Written byon Dec. 6, 2013 .
AstroBin would like to announce that in the next few days it will start serving ads. After over two years running ad free, unfortunately paying for the servers and bandwidth is becoming more and more difficult, as the website gains popularity.
Many of you know that we have tried alternative ways to fund AstroBin so it would cover its own costs. They are the "AstroBin Affiliation Platform" (you can see that as the "Affiliates" products on the front page and some products highlighted on image pages) and the Raw Data Platform for the storage and organization of FIT and DSLR raw files.
Unfortunately these strategies have not proven fruitful enough, so we have to integrate a more traditional form of advertising.
Please rest assured that ads on AstroBin will be astronomy related, unoffensive, hand-picked and approved, and unintrusive.
Thank you for your support and understanding!
Written byon Aug. 25, 2013 .
Let me update you with some of the things that have been updated on AstroBin in the last few weeks:
# If you want, you can now use your real name on AstroBin. It's in your basic information, in the settings page.
# The Image of the day is now selected amongst the images upload during the previous 7 days. This will give a many good images a better chance to be selected, even when they would have otherwise trumped by much more interesting images.
# There is also room for two daily runners-up for the title of Image of the day. They are the second and third most interesting images selected on a particular day (still by looking at all the images uploaded in the previous 7 days.)
# You can display all AstroBin images as a data list view. This works on personal albums, The Wall, and search pages. Just click on the icon placed at the right on the orange menu bar on top of the images, to toggle the display more.
# You can now browse an Archive of 'Image of the day' winners. It's in the Explore menu.
# As you have undoubtly noticed, the ratings are now displayed in a breakdown view that shows how many times a vote was cast (how many 5*, how many 4*, and so on.)
# The full size images now default to being 1824 pixels wide at the most. This is because many people upload huge images from their Canon cameras, and viewing them in full resolution results in slow download times. You can still see the real resolution using the View menu.
# The pages Popular objects and Night by night have been removed, due to low interest.
# The Request critique button has been removed, due to low interest.
I hope you all enjoy this update! I'm always open to your suggestions and ideas, and always working to improve AstroBin.
Written byon Aug. 9, 2013 .
Dear AstroBin users,
many of you, many times, have rightly reported that there are problems with the rating of the images. I've listened, and over time I brought some incremential improvements to the whole subsystem.
Most notably, I introduced a sigma-clipping cut-off of odd votes and a way to make the number of votes weigh as well, back in October 2012.
However, that was not enough. Many people, you know who you are, have continued to game the system.
They have created dummy account to give 5 stars to their own pictures, and they have systematically assign votes of 1 star only to great pictures just because they were competing, or didn't like that astronomer.
This is not only a great offense towards those who are honest and contribute to build this great community, but also a serious slight to me. I've worked really hard to give AstroBin to you all, and it's costed me many hundreds of hours, and some money too, over the past 3 years.
Some of you, and again, you know who you are, have wasted my time by forcing me to take actions to countermeasure your dishonesty. Still, I will protect your privacy by not disclosing your names to anyone.
On the bright side, after a quick sweep of the data, it looks like there's only a few handfuls of people who have been misbehaving. They have been suspended from further voting, and all of their past votes have been disabled. This has restored the leaderboard and the sorting by best images to saner outputs.
The best astrophotographers on AstroBin will surely notice how they are back on the high spots, after they had been shoved down by a fistful of 1-star votes that were definitely not deserved.
I will keep monitoring the images daily, and continue suspending voting for accounts whose owners behave dishonestly.
Written byon July 31, 2013 .
Since today, there is a new settings in your site's preferences: "Opt-out from the rating system". This will hide all of your images' past votes, prevent new votes, and remove you from the leaderboard. Also, when searching images and sorting by rating, your images will appear among the last results, with a score of N/A.
Additionally, if you have images for which you have disallowed rating, they will no more be counted for the leaderboard, their current rating will be hidden, and they will not be eligible to be selected as Image of the Day.
Finally, the leaderboard now only shows 100 users.
PS: please remember, if you opt-out from the rating sistem, it may take up to 24 hours to see yourself removed from the leaderboard, while the change to your image pages will be instantaneous.
Written byon July 25, 2013 .
Yesterday and today some minor improvements have been pushed to the website.
The UI framework has been upgraded to the latest version of Bootstrap. This means that IE10 is fully supported.
Some small graphics improvements in the top navigation bar.
The comments section has been improved so that it's less likely that new users are confused between replying to an existing comment and posting a new top-level comments.
