Stitching a lunar panorama with Microsoft ICE software

There are times when it is necessary to photograph the entire disk of the Moon, but for certain reasons this is impossible – for example, the camera sensor is too small and the focal length of the telescope is too long.
In this case, programs for assembling panoramas come to the rescue.

One such program that I have been using for many years is Microsoft ICE (Image Composite Editor). The program is free and has a simple interface in English. The stitching process boils down to the fact that you need to open the files, press NEXT a few times and save the result in the desired format. The source images for the panorama must already be sharpened. I recommend working with images in TIFF format, and also saving them in TIFF format, so that compression artifacts do not appear during further processing of the resulting panorama.

Unfortunately, the program has not been updated for a long time, its development has ceased, and download links have been removed from the official website. You can download the 32 or 64-bit version of Microsoft ICE, as well as images for training, from the cloud HERE.

Let’s work with two images of the Moon taken January 17, 2024.

Video manual (no sound):

Step-by-step manual
1. Launch the program, press the NEW PANORAMA button

2. Open the original frames of the future panorama

3. Click the NEXT button in the upper right corner of the program

4. Press the NEXT button

5. Press the NEXT button

6. Select the required file saving format (FILE FORMAT – for example, JPEG or TIFF). Then click on the EXPORT TO DISK button and save the final panorama file.

Final result:

Of course, you can assemble a panorama from a larger number of frames. Here, for example, is a panorama taken from 10 frames.

Microsoft ICE can also be used to create solar panorama. However, to successfully assemble a panorama, there must be enough spots on the Sun for the program to “catch on” to them. Example of images of the Sun obtained on July 5, 2023 in the calcium line (wavelength 393.3 nm):

First image

Second image


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