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DeepSkyStacker – Full Tutorial (2021 Edition)

This full walkthrough will teach you the basics of using DeepSkyStacker to stack your FITS or RAW files. We won’t necessarily get into anything too complicated in this video, I’ll basically just show you what’s worked well for me over the past few years. If you want to just get a quick look at how to use the app, skip to 39:39

You can download the application here:

00:00 – Intro
00:50 – Import Photos
03:33 – Register Photos
09:55 – Choose Reference Frame
12:15 – Stacking Photos
16:58 – Dark Frames
19:33 – Flat / Bias Frames
22:09 – Save Picture
23:25 – Recap
25:06 – DSLR Workflow
32:02 – My Preferred Workflow
39:39 – Quick DSS Recap (TL;DW)
42:34 – Final Comparison
44:09 – Outro

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  1. Are you still in southern Utah? I work for my local cable station, WLOO CATV in Waterloo, WI, and was planning on taking a trip to the Valley of the Gods this fall to film a show about it for our channel. I thought it would be cool to meet up with you while I'm out there to document how you go about photographing deep space objects on an average night.

    I like that your channel is more geared towards the casual astrophotographer. You don't need 10 grand worth of equipment to get amazing shots, and I think that's a great way to get new people interested in this. Let me know what you think.

  2. Congrats Peter great video ! I have a question how can i change a Color FITS file to a Color TIFF file to make the adjustment as you indicated on camera raw; i achieve doing this by using FITS liberator buy it give a gray scale file. I hope you can give some light ! Thx !

  3. Peter! I run a new Astronomy Nonprofit called Reach For The Stars. We are 1 year old, and I've been watching so many of your videos because they are so we'll made and your descriptions are flawless.
    I need your help. I host monthly star parties free of charge for the Arizona communities with my telescopes. I decided a year ago to save up and build an outreach rig. I finially finish building it, and it's awesome. BUT, I need help learning fast stacking editing in SharpCap Pro, or the ASI Air Pro. My rig; Celestron Evolution 8, Hyperstar, ASI 294MC Pro, ASI AIR (or not for sharp Cap) and lastly, a 4k Projector.
    After people view through the telescopes, I'm going to walk them over to my trailer and start imaging objects they couldn't see and explain why the camera can see more.
    My need: I'm trying to figure out which is better, faster and easier/higher quality: ASI air pro or sharpCap for livestacking. it needs to be fast (5-10 minutes per object.
    I've been practicing with the asi air, but the live views look horrible, and the 2 histogram arrows can only do so much…
    Can you do a SharpCap pro live stack tutorial? if so, I'd like to ask if it's ok if I post your YouTube video links on my website below.
    maybe my asi air pro stacking is terrible. but I'm in Bortle 3-4 skies.. It's should be decent.
    Carlos Aragon

  4. Without doubt the best basic tutorial on DSS out there. Peter cuts straight through the BS with practical sensible advice that is repeated enough times that after even one viewing you feel you know what you are doing. He simplifies the plethora of options within the program. When you need darks, when you need bias frames etc. I reprocessed some of my images directly afterwards and found I could save lots of time by eliminating darks and biases altogether. Simply brilliant, many thanks

  5. And how would you stack multiple nights? Can you just stack every night seperatly and then stack the stacked images from every night?

  6. Starry Sky Stacker is an application available for the Mac. At least there are some alternatives, but I agree that finding Mac software can be difficult.

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