I like FLICKR a lot. it's a nice, easy way to share photos, and your photos can get much more exposure when posting them there as opposed to your own blog. I post my own astro and regular photos through my FLICKR account and it's good to get feedback from other FLICKR~ites. they advise on how you can make your photos better, and sometimes you get the odd compliment and publishing request :-)
A mate of mine told me about the astrometry.net function that is offered through FLICKR. I tried it out last night and it is BRILLIANT.
You submit your photos to them, and they run your image through this software they have created and it does the following:
· Gives you the coordinates of the photo you took in R.A. and Dec, as well as the actual field of view you achieved
· It gives you a pixel-to-field of view scale. So for example “1 pixel = 12.5 arcseconds”
Identifies and marks out which deep space objects you captured. It puts a square over each object when you hover over it with your mouse, and the NGC or Messier catalogue object appears
· Identifies and marks out the major stars in your image - again when you hover over the star it creates a box with identifying information
· Here’s the neat thing… It will overlay your image on top of any view in the World Wide Telescope. When you select the option, it brings up the World Wide Telescope. You can select which scope you want to view with, say the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, and then it reorients and rescales your image so that it lays over the image of the same object from the chosen deep space telescope. This is pretty cool but also is mildly demoralizing at it shows you how badly your images still are!
It’s hard to show but click on the picture below to see my M8 and M20 photo and what this software did. Put your mouse over the image to see just how many different objects I captured in this wide field photo, and then scroll down to the comments section to see the notes added by the software (entitled Astrometry.net).