The Carina Nebula

11 Recommended Open Source Multi-Platform Astronomy Software



Siril is an image processing tool specially tailored for noise reduction and improving the signal/noise ratio of an image from multiple captures, as required in astronomy. Siril can align, stack and enhance pictures from various file formats, even image sequences (movies and SER files).

Features include:

  • Native image format support
    • Unsigned 16-bit FITS files (other FITS are converted to this format on-the-fly)
    • SER files
    • AVI and many other film files
  • Image conversion (to the native FITS format only)
    • Supported input types: 8-bit and 16-bit BMP, TIFF, JPEG, PNG files, NetPBM binary images, RAW DSLR images.
  • Pre-processing of images with multi-channel offset, dark and flat images
  • Image registration; supported methods:
    • Global star alignment (rotation + translation)
    • Translation using DFT centered on an object, generally used for planetary images
    • Translation using PSF of a star, generally used for deep-sky images
    • Manual translation with two preview renderings of the current image with reference frame in transparency
  • Registered sequence export
    • Supported export file formats: Siril FITS sequence, SER sequence, uncompressed AVI files, GIF up to 0.9.4, MP4 and WEBM web publising video formats since 0.9.5
    • Optional cropping and resizing of the exported images
  • Image stacking: Summing, median, percentile clipping, sigma clipping, median sigma clipping, winsorized sigma clipping, linear fit clipping, pixel minimum/maximum
  • Enhancement and processing of final images
    • Lightness/contrast cursors on each layer, different scaling modes (linear, log, square root, squared, asinh, histogram equalisation), negative and false colour rendering and clipping
    • Background removal tool
    • Cosmetic correction tool
  • A command line for various processing functions, only available from the GUI
  • A star finding algorithm with PSF information
  • Image compositing tool, combining and aligning multiple layers (1 to 6) with custom colours into a resulting image, with luminance layer support

There is good support for Ubuntu and Mint distributions. For OS X, it's recommended you install the software via Homebrew.

Installation from source is recommended if you want the latest features.

Developer: Vincent Hourdin, Cyril Richard (current maintainers)
License: GNU General Public License v3
Written in: C

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