The comment reported times now take time zones into account correctly.
The annoying "<br/>" tag in the image thumbnails tooltip has been removed.
When selecting the Image Of The Day, the algorithm now looks at images posted between 48 and 24 hours ago (instead of 24 to 0 hours ago). This will give images posted right before midnight some times to receive votes too, and have a chance. (Thanks Gabriel for the suggestion!) This change will be effective starting tomorrow.
If you're finding any strange graphical problems as a consequence of this upgrade, please report it!
That's it for now. Clear skies to all of you!
Written byon Jan. 24, 2013 .
Autoguida - Tecniche avanzate
András Dán, MSc, Gemini, Nov. 2012.
Traduzione italiana a cura di Alessandro Di Giusto
E' il momento giusto per avviare un approccio sistematico a questo settore molto importante dell'astrofotografia, in maniera tale da ottenere il massimo dalle nostre costose montature, telescopi di guida, camera di guida e camera di ripresa principale.
Lo scopo di questo documento, pensato per novizi ed esperti, è di aiutare nella comprensione del processo di funzionamento dell'autoguida e ottenere così il miglior risultato possibile dai vostri sistemi.
L'autoguida è sostanzialmente il tentativo di inseguire il cielo con un errore inferiore a quello riscontrabile, in base al rapporto scala/pixel, sulle riprese del sensore principale. Mentre cerchiamo di correggere gli errori della montatura ignoriamo la dilatazione delle immagini stellare introdotte dal seeing, (salvo che non si usi un sistema di ottica attiva ad alta frequenza)
Iniziamo creando una lista dei giocatori che parteciperanno alla partita.
Stella guida - la sua posizione sul sensore di guida viene misurata
L'articolo completo si trova qui: www.geminitelescope.com/autoguida_gemini.pdf
Written byon Jan. 17, 2013 .
as you can see from the image above, some languages are lagging behind a little. Would you like to help AstroBin by contributing to the translation to your native language? It's easy!
Go to the localization server, and create an account. Then click on your language, then a project, and start translating!
Remember to click on the Submit button instead of the Suggest button, so your translation won't need approval from another translator.
And if you have any questions or trouble, just let us know!
Written byon Jan. 1, 2013 .
2012 was the first full year of AstroBin's life, as the site was launched in November 2011. So let's wrap the year up. Almost 200,000 people visited the site, totaling almost 4 million page views!
That's way beyond my expectations, so it was a great year!
I would like to give a huge thanks to:
Thank you all and a happy and clear 2013!
Written byon Dec. 10, 2012 .
It's with deep sadness that I share here the news that Giovanni Sostero has passed, after being striken by a heart attack.
Giovanni, class 1964, was very active in the research concerning minor bodies of our solar system, variable stars and supernovae.
He is the discoverer of eleven supernovae and one nova.
My personal condolescences go to this family and his friends.
Written byon Dec. 5, 2012 .
Autoguiding – Advanced Techniques
András Dán, MSc, Gemini, Nov. 2012.
It is time we take a systematic approach at this very important topic of astrophotography to get the most out of our expensive gear – mount, guide scope, guide camera, main camera.
The aim of this document is to help understanding the process of autoguiding and to get the best result possible with your gear. It is intended for both beginners and experts.
Autoguiding is an attempt to track the sky with smaller error than the pixel scale (smallest visible error) of our imaging (main) camera. While trying to correct mount errors we want to disregard seeing blur (except with active optics using high frequency).
Let's start by creating a list of the players of the game.
Guide star – its position on the guide chip is measured by the guide software at regular intervals, normally with a few seconds (1-5) of integration. The measured so called “guide error” is the result of mount tracking errors (refraction and mechanical errors) and seeing blur.
Mount – it tracks the sky as precisely as its polar alignment, software and mechanics allow.
Guide camera – it takes images of the guide star and sends them to the guide software for analysis.
Guide scope (separate) – images the guide star for the guide chip. In case of off axis guiding or dual chip camera we have no guide scope.
Guide software – this is the brain of the system, interprets the guide chip data and sends guide commands to the mount.
Main telescope – don't blame everything on the guider, the main telescope is half of the story
It all starts with taking an integration of the guide star. Let this be 2 sec.
When finished, the image is downloaded and analyzed by the software, the centroid position is calculated (to 1/100th of a pixel normally). Let this be 0.2 sec.
Please download the pdf: www.astronomy.hu/guide1.pdf