In this article, you will find the technical details revealing what's under the bonnet of a One-Click Observation.
One-Click Observations are scheduled by hand every-day by our staff, weeks in advance, and are made available to all our users. Each observation is scheduled to one of our robotic telescopes, which will then take the observations at the right time, depending on the weather.
When you choose one of these One-Click Observations, we will link the observation to your account, and you will receive updates about the specific observation, including the color image and the original raw data once the observation is completed.
Many other users can also pick the same One-Click Observation. You are not, in fact, observing exclusively when you take a One Click Observation. You will need to submit an Advanced Request to have exclusive access to our telescopes.
Technically speaking, each One-Click Observation is linked to an Advanced Request responsible to take the raw images that are then used to create a color image. The color image, and the raw frames, are then made available to everyone who picked the given One-Click Observation.
At times, to obtain the raw images, we also use archive data instead of taking fresh observations, and we effectively simulate the observations. We do this when poor weather across multiple observatories prevents us from taking enough data to generate a sufficient number of One-Click Observations. We do this so that you will never be disappointed if we have poor weather for a long period of time.
Each One-Click Observation is usually made up of at least 3 separate monochromatic images, with a total integration time of about 30 minutes. These images are taken in different filters (broadband filters, Red, Green or Blue; or narrowband filters, H-alpha, OIII and SII). We have automated algorithms that combine these images together to create a color picture, which we deliver to you.
As we said above, the cool thing is that you can also access the raw monochromatic images and, following one of our tutorials, you will be able to combine them yourself, achieving a much better result than what our automated algorithms can do.
This is in fact the beauty behind astrophotography. Automated algorithms will never be able to generate the stunning images you often see posted in our gallery. In order to produce such results, you can manipulate the original images yourself, combining them using post-processing techniques.
Getting started with this is really easy and we have plenty of basic and more advanced tutorials.