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How to Create a Mosaic

Hamza

Hamza

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What are mosaics?

According to Wikipedia :

“A mosaic is a pattern or image made of small regular or irregular pieces of colored stone, glass or ceramic, held in place by plaster/mortar, and covering a surface. Mosaics are often used as floor and wall decoration, and were particularly popular in the Ancient Roman world”

In Astronomy, we use the same concept to stitch up multiple images, typically of larger targets that our field of view, to construct one big images that contains the entirety of the chosen target.

Sometimes our equipment’s field of of view just does not quite match the target we are trying to image. And some other times, the target is just too big 🙂 like M31, M42 and the running-man nebula, the heart and soul nebulae, etc..but there is a solution in PRISM for that too, naturally 😀

PRISM allows us the possibility to create a multi-panel mosaic to fit any target in a set of images that we can assemble ourselves. It even allows us to put these images together and form one main beautiful master frame. To get started, follow these simple steps:

Step 1: Set Up Your Field Of View

You can set up all this information easily in PRISM as follows:

  • Open the skychart settings window
  • Click on the “CCD/Telescope” Tab
  • Check the box titled “Activate CCD field display”
  • Select your camera from the dropdown menu
  • IMPORTANT: you must input your telescope’s focal length correctly. You can grab an image taken with the same telescope configuration and plate solve it OR use the manufactorer’s specification as a start.
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Press the gear icon to open the settings window
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Establish you camera settings

Step 2: Open The Mosaic Tool

Click on Observatory > Object List and a new tool opens up. Now click on File > Mosaic tool as shown below:

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Observatory Menu
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Object List Tool

Step 3: Set up The Mosaic in PRISM

Now it is time to choose our target and experiment with how to image it, what orientation, how many tiles, etc..

  • IMPORTANT: Your camera must be connected for PRISM to retrieve its information
  • Enter a target’s name and press “Go” and PRISM will find its coordinates from the skychart
  • Choose ” By CCD fields”
  • Once satisfied, press “OK” at the bottom
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Step 4: Display The Mosaic On The Skychart

After you have set up your imaging, it is time to display it on the skychart to see about, fit, placement, orientation etc..

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Final Result

Step 5. Let’s Image Now

PRISM in a true one-stop-shop software that allows you to plan, acquire and process. Head over to Observatory > Automatic Observation and click on “Import Object List [OBJL]. PRISM will import all the tiles and what is left to do it head over to the “Execute tab” and press “Go”. It is that easy. This press will take you 5 minutes to go through.

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Conclusion

Mosaics and are extremely powerful way to widen your horizons when it comes to how many targets you can image ( not that there is a shortage of them :D). With the help of a powerhouse like PRISM

More to explorer

image of a nebula and text that says plate solving explained

Full Guide: Plate solving [2021 Edition]

Today, I will show you exactly what to know and what to do to plate solve successfully. You will learn:
1. How to set up plate solving
2. What are the most common causes of failure

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