I'm looking for a free, open-source and Linux compatible alternative to the RegiStar software.

I need it to automatically combine several images into a single frame, where each individual image shows a portion of a large observed region.

Individual images also overlap by some amount, and need to be aligned and possibly rotated before superimposing them onto the final frame.

I believe RegiStar does all this but: a- it is not free, b- it is not open-source, and c- it seems to run on Windows only.

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    $\begingroup$ In theory, you could use something like astrometry.net to find where in the stellar sphere your pictures are taken and then combine them using free software like ImageMagick. This would also account for different pictures being taken at different times (ie, Earth's rotation). $\endgroup$ – user21 Apr 15 '16 at 15:24
  • $\begingroup$ I tried astrometry.net but it won't recognize my images (they are JPEGs) $\endgroup$ – Gabriel Apr 15 '16 at 16:12
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    $\begingroup$ Have you tried Montage? It is now under the BSD 3-Clause License. $\endgroup$ – skytux Apr 15 '16 at 16:12
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    $\begingroup$ From your profile and arXiv, @Gabriel! I'm from Cba :) $\endgroup$ – skytux Apr 15 '16 at 16:54
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    $\begingroup$ I forgot my site is in my profile. Now I've looked you up too :) Saludos Germán! $\endgroup$ – Gabriel Apr 15 '16 at 17:11

I've had success with Hugin. It's a panorama creator, but it can be used to rotate, resize, and relocate images into a coherent whole. It has a few different automated profiles, but sometimes they are a bit off with star stacks. You can manually select the guide stars though.

A really good program for after that is GIMP and the plugin G'MIC to stack and remove noise.

Unfortunately it's not a single package like RegiStar, but it's free and can do quite a lot!

Before Before

After After

  • $\begingroup$ This looks promising. I could not install it manually even following the instructions given, so I ended up using a PPA. For those interested, here it is: ubuntuhandbook.org/index.php/2014/01/… $\endgroup$ – Gabriel Apr 15 '16 at 17:12
  • $\begingroup$ Ah, bugger! Did you manage to get it all installed finally? I use Windows primarily, so I haven't tried any of these on Linux, but I knew they could run on it $\endgroup$ – Tanenthor Apr 15 '16 at 23:24
  • $\begingroup$ I could install it, yes. I used it for about 10 min and it crashed my system entirely. Like monster crash :( Anyway, it looks like a good tool, perhaps it just doesn't get along with Linux all that well. $\endgroup$ – Gabriel Apr 16 '16 at 0:35

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