No, it’s not a racy post. It’s a play on words some funny programmer chose for the name of this StarExtractor. Actually, it’s called sextractor without the space, but I digress.
This represents a big step forward in my pursuit of a clear shot of the night sky. The process that I have worked out requires automatic alignment of each shot from my nocturnal photo-shoots, but the algorithms I have been using keep failing. My suspicion is that they fail because they are looking for features and the stars are just a bunch of points – featureless.
This, however, changes everything. This is a line drawn among the fifty brightest stars in the central area of the image and I was able to produce it automatically with the help of sextractor, which identified and classified the stars in the image. These lines will hopefully be enough of a set of features for the other algorithms to match.
My trip to the desert of Dubai was nixed by means of a malfunctioning jumbo jet. There were stars out there in the dry clear sky and no one to see them (well, not me at least). Though that ship has already sailed, I am trying to recover the opportunity here in Ireland and will do so if the clouds stay away. I hope you enjoy this journey-journal. It’s a long post and somewhat stream-of-conscious, but I wanted to do the best I could to share this memorable excursion with you all.