Aries Productions was founded in April 2017 by Mabula Haverkamp (drs. M.Sc. E.M.W.P. Haverkamp).
It’s main goal is to build a company for Astro Pixel Processor as it’s main product. And to provide the astrophotography community worldwide, with a new and innovative application for processing Deep Sky images.
Since the launch of Astro Pixel Processor, on the 2nd of June 2017, the company has been growing consistently.
Now (Oktober 2018), after it’s first year of public existence, Astro Pixel Processor is being used by 100s of astrophotographers on a daily basis worldwide.
To be able to support all of it’s users and to be able to keep improving APP, the time has now come that we will start expanding the company to
speed-up the development of Astro Pixel Processor and
to provide better and faster customer support
We are happy to announce that as a first step in expanding Aries Productions, Vincent Groenewold has joined the company in October 2018 as a moderator on the forum.
Our goal is to further expand the company with 1 or 2 addtional moderators on the forum and 1 or 2 programmers to speed-up development of APP as an application.
Astro Pixel Processor (APP)
Milky Way to Rho Ophiuchi Mosaic by Stefan Lenz & Mabula Haverkamp. The data was captured by Stefan Lenz at the Kiripotib astrofarm in Namibia and processed by Mabula Haverkamp in APP 1.062. It’s a 11-panel mosaic shot with a Nikon D810a and 2 objectives: Nikon VR 400mm F/2.8G & Sigma Art 135 F/1.8. The longer focal length objective was used to capture more quality on interesting objects in the large field of view. Total exposure time is nearly 12 hours.
Astroforum.nl forumpower – Final hubble palette (SII H-alpha OIII) composite of the Astroforum.nl forumpower Rosette Nebula project. Data courtesy of Irving Pieters, Michael van Doorn, André van der Hoeven, Rob Musquetier & Ruud de Vries.
Astro Pixel Processor (APP) is being developed by Mabula Haverkamp (drs. M.Sc. E.M.W.P. Haverkamp) who has a doctorandus and Master of Science degree in Astrophysics from the University of Utrecht, 2004.
Mabula uses current scientific insights to develop APP besides developing and creating new innovative feautures and algorithms like it’s unique debayer algorithm Adaptive Airy Disc, Local Normalization Correction and fully automatic N-View mosaics.
APP couldn’t have been possible without extensive help and feedback from the astrophotography community worldwide and it’s future development path will be largely dependent on input and support from the community.
One of the main goals in the development of APP, is to make a complete Deep Sky Image Processing application that maintains ease of use while automatically using the most advanced algorithms to provide excellent results without the need to tweak dozens of parameters. APP will give very good results with default parameters on a wide range of datasets.
The diversity of datasets from all users in the Deep Sky imaging sphere is huge and this is the main reason that explains, why it is very difficult to make an application that simply works on all datasets. And, at the same time, gives excellent results straight out of the box.
Messier 31 – The Andromeda Galaxy Mosaic in 8K resolution by Frank Schmitz, Osenau Observatory – Odenthal, Germany. The mosaic was shot with an 8″ Lacerta Newton, a ZWO ASI 1600 MM pro camera and on a Skywatcher EQ6-R Pro mount. Total exposure time of this LHaRGB mosaic is about 36 hours. “Wow, what a saga that was to put the mosaic together. This is my first LHaRGB mosaic ever and I had quite a hard time to match all the intensities … especially for the color channels. In the end I kept adding subs to low quality panels in order to even things out and zoooom I ended up with 36 hours of integration. My longest integration so far and by far the longest pre and post processing of all of my previous images. Fun fact: My last two images (Melotte 15 and the Pacman Nebula) which were both also 9+ hours were only shot while waiting for M31 to rise 😉 I encourage you to have a look into the full view: NGC 206, Cepheid Var 1, the core, the HA regions, small faint structures in Messier 110 really profit from the high resolution and the exposure time. I hope I did this wonderful target justice and I hope you like it! Let me know what you think!”
