Author Archives: Emack

The beauty of Saturn seen from a very common webcam

I’ve always been fascinated by the possibility to capture some planets with a cheap webcam. As you can see, I can rely on an entry-level setup that consists in a Sky-Watcher 130/900 telescope on an EQ2 mount. In my experience, … Continue reading

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Rare Earths, Toyota Prius and the Environmental Revolution

Many environmentalists are sure that renewable energy would save the planet from disaster. Just yesterday I heard from Science Club on BBC that we should deploy giant solar panels in order to capture all the energy we need from the … Continue reading

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Chronicles of a fiasco

Here is Jupiter as seen using a Skywatcher 130/900 telescope, an EQ2 mount, and a Logitech c270 webcam. I used the usual procedure which consists of shooting a video, then processing the best frames with Registax, and finally applying wavelet … Continue reading

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How to make an online video transcoder in few minutes

Last year, I decided to put online a website able to transcode (almost) every kind of video format or codec into another (from avi to mkv, from xvid to h.264, and so on); it was called onlinevideotranscoder.com (yes, I admit … Continue reading

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The Bourbon Tunnel – exploring the underground of Naples

The underground of Naples has always been an integral part of city life; you can tell from the access to the Bourbon Tunnel (Tunnel Borbonico in Italian), located inside an elegant parking lot in the city center. Even if the citizens sometimes forget this truth, it’s a … Continue reading

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H.264 output quality and bitrate

In video coding, understanding the real bitrate requirements that correspond to the desired quality is a key feature. It’s possible to assess quality by using appropriate objective metrics such as PSNR and SSIM Index, or simply through subjective methods as … Continue reading

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Amateur astrophotography: how to manipulate and export .fit files with Fits Liberator and Adobe Photoshop

As an amateur astronomer, I’ve always been attracted by astrophotography; but, because of light pollution and a poor equipment (just a 130/900 newtonian Skywatcher!), I never went very far from the mere but still exciting visual observation. Now, with remote … Continue reading

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Image and Video quality assessment – Part Two: SSIM Index

In this second part, I will show another metric used in video quality evaluation: the Structural SIMilarity Index (SSIM). In the previuos article, we saw that PSNR and MSE are not always reliable in every situation, so we need a … Continue reading

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Image and Video quality assessment – Part One: MSE & PSNR

With this post I begin a series of articles covering the issue of image and video quality assessment through both objective and subjective methods. Where possible, I will also attach a little piece of Matlab code in order to show … Continue reading

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EQ2 Equatorial Mount: a quick pointing guide

As an amateur astrophile, I can count on very simple tools – such as a 130/900 Skywatcher Newtonian telescope on an EQ2 mount – that sometimes can seem obscure to a total newbie (or to an occasional observer). So, I … Continue reading

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