The mission of Stark Labs is quite simple - to bringing powerful, easy to use, and purpose-built tools to amateur astrophotographers. Amateur astronomers are living in incredible times, as affordable computer and imaging technologies have revolutionized our hobby. The advent of computer controlled of telescopes and affordable CCD imaging equipment have made it so that amateurs today can take astrophotographs that rival images taken by observatories only a few decades ago. The programs produced by Stark Labs aim to bring advanced imaging techniques within the reach of amateurs, in easy to use and either free or very affordable packages.
Stark Labs is not a large company (it’s a sole proprietorship). You will find me, Craig Stark, routinely on various Internet groups discussing astrophotography. By night, I am an amateur astronomer who stands in far off, dark fields that always seem to be either cold or plagued by mosquitos, attempting to capture photons of light from far off galaxies and nebulae. As such, I know the value of things like a simple interface that can be easily operated with only a few moments with hands exposed to the cold (or biting!).
Astronomy is not my day job. A cognitive neuroscientist by training, I spend my days doing research into how memory works in the brain. I love my research and am awed by the complexity of the brain. But I am just as awed by the notion that I can capture photons from galaxies – photons emitted millions of years ago and that I can turn these into beautiful pictures.
I created Stark Labs to help make that possible – to take tools I was developing for my own use and to make them available in easy to use packages that are either free or at an affordable price.