On N.I.N.A. as free and open source software

Time to time, the question of “what astrophotography software do I use?” is asked on forums. Users of various software relate their impressions and preferences and, presumably, the person who posed the question is armed with the knowledge and clarity needed to make their decision.

N.I.N.A. is usually mentioned during the course of such a thread and the fact that it being a Free/Open Source Software (FOSS) application is often brought up. What is interesting is that this aspect prompts some to be cautious or circumspect about using it. That’s understandable as the pursuit of astrophotography is inhabited by people from all walks. They might not have the background knowledge of what FOSS applications mean and how they come to be, are maintained, and are supported. I’ll aim to answer some of these questions below.

If you are curious about FOSS in general and wish to know more details about why it exists and how open source enriches everyone, I suggest heading over to the Free Software Foundation and Open Source Initiative and delving into their plethora of resources on the topic.

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