After playing around with this option on a recent nightly, I think that we have missed the opportunity to create a more versatile tool. Yes, I know that Morelli don't need it because he is only concerned about backgrounds, but the full statistics (min / max / average... etc) will be very useful for other use cases.
For example, we observe a lot of exoplanet light curves. Those events are many hours long, so the atmospheric extinction is an issue: if you start observing when the star is low and then it climbs to almost the zenith during the event, you need to now the exposure values to start with. On those situation it will be very useful to know the max value on a little box around the observed star at the beginning of the session. This way we can adjust our exposure to ensure that it will not saturate on the rest of the night.
I'd assume that would be simple to add, if enough people want it. It's not really what you'd expect from a 'background tool' though. But peak intensity you do already get from the '3D / star' tool.
What I find more irritating is something that isn't the fault of the BG tool, but rather the (IMO) non-intuitive way of handling zoom in the FITS viewer. If you use a relatively small square on a large image, the box is both hard to see and to grab/position nicely. Most of the time some refinement is needed, but using the scroll wheel has a 80% chance to kick the selection area out of the FOV.
The 'proper' fix would likely be to fix zoom so it zooms centered on the pixel under the mouse pointer. A (maybe?) easier one could be to have a shortcut (SHIFT-click?) to position the selection box at the current mouse coordinates.
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It is an interisting feature about exoplanets and I am concerned too. I am going to start in august with my setup.
I am OK about modification of exposure along the session. But can we change it easily during a sequence?
We are not changing the exposure on a sequence. We keep the same exposure during the transit. So it's important to be aware of the starting point and the variation on air mass during the session.
Regarding the 3D / star tool.... it's a pretty tool almost unusable to analyse stars on smaller computers (like a raspbery pi). To look for saturation, you only need the peak value. If you want to show a graph, It will be infinitely more useful a simple 2D cut through the centroid of the brighter star inside the selected region. This will be easier to interpret that a full 3D graph that you need to rotate: you will see immediately if you have reached the saturation point (star profile flattened on top) of ir the maximum is only a hot pixel and you still have room for more exposure.
Madhav, thank you for your work on this new Stats tool. I've already found it useful. I would like to see min and max included. Thank you.
Takahashi FSQ 106EDX4
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