Observatory is an image management application specifically designed for astronomy. It helps you keep your astronomical images organized with albums, smart albums, tags, ratings and color labels. You can use Observatory to create master bias, dark and flat frames, calibrate, normalize, register, stack and adjust your images, all nondestructively. Add notes, plate solve, have it automatically tag your images, and overlay astronomical catalogs. Observatory even lets you search and download research images directly from 10+ professional image archives.
With Observatory, your Mac also gains the ability to display thumbnails and previews of astronomical images in Finder and other applications. And it helps Spotlight index the right metadata, so you can quickly find your images.
Featured in the November 2016 Sky & Telescope New Product Showcase
Standard and assistant editors
Time Machine aware image libraries
Share your images with the world
Blink selected images
Add notes and attach files to images and collections
Filter images by type, tag, name, filter name and status
Organize images with albums, smart albums and folders
Nondestructive calibration, normalization, alignment, stacking and processing
Bulk editing of image information
Search 10+ professional archives simultaneously and download research images from ESO, Keck, Gemini, Palomar, Hubble, Spitzer, WISE, 2MASS, SDSS and more
Plate solving and automatic image categorization
Overlay grid, scale, orientation and Messier, NGC/IC, PGC2003, Tycho-2, UCAC4, USNO-A2.0 catalogs
Aperture photometry and PSF fitting
Notes, layer adjustments, stack weight, pick, lock and other badges
Filter collections by tag, name and status
Import FITS, XISF (PixInsight), SBIG and RAW images
Your Mac isn’t familiar with image formats typically used in astronomy, so it displays them as generic icons in Finder, and it isn’t of much help to find them. Observatory changes this, by teaching it about astrophotography with Spotlight and Quick Look plugins for FITS, XISF (PixInsight) and SBIG files.
Now Finder and other applications can display thumbnails, and you can quickly preview them up-close. Your Mac automatically extracts metadata like image dimensions, exposure time, focal length, detector temperature, right ascension and declination from these files. You can now find your images right from within the Finder itself, and have it display some of this metadata.
Observatory even includes FITS, XISF and SBIG plugins for Acorn, so you can open these images directly and at full bit depth in this powerful image editor for post-processing.
In addition to handling your own astronomical images, Observatory can search 10+ professional archives simultaneously for you and download research images from
Conveniently access the research images of the Hubble, Spitzer and WISE space telescopes, 10 m W. M. Keck Observatory telescopes in Hawaii, 8.2 m VLT telescopes in Chile, 8.2 m Gemini North and South telescopes, 3.6 m New Technology Telescope, 2.6 m VLT Survey Telescope, 4.1 m VISTA, and many more.
To help you decide which images to download, Observatory provides quick access to image previews, and allows you to filter results.
Create a library for each of your projects and keep your images organized with albums, smart albums and folders. Let Observatory keep track of your images, without copying, moving or altering them.
Observatory automatically normalizes the image metadata in its libraries, categorizes images, and supports metadata bulk editing. You can also manually tag, rate, color code, reject or archive images. And you can add notes or attach important reference material to your images and albums.
Even without creating smart albums, Observatory will let you search images by type, name, tag, filter and status.
Stack your images to increase the signal to noise ratio and bringing out faint details.
Create master bias, dark and flat frames. Calibrate, normalize, register, stack and adjust your FITS, XISF, SBIG and RAW images, all nondestructively.
You can create as many versions as you wish of an image and process each in a different way, without ever altering the master image.
If some of your images lack the information to relate image pixels to actual sky coordinates, Observatory’s plate solver will help you find the best match, using its built-in catalogs, as well as the UCAC4 and USNO-A2.0 catalogs, and with help of the SIMBAD and NED services.
Observatory automatically tags plate solved images so you can easily find them back later by object category or identifier.
Overlay the 3.5 million stars, galaxies and other objects of the Messier, NGC/IC, Tycho-2 and PGC 2003 catalogs on your images.
In addition to the built-in catalogs, Observatory also supports the UCAC4 catalog with over 100 million stars and the USNO-A2.0 catalog with over 500 million stars.
Observatory is not limited to a single library. You can create a library for each of your projects, and have multiple libraries open at the same time. And they are all integrated with Time Machine.
Your personal astronomical image library