Introducing the New Mira AL Software

Since 2005, Mira AL has been a staple of astronomy educators and amateurs. allows amateur astronomers, educators, and students to do real science on a tight budget.

Application areas: Amateur astronomy, Pro-am collaboration, Science education, Public outreach.


Mira AL showing images, enhancement, photometry, plotting, and measurements

 

Mira AL is designed for amateur astronomers, educators, and students who want to visualize and measure scientific data but have only simple or occasional needs for image calibration and data reduction. To add tools for image calibration, processing, and enhancement, see Mira Pro UE.

If you are an astronomy or science educator considering options for teaching astronomy, look no further! Depending on your needs, Mira AL can be installed for one user per machine, with separate accounts for multiple users' on the same machine, or on a server.

Mira AL employs scientifically accurate methods and innovative GUI techniques that allow users to measure and visualize data in ways that cannot be done using software derived from graphics arts, photo viewing, or camera controlling applications. Despite its modest price, Mira AL truly is "industrial strength" scientific software, and it is remarkably easy to learn and use. Mira AL  embodies what we've learned during 15 years in the business and was developed with input and review by science educators and EPO professionals.

Mira AL includes many of the highly acclaimed measurement and visualization tools in our heavy-duty astronomical research software Mira Pro UE. But Mira AL is by no means light on capability! While Mira AL does have the ability to create and apply CCD calibration frames (bias, dark, and flat), we did not complicate it with the more detailed data reduction and automated image calibration tools you'll find in Mira Pro and Mira MX. The result is software that can be used to advantage at the middle school level yet offers advanced capabilities that satisfy the needs of introductory college level classes.

One year of maintenance is included; after one year, discounted annual maintenance is available to provide tech support and keep your software current.

Key Features

  • Display, plot, animate, blink, and visually enhance images in grayscale, color, and pseudo-color.
  • Measure high-precision coordinates, distance, angle,  brightness, and statistics, using both pixel units and world coordinates.
  • Detect fainter objects and increase the statistical significance of measurements using image combining and normalization techniques.
  • Correct alignment and distortion of image stacks using Mira's exclusive high-precision registration package or its 1-click alignment on point sources or extended objects.
  • Perform basic intensity calibrations: create and apply bias, dark, and flat frames, do image math and filtering.
  • Use FITS, TIFF, JPEG, BMP, and other images of any size, 8 to 64 bits per pixel, integer and real types, plus 24 bit color.
  • Record your work using a text editor for messages and notes, and screen capture to copy and save windows or regions of the Mira screen.

Applications

  • Mira AL makes it easy to make research quality photometric measurements of any number of stars with any number of standards on any number of images. Doing ensemble photometry, plotting light curves, and reporting results are a snap!
  • Use Mira AL for Variable star discovery & monitoring, exoplanet search, milli-mag level photometry, supernova patrol, minor planet rotation studies.
  • Use Mira AL to data mine archival science images available on the Web. Do hands-on analysis of terabytes of multi-wavelength data from ground and space-based instruments, as well as your own CCD images.
  • Ideal for K-12 and college astronomy education.

Mira AL Reviewed by Sky & Telescope Magazine.

Mira AL is the subject of a 2 page product review in the December 2006 issue of Sky & Telescope magazine (see http://www.skypub.com). From the magazine's Table of Contents:

S&T Test Report:  Mira AL: Powerful Introduction to Image Processing and Analysis.

"With its attractive price and impressive capabilities, this software is an ideal gateway to professional-quality imaging. By Joe Heafner"

Who benefits from Mira AL?

  • Science students and educators, middle school through college.
  • Amateur astronomers, especially those collaborating with professionals or working with AAVSO, Exoplanet Search, ALPO, and similar organizations.
  • Students in distance learning and on-line degree programs.
  • Scientists and EPO professionals doing outreach.

Related Products:

  • Mira Pro UE  (advanced features, scripting)
  • Educator Bundles: Mira AL Site License with Mira Pro UE, ideal for teaching and curriculum development!
  • K-12 Educators: See the K-12 section of our Store for Mira AL Classroom Licenses plus Student & Teacher discounts.

More Information

Requirements

  • Windows 7/8/10 (32 or 64 bit), Windows Vista (32 or 64 bit), Windows XP, Server 2003, or 100% compatible Windows environment on Linux or Mac.
  • Hard Drive Space: 60 MB.
  • Minimum Platform: Windows® XP SP3, 2GB memory.

Acknowledgements:

Mira AL was developed with advice from affiliates of the Hands On Universe (HOU) project of the Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California at Berkeley. and the Conceptual Astronomy and Physics Education Research (CAPER) project of the Department of Astronomy at the University of Arizona. Neither organization or its affiliates has any affiliation with Mirametrics, Inc.

 


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