A number of software packages are critical for having a successful digital Astrophotography observatory. Below is a comprehensive list of what I've used, but keep in mind everyone's use case and requirements are different. There is some feature overlap between software packages.

Image acquisition
  • Sequence Generator Pro (SGP)
    • The core of my observatory automation. SGP is the orchestrator of a fully automated observatory.
  • SharpCap
    • Another image capture program which I use for planetary work and recording video
Targeting and Planning (Planetarium)
  • Cartes de ciel
    • Displays overhead objects and integrates with the telescope for control and object targeting
  • Stellarium
    • The most popular planetarium software. Great interface and very pretty, although uses alot of system resources and have experienced some crashes.
Image processing
  • Deep Sky Stacker
    • Image stacking and processing with a realtime stacking feature.
  • PixInsight
    • Image post processing tool. Image stacking and filtering. More features than I know what to do with but very powerful. A bit pricey.
  • Adobe Photoshop
    • Image processing, color correction, filtering, etc.
  • ASCOM Platform
    • The driver backend that most astronomy software utilizes for hardware control.
  • PlateSolve2
    • Image plate solving to know where the scope is pointing. Critical for observatory automation
Software to try
  • StarTools
    • Image processing. Looks pretty slick. Affordable ($50 USD). www.startools.org