CCDNavigator3 is a powerful visual tool that helps you select interesting targets, automatically position them for any guiding method and creates an optimal single or multi-target session plan for DSLR, CCD or CMOS cameras. It's highly visual approach and graphical displays for session planning will take you to new frontiers in imaging!

Key Features

Target thumbnails are presented that can be imaged in LRGB or NB during Moonlight nights! Calculations are made of the minimum angular separation from the Moon which, based on the brightness, will have minimal contamination effect on images.

Pick great targets from:

  • New Deep Sky Explorer thumbnails (28,000 of them) with higher quality and resolution shown in B&W or inverse B&W 
  • New color thumbnails in the Advanced Imager Catalog (600+) 

Over 300 of Adam Block’s award- winning thumbnails are included in the colorful Advanced Imager Catalog. In total there are 600+ color thumbnails and over 2000 B&W thumbnails covering all catalogs.

  • Herbig-Haro catalog of planetary nebula surrounding newly minted stars
  • Rodgers-Campbell-Whiteoak catalog of Southern Hemisphere Ha emission nebula
  • Catalog of Eclipsing Binary Stars
  • Catalog of Cataclysmic Variables 

CCDNavigator now supports ACP Expert! By simply clicking a target in the CCDNavigator ‘Candidates’ window, the user can quickly and easily set it up for guiding, specify the imaging goals and generate a request to ACP Expert. The user can track the results as ACP Expert acquires the images.

Easy workflow with ‘Candidates’, ‘Favorites’ and ‘Session’ windows always open on the desktop.

Fill your monitor with images by re-sizing the Candidates display using small, medium or large thumbnails.

Establish and track Goals & Results using the ‘Favorites’ thumbnail display:

  • Progress bars show target frames achieved so far at a glance
  • Automatically import results from CCDAutoPilot5 or update results manually.

Target positions and Preview images may be cached for future sessions for fast operation and are available when off-line.

Daily email notification of critical session times, tonight’s Favorites and a Clear Sky Chart graph (if available) for one or all of your imaging sites.

Real-Time session planning during astronomical darkness for the current date and time.

Supports both automatic (optimal) and “Drag & Drop” manual ordering of session targets.

Automatic ‘Frame Balancing’ option to adjust frame counts to yield equal RGB or Narrowband frames.

Automatic filter series for bi-color and narrowband bi-color using Clear or Luminance filters.

Simple window management for hiding / restoring all open windows; moving all windows together (“Snap and Track”); enhanced tiling / cascading to view 10, 20 or 30 Information windows.

See the Videos Below for More Detail

Image Something New Every Night!

Choose targets from “The Advanced Imager Catalog” consisting of objects imaged by some of the world’s best imagers and have all color thumbnails from “The Deep Sky Explorer Catalog”, which combines 28 astronomical catalogs with thumbnails for all 28,000+ objects. This lets you see what targets should be included in the imaging session. You can also hunt down and image little known objects.

Target Criteria allows you to manage the types and quantities of objects presented. You can filter objects by, classification (galaxy, nebula, etc.), constellation, size and brightness on the amount of time the target is above your selected minimum elevation. This allows you to concentrate on objects of interest then plan your automated all-night imaging runs! Details about the session are displayed with graphs showing:

  • Sunset and Sunrise
  • Start and end of darkness
  • Information about the Moon’s dark cycle and possible interference.

Advanced Planning Tools Optimize Every Minute of Darkness

CCDNavigator’s sophisticated target scheduling algorithm automatically optimizes the order for imaging targets and provides initial frame counts for each target’s available time. The scheduler takes all the guesswork out of planning an imaging session and eliminates wasted time. You may alter the imaging sequence by simply dragging and dropping the target’s session thumbnails to create a different order as well as adjusting the number of images to be taken.

Systems using CCD, CMOS and DSLR with any guiding method are fully supported. For CCD imagers RGB, LRGB or NB (Narrow Band) sequences are automatically generated so that images are taken at optimum elevations to avoid the effects of seeing and color extinction. This ensures that you will image the target at its highest possible elevation to get the best results. As an alternative, the user can may have the scheduler generate the usual “round robin” sequence of LRGB frames.

The ‘EZ-Guide’ feature automatically selects guide stars and position angles for auto-guiding with a guide scope, internal guide chip or off-axis guider with or without a camera rotator. Using CCDNavigator’s link to TheSky, the auto-guider is positioned on guide stars and calculates the required exposure using two guide star reference exposures. Guide-scopes with offsets are modeled and off-axis guiders can be at any position.

With ‘Preview’, the user can easily fine tune the image orientation to obtain the preferred composition. CCDNavigator will retrieve images from NASA’s SkyView facility at the precise field-of-view of your telescope/camera system at the exact position and rotation established by “EZ-Guide”.