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  1. #1

    Default How to execute Exoplanet Transit [MERGED]


    Swarthmore Exoplanet transit finder has an ability to provide an ACP script, presented below. How do we use this?

    ; ACP plan for target WASP-186_b
    ; Auto-generated by Tapir; editing will be necessary!
    ; Transit is from 11/23/2022 02:57 to 11/23/2022 05:38 UTC.
    #FILTER r'
    #BINNING 2
    #REPEAT 999
    ; Exposure time roughly estimated based on target V = 10.8
    #INTERVAL 69
    ; Uncomment 'waitairmass' if needed, but beware a bug that can
    ; make it skip a target if used in afternoon / early evening.
    ; #WAITAIRMASS 2.0, 300
    WASP-186_b 01:15:58.87 +21:37:00.86
    ; Quit time is in UTC, and was based on alt/HA/daylight/baseline constraints. Edit as needed.
    #QUITAT 11/23/2022 06:39

  2. #2

    Default How to program an Exoplanet Transit when an prefab ACP script is not provided to us

    In another thread, I posted an example where Swarthmore Exoplanet provided an ACP script. Now, how do you plan an Exoplanet observation when all you are provided are the particulars in tabular format, and not a prefab ACP script, see below.

    In this example the following are provided: 1) Start and end times of 01:56Z - 06:40z, 2) relative altitude, 3) Date of observation, and 4) RA/Dec.

    If this is all that you had, how do you program Scheduler to ABSOLUTELY hit this target above ALL other events in the Scheduler? In other words, this is a MUST image target on a specific day at a specific time. How do we accomplish this?


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Mesa, AZ


    Never mind the ACP plan. This is easier than I thought it would be. Use the Scheduler's Single Series form. The only difficulty is that you'll need to calculate how many exposures it will take to cover the event. Once you get the system going you'll know what the typical "overhead" time is for each image. One limitation is that it won't stop to autofocus during the series (on purpose, to avoid holes in the series). If you need this then things get more complex. Here's the Single Series for this (with a guess for overhead times) and it should run for 5.5-6 hours. Then look at the resulting Plan in the Schedule Browser and note the #nopreview and #nosolve options in the ImageSet. These will maximize your cadence. You can mass plate solve the images offline with Visual PinPoint. Drag all 200+ images into its solve window, click Solve and come back later.

    -- Bob

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Virgil, NY


    Hi Grady, (Bob always gets in there in front of me!! I was writing as he was writing at the same time)

    I also use the Swarthmore sites for both TESS and NASA transit predictions.

    Using Scheduler is not difficult, and once you've set up a couple of these, it will be second nature to you. You'll probably want to use the Single [Image] Series menu, under the "Scheduled" heading in the MainMenu.

    Block 1 - In the form, you set a new project - could be "Exoplanets" or it could be the name of the particular object you're after. If you already have an established project you want to use, then "select project."

    Blockl 2 - Type some useful name in the Target Name, and enter the coordinates from the Swarthmore data. (There's no lookup for exoplanets.)

    Block 3 - Set up your exposure specs. I'd suggest starting with just one filter for now. Exposure duration and binning are up to you. However, you have to estimate the Count, as a number that will get you to the ending time of the transit. That is, number of exposures (Count) times Duration (plus some estimate of your overhead for processing). If you select to Autofocus, that will happen ahead of the first image and will take the time it does.

    Block 4 - I ignore constraints - they may be important for yuou.

    Block 5 - set priority at a higher number than other possible scheduled requests. Set repeat to 1.

    Block 6 - Here' the rub! Remember, UTC! Monitor interval 0 (only one try for this transit). Check the "Fixed Time:" box and note that the Must Run Before line is greyed out. In the Must Run After line, put in the time you want to start observing, which includes a cushion for focusing if you do that. Follow the example format exactly.

    Enable request and submit.

    On the Swarthmore form, in the Start-Midi-End column, they've also put an earlier start time, and a later end time. You can use their start time for your start time, or something a bit later before the real transit begins. But REMEMBER to calculate the COUNT so that you include those pre- and post-transit exposures.

    Now here are some GOTCHA's

    - If there's another scheduled run preceding the start time of your scheduled run, and it's actually running at the time your scheduled transit run is supposed to start (it may have run longer than expected), Scheduler will skip the transit run. This means you want to make sure your system is idle before the transit run is scheduled to start. A few minutes is good enough, but if you run over the transit start time from another run, it's all over.

    - I have a 12.5 inch SCT, and I have not been very successful capturing transits that are too shallow and that are not bright enough. So your example of 6.1 ppt (0.006 magnitude) might be very difficult for you. But, of course, I don't know what kind of system you have.

    I hope this helps you get started. It's in agreement with Bob's outline above. His hint about #nosolve #nopreview will save considerable overhead, especially if you have a large camera sensor.
    Pier-mounted Meade 12-inch SCT "classic"
    Optec TCF-S focuser
    SBIG CFW-8A and ST7-XMEv
    H-alpha, BVRI, RGB & Clear filters
    FOV ~15í x 10í

  5. #5


    Thank you Bob.

  6. #6


    Thanks Dick. I'll give it a shot

  7. #7


    How do/can we determine if Scheduler has a conflict already in its plan that could conflict with an Exoplanet run? I hear you both on the possible Scheduler conflict and I want to know how to prevent that from happening.

    Tonight, I have scheduled a run to test this out, and in order to avoid any conflict, I shut down all other Scheduler projects.

    Appreciate all the help. Grady

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Mesa, AZ


    Grady, contact me on Friday to debrief. There were a couple of problems tonight. I left you a detailed message on the obs system.
    -- Bob

  9. #9


    Ok. Headed to Amsterdam now. Back in the states on Friday afternoon. Will reach out then. Saw it failed tonight and didnít know why.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Mesa, AZ


    I left you a note and tried to get it going (normally i never get on someone's system without them being there, sorry). Someone left the QHY settings window open which froze the camera, which froze MaxIm which froze ACP. I just clicked OK to close the QHY dialog, and it all immediately came to life. Unfortunately that was past the start time of 03:00:00 for your exoplanet Plan so that had already failed. I changed the start time to a bit in the future and resubmitted it. I had to go though and I won't do any more till you return.

    Say hi to the nice controllers at AMS!! The weather looks to be decent.
    Last edited by Bob Denny; Nov 24, 2022 at 16:51.
    -- Bob



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