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To download Observatory from the Mac App Store, you need a Mac with OS X 10.6.6 or later. Learn More.


By Code Obsession, LLC

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Organize your astronomical research images. Search 10+ professional image archives simultaneously. Create master bias, dark and flat frames. Calibrate, normalize, align, stack and adjust your FITS, XISF (PixInsight), SBIG and RAW images, all nondestructively.

Observatory has everything you need to seriously curate your astronomical images.


* A flexible hierarchy: create a library for each of your research projects and keep your images organized with albums, smart albums and folders. Let Observatory keep track of your images, without copying, moving or altering them.

* Observatory automatically normalizes the image metadata in its libraries, categorizes images, and supports metadata bulk editing. You can also manually tag, rate, color code, reject or archive images. And you can add notes or attach important reference material to your images and albums.

* Virtual Observatory: search 10+ professional archives simultaneously and download research images from

- European Southern Observatory
- W. M. Keck Observatory
- Gemini Observatory
- Hubble Space Telescope
- Spitzer Space Telescope
- WISE Space Telescope
- Palomar Transient Factory
- Two Micron All Sky Survey
- Sloan Digital Sky Survey
- Digitized Sky Survey

* Stacking: manually stack images to obtain the best signal to noise ratio, or let Observatory autostack for you. It can even assign a weight to each image in the stack, based on various criteria.

* Nondestructively calibrate, normalize, align, rotate, resize, bin or crop images. You can create multiple versions of your image, compare images side by side or blink them.

* Overlay the 3.5 million stars, galaxies and other objects of the Messier, NGC/IC, Tycho-2 and PGC 2003 catalogs, or use the UCAC4 and USNO-A2.0 catalogs for an additional 500 million stars.

* Astrometric Matching: if some of your images lack the information to relate image pixels to actual sky coordinates, Observatory’s plate solver will help you find the best match, using its built-in catalogs, as well as the UCAC4 and USNO-A2.0 catalogs.

* Measure: image statistics, aperture photometry, PSF fitting and astrometry.

* Quick Look & Spotlight: preview FITS, XISF (PixInsight) and SBIG images directly from within the Finder and have it display useful information like image dimensions, exposure time, focal length, detector temperature, right ascension and declination. With Observatory, you can search for this information even from within the Finder itself.


If you have any feedback or questions, we’d love to hear from you! You can reach us by email at

What's New in Version 1.0.8

Observatory 1.0.8 is a minor update focused on bug fixes.

* Accuracy: Enhanced the star detector, plate solver and align adjustment.
* Stack: When promoting/demoting/accepting/rejecting images, changing the pick, or using auto-weight, the stack was not immediately updated. This has been fixed.
* Browser: Resolved a thumbnail rendering issue in the image browser.
* Crash: Fixed a crash that could occur in the editor when moving the mouse cursor.
* Crash: Fixed a rare FITS header related crash during importing.

For more details, please see the longer release notes which are available from the Help menu in the app.


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Customer Reviews

It Was Worth the Wait

I purchased Observatory last October hoping to be able to use it on my 6-year-old MacBook Pro to process deep sky astrophotos from my Canon EOS 60 Da. After much fiddling around, it was clear that the program was buggy and would not properly align and stack properly, if at all. I contacted the developer by email and he responded quickly asking for details. That began a chain of communications during which the application would be updated, bugs fixed and I would try it again and send my comments and often result to the developer. With the latest update, 1.0.8, the program now aligns and stacks properly. There is very little post processing available in this application and it is not intended for that. Post processing must be done in a separate program such as Photoshop. The online instruction manual is also not complete as of yet but it is progressing. There are many other features of this application that I have not yet tried. My main reason for purchasing it was to have a Mac program that would align and stack astrophotos and Observatory now does this well.

My rating of 5 stars may seem excessive but I am considering the quality of the technical support, relative price and paucity of other similar applications for the Mac. I also expect that Observatory will continue to improve.

View in Mac App Store
  • $79.99
  • Category: Photography
  • Updated:
  • Version: 1.0.8
  • Size: 56.3 MB
  • Language: English
  • Seller:

Compatibility: OS X 10.11 or later, 64-bit processor

Customer Ratings

We have not received enough ratings to display an average for the current version of this application.