When you choose one or more images in the Browser, the Image Version Inspector along the right side of Observatory’s window will display the metadata of the selection. This metadata is retrieved, normalized and stored in the Observatory library upon importing the images. You can edit this metadata here without altering your master images.
Towards the top, you’ll see a thumbnail of the image and its name. If you just imported the image, this may be the file name, but you can modify it here. Next to it is a lock icon. It allows you to lock the image version, to protect it against changes. If you marked your image as a favorite, or archived it, then you will see an indicator here too.
Unless the image version is locked, or its album is, you can edit most information presented in this inspector. You are not limited to editing the metadata for one image at a time. You can select many images, and the inspector will clearly indicate which metadata is common or different among them, and allows you to alter it for all selected images at once.
If you made an accidental change, just choose Edit ▸ Undo (
The inspector is organized in sections. You can collapse sections you are not interested in. You can also reorder the sections, but putting your mouse cursor between the disclosure triangle and section title, and clicking/dragging the section up or down to another position.
The image type. Although it may contain any value, Observatory gives special meaning to the values that are listed in the following table.
|MasterBias||A master bias frame.|
|MasterDark||A master dark frame.|
|MasterFlat||A master flat frame.|
|Bias||A bias frame.|
|Dark||A dark frame.|
|Flat||A flat frame.|
|Light||A regular image.|
These values work in cooperation with the quick filter for image types in the Browser.
For example, if you click the Dark button in the Browser Bar, the browser displays only those images that contain the value “Dark” in their image type. Hence, it will display dark frames, but also master dark frames. The Bias, Flat and Light buttons work similarly.
Observatory automatically initializes the image type attribute when importing FITS, XISF and SBIG images, but sometimes it may not be able to determine it, or you may have imported RAW images. Therefore, after importing images, it is recommended to check and correct the image types for the newly imported images. After the import, just click the Other button in the Browser Bar. The browser then displays those images that have image types other then listed above. Select all images for which you know they are of a certain type, and enter the correct value in the inspector. You do not need to select each image individually, since Observatory supports bulk editing.
The date and time the exposure was started (UTC). It is displayed in Year-Month-Day Hour:Minutes:Seconds format.
The exposure duration in seconds. You may optionally include a unit when entering a value. For example, entering “10min”, “10m”, “600s” and “600” are equivalent. For calibration purposes it is important to have a correct value set for this attribute.
Binning is the process of combining charge from adjacent pixels in a CCD during readout. It improves the signal-to-noise ratio, at the expense of reducing spatial resolution. If the image was acquired with binning enabled, this attribute contains the X and Y binning values. Otherwise these are set to 1.
The canvas size. Usually this is the same as that of the master image, but for stacks and adjusted images you may occasionally want to change it by choosing Image ▸ Resize Canvas. You cannot adjust the value in the inspector.
The name of the filter that was used when the image was taken. For calibration purposes it is important to have a correct value set for this attribute, if any.
The pixel size in micrometers. When binning is used, this is the effective pixel size (CCD pixel size × binning value).
The CCD temperature during the exposure in ℃. You may optionally include a unit when entering a value. For example, entering “253.15K”, “–4F”, “–20C” and “–20” are equivalent. For calibration purposes it is important to have a correct value set for this attribute, if any.
The image source attribute is set by Observatory for images obtained using Virtual Observatory. You cannot adjust the value in the inspector. Possible values are:
The image identifier. For manually imported images, this is the original file name. For images obtained using Virtual Observatory, this is a unique identifier for the image in the source archive. You cannot adjust the value in the inspector.
The name or description of the telescope that was used for acquiring the image.
The effective focal length of the telescope or camera in millimeters. You may optionally include a unit when entering a value. For example, entering “2.5m”, “2500mm” and “2500” are equivalent.
The effective aperture diameter of the telescope or camera in millimeters. You may optionally include a unit when entering a value.
The effective aperture area of the telescope or camera in square millimeters. This is the area of the objective minus any obstruction.
The name or description of the camera that was used for acquiring the image.
A description of the guider or guiding method that was used while acquiring the image.
The name of the observer.
The name of the observatory.
The latitude of the observatory.
The longitude of the observatory.
The values in the WCS inspector cannot be changed directly. Instead, they are retrieved from the image when importing, or updated when plate solving was successful.
The constellation the center of the image falls in, as determined from the center right ascension and declination.
Center right ascension
The right ascension of the center of the image.
The declination of the center of the image.
The pixel scale in arcseconds per pixel near the center of the image.
The position angle in degrees near the center of the image.
The azimuth of the center of the image at the time of the exposure.
The altitude of the center of the image at the time of the exposure.
The air mass of the center of the image at the time of the exposure.
You can assign a color label to your image by clicking on one of these seven colored circles. The meaning of the different colors is up to you. For example, you could
Use different color labels for different locations.
Group images by telescope, aperture diameter or focal length by assigning color labels.
Assign a color label to images you have published online.
Use a color label to indicate the progress towards processing the image. For example:
Please note that Observatory does not support all these phases of image processing itself.
To remove the color label, click it for a second time.
You can assign a 1–5 star rating to your image by clicking towards the right of this label. Drag the stars towards the left to remove the rating.
This attribute may contain an arbitrary textual or numeric value of your choice. The Browser Bar lets you filter images by this status attribute.
Tags, or keywords, are a good way of organizing your images. You can add your own, but Observatory also adds them automatically when importing or when plate solving was successful. The Objects collection contains many predefined Smart Albums that use tags to quickly filter by object category.
When you import an image that contains comments or a processing history, Observatory will copy them as a note associated with the image. But it also allows you to add your own notes to each of your images. With this inspector you can view and edit it. If you have selected it, you can even press
⌘F to search inside the note.
Albeit handy, there isn’t much room in the inspector. Choose Image ▸ Edit Note… (
⌘') to open a much bigger, resizable Dialog for editing the note. There you can also press
⌘F to search inside the note, or click the icon near the bottom left of the Dialog.