Pelican Nebula Close-up by Sara Wager, APOD 2017-08-03 APOD information:” The prominent ridge of emission featured in this vivid skyscape is designated IC 5067. Part of a larger emission region with a distinctive shape, popularly called The Pelican Nebula, the ridge spans about 10 light-years and follows the curve of the cosmic pelican’s head and neck. Fantastic, dark shapes inhabiting the view are clouds of cool gas and dust sculpted by energetic radiation from young, hot, massive stars. But stars are also forming within the dark shapes. Twin jets emerging from the tip of the long, dark tendril left of center are the telltale signs of an embedded protostar cataloged as Herbig-Haro 555 (HH 555). In fact, other Herbig-Haro objects indicating the presence of protostars are found within the frame. The Pelican Nebula itself, also known as IC 5070, is about 2,000 light-years away. To find it, look northeast of bright star Deneb in the high flying constellation Cygnus. ” Calibration, registration, normalization, integration and Hydrogen-alpha + Oxygen-III Bi-Color combination done with APP. Post processing in Photoshop.
Maurice Toet, 2 panel mosaic, Takahashi Epsilon E-180, Canon EOS 5D Mark II
By focussing in development on this particular goal, APP is now being used from absolute beginners in Deep Sky astrophotography to professional astronomical institutes around the world. APP is easy to work with and it’s results are very competitive as a lot of APP users will testify.
Mabula Haverkamp (drs. M.Sc. E.M.W.P. Haverkamp), is the main developer of Astro Pixel Processor and founder of Aries Productions.
He has a doctorandus and Master of Science degree in Astrophysics from the University of Utrecht (2004).
His master research was done under the supervision of prof. dr. R.J. Rutten, dr. P. Sütterlin, dr. K. Tziotziou & dr. A.G. de Wijn at the Solar Physics department of the University of Utrecht, The Netherlands.
The research was a data analysis of cospatial and cotemporal Dutch Open Telescope observations and was entitled:
Mabula was born as a son of 2 dutch parents who worked in Ndala, Tanzania for several years in a local hospital to help with development of health care in the country. His name was given to him by the local people in the village where he lived and it means “born during the rain”.
Vincent Groenewold has joined Aries Productions in October 2018 as a moderator on the forum. This is his own introduction:
“Hello dear AstroPixelProcessor users,
My name is Vincent Groenewold. I’m a 40 year old lover of all things related to science and astrophysics in particular, which resulted in me starting the astrophotography hobby back in 2015.
Since then I advanced quickly from starting with the wrong gear and desktop computer in the cold garden, to a fully remote controlled system controlled from inside my house at the end of that same year. I did love those cold nights though, it’s a unique experience.
I also started to learn all of the software needed to both take the pictures and post-process them, so there may have been some big headache at the end of that year. But I loved every minute of the entire learning process and haven’t stopped trying to advance it further. With the release of AstroPixelProcessor I was suddenly doing mosaics like it was nothing and learned even more about correct ways of calibration and such.
The Pleiades, M45 by Vincent Groenewold – LRGB composite captured in E-Eye spain using a CFF 185mm APO & SBIG STL-11000 camera. – “The M45 image was taken with a remote system in Spain, consisting of 15x 10 min exposures in R, G and B and 34x 3 min exposures in L over several sessions. The combination was entirely done in APP, it was my first multi-filter processing and just like with the mosaics, APP made it easy. I still use PI for some tiny tweaks in post-processing. “
Heart & Soul, Hydrogen Alpha mosaic by Vincent Groenewold – “The mosaic of the heart- and soul nebulae was, again, my first ever mosaic and it worked perfectly straight away. This blew me away the most as it was so easy, I was just creating mosaics on the fly, while gathering the data, just to check if the data looked ok. I didn’t crop the image as I like the raw look of the mosaic itself. I took this one from my own backyard in the Netherlands, it’s all H-alpha taken with 15 min exposures and at least 2 frames per panel. The heart nebula has seen the most time. “
Since I knew Mabula a bit already, it became a natural fit to get to work for him as a moderator right here during my time abroad. Yes, moderating straight from New-Zealand!
I hope I can assist Mabula in giving all of you the right kind of advice and help you in any way I can.