Nightview's basic usage

Once, Nightview package is installed on our computer, we can play with it.

To start, you need to manually turn on your camera (switch-on a mains button). If installation is correct, a camera fan will turn-on after a same time (approximately, ten seconds) and the red LED on camera will indicate that the camera is ready for an operation.

Camera graphical interface

To start control of the camera, run command:


The image window will be appeared.

To control of your camera, click right button everywhere on the window. Another, a control window will be appeared (you can hide and show it repeatedly by use of the mouse right button).

Click on Connect button to connect to the camera server. All shadowed items will be accessible from now. Set an exposure duration and click Start button. A new image will appear in image window after same period of time.

Telescope graphical interface

Run this command:


The control window will be appeared. The central part of the window shows current coordinates of a telescope. The top of the window contains entry for getting of the coordinates of a new source via SIMBAD server. The coordinates can be set or calibrated in coordinates entry. Others buttons make possibility to start and stop clock (hourly motion) of the telescope, make a small steps over the sky or set a slew velocity.

Command line interface

The camera can be independently controlled by a few commands: night_power, night_temperature, night_filter, night_exposure and night_control, night_darks, night_flats. Any command ran without parameters show brief description of function and its switches.

To show the camera firmware description use the command:

 night_power info

This command can be also used to test connection with camera.

To get current temperature and temperature status of the camera, use:

 night_temperature get

To set temperature to set point -10°C run:

 night_temperature set -t -10

To get set of possible filters use:

 night_filter -list

To set filter V use:

 night_filter -f V

One exposure with duration 7 seconds can be made by the command:

 night_exposure -t 7

The output image will saved as nightview.fits to the current directory.

The typical all-night run to get a long serie of images of any object (named XQ 141) by observer FH with point source (usable for pointing) on relative coordinates on the chip x=150,y=200 and in selected filters V for 30 seconds and R for 10 seconds is

 night_control -n 999 -v -o xq -name 'XQ 141' -obsname 'FH' \
               -p 150,200 30,V 10,R

The output images will be named xq_001V.fits, xq_001R.fits, xq_002V.fits,.. xq_999R.fits. The sequence can be interrupted at any time by key combination Ctrl-C. Switch -v instruct the utility to show every acquired image in xnightview window when the corresponding exposition is completed. Analogically, you can made sequences of flats and darks or bias exposures with night_flats and night_darks.

night_flats -v -n 10 20,V 20,R
night_darks -v -n 25 30 10

The telescope is driven by a single command telescope. To get current coordinates of telescope run:

 telescope get

The telescope clock (hourly motion) can be started or stopped via commands:

 telescope set -c on     
 telescope set -c off

The telescope can be calibrated on known object (a bright star) by command

 telescope set -cal 123.456 +57.890

and after successful calibration, the telescope will slew to a new position by excecuting of the command:

 telescope set -coo 57.890 -10.234

An observation night will be closed by parking of the telescope to a preferred position:

 telescope set -coa 0 0 

In my opinion, the commands described on this page covers more than 90% of circumstances usually used during observation run.

On-line help

Every command provides an on-line help with -h option or when it is called without any arguments. Also, it is possible to use man system command with the same information as -h.

Follow to manual to get detailed description of the commands.

Last modification: 2009-01-22 16:06:26

Copyright © 2001-8, F. Hroch, Institute of Theoretical Physics and Astrophysics, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic