increased SNR in turn allows for detection of fast moving NEOs and other faint asteroids This is achieved by using the data from many exposures (a minimum of 11) and applying the stacking technique for an improved signal-to-noise ratio. Because the exposures are stacked in thousands of different possible combinations, synthetic tracking allows for the detection of faint objects even when the motion of the object is unknown. Since 2021, over 100 Near Earth Objects (NEOs) and more than five comets have been discovered by amateur astronomers using Tycho..”

Tycho also makes it easy to construct lightcurves from a series of input images. It features a Period Search module to determine the period from such a lightcurve, and can work with both stationary sources (variable stars, exoplanets) as well as moving sources (asteroids and more).

The publisher also adds, “Detection of moving targets is just the first step.  The next step is acquiring accurate and precise measurements of the targets. Using the Gaia EDR3 star catalog, the measurements generated by Tycho can yield residuals better than 0.5 arcseconds on average.”

Tycho runs on Windows 7 SP1 or later and now runs natively on macOS 11.0 or later. You can learn more here.

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