Having the right gear isn’t enough if you want to take impressive pictures of the night sky, as you also need to know how to calibrate them and which objects are bright enough to be photographed.
Astron is a nifty UWP app designed to help photographers figure out what they should look for based on their gear and location. It even provides you with weather forecasts that include only information relevant to astrophotographers.
Once you have shared your location and added the specifications of your optics and sensors, the application will provide you with a list of sky objects that you should watch out for, ordered by their apparent magnitude.
If you select one of these objects, you can view more detailed information about them, such as their azimuth, altitude, declination and right ascension time. The app also estimates the exposure time based on your gear, and it displays a preview of the object’s dimensions.
If you already know an object’s apparent magnitude and dimensions, you can quickly calculate the exposure time based on this data and your gear’s specifications.
A more advanced calculator is in the works, which will probably provide more accurate results, but it is not yet available at present.
Not all nights are suitable for astrophotography, and Astron can help you figure out if you are better off just staying at home and getting some much-needed sleep.
The application provides you with data about the local cloud cover, jet streams, moon phase and seeing index, so you should be able to tell if the conditions are right at any given time.
On the whole, Astron is a well-designed app aimed at photographers who need to get accurate, up-to-date info about the brightness and position of celestial objects. What’s more, it can even help you calculate exposure time based on your gear, and it provides you with hourly weather forecasts.