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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    Oregon, USA
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    Default Related Question on Planning

    This is not planner specific but this forum area is the closest to the right one.

    Does anyone know of SW other than the old NGCView or CCD Navigator that will do
    object selection planning?

    NGCView is ancient and no longer supported and indeed will not run on many modern OS.

    CCD Navigator is not bad but pretty expensive for what it does. It's biggest flaw is that although it reads and graphs local horizon from TheSky, it does not use the local horizon in it's calculations. I liken that to your car GPS knowing a road is closed and sending you that way anyway. <g>

    So are there any other programs that you guys know of that do this sort of thing?
    Bill McLaughlin

    *************

    For every complex problem there is an answer
    that is clear, simple, and wrong.

    H. L. Mencken


    *************

    My Website: Nightskypictures

    My Observatory: Raptor Ridge

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Virgil, NY
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    5,945

    Default

    Well, not sure exactly what you expect, but if you google "planning astronomical observing" you will get pointers to any number of software tools that support object selection planning. Not to expensive, I think, up to $60-$70.
    Dick
    www.VirgilObservatory.us
    Pier-mounted Meade 12-inch SCT "classic"
    Optec TCF-S focuser
    SBIG CFW-8A and ST7-XMEv
    H-alpha, BVRI, RGB & Clear filters
    FOV ~15 x 10



  3. #3
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    Nov 2005
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    Oregon, USA
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dick Berg View Post
    Well, not sure exactly what you expect, but if you google "planning astronomical observing" you will get pointers to any number of software tools that support object selection planning. Not to expensive, I think, up to $60-$70.

    Yes, that was the first thing I did and looked at several (Deep Sky Planner, AstroPlanner, etc.) Of the ones I found, none did local horizon (as far as I could tell from the websites) and/or had other issues (such as would not run under Win 7 64).

    CCD Navigator did mention local horizon on their webpage but it does not implement it fully, as mentioned in the first post.

    So what I am looking for is something that does most of the major catalogs, has images or links to image catalogs, has user horizon implemented to remove local horizon unavailable objects, and selects/sorts by elevation, rise/set/transit, etc.

    As far as I can tell, this does not exist. Many programs have various assortments of parts and pieces but none are really complete.
    Bill McLaughlin

    *************

    For every complex problem there is an answer
    that is clear, simple, and wrong.

    H. L. Mencken


    *************

    My Website: Nightskypictures

    My Observatory: Raptor Ridge

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Mesa, AZ
    Posts
    32,887

    Default

    Do you have TheSky 6? If so, using ACP Planner's timing features, you can see the local horizon (plotted graphically in TheSky) and avoid targets below. The timing features allow you to roll time around and see the state of the sky at target start/end times. I could show you via remote login, but maybe you can figure it out from the ACP videos, starting with Planner 5 Using Starry Night. This is a pre-requisite to the next one, which shows Planner being used with TheSky.

    It's not the same as trying a target in the blind and being told "Nice try, but it's below the local horizon for all or part of your intended exposure time", but unless I am misunderstanding something, it's actually better because you an see what you're doing and avoiding.
    -- Bob

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Oregon, USA
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    190

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Denny View Post
    Do you have TheSky 6? If so, using ACP Planner's timing features, you can see the local horizon (plotted graphically in TheSky) and avoid targets below. The timing features allow you to roll time around and see the state of the sky at target start/end times. I could show you via remote login, but maybe you can figure it out from the ACP videos, starting with Planner 5 Using Starry Night. This is a pre-requisite to the next one, which shows Planner being used with TheSky.

    It's not the same as trying a target in the blind and being told "Nice try, but it's below the local horizon for all or part of your intended exposure time", but unless I am misunderstanding something, it's actually better because you an see what you're doing and avoiding.
    Yes, I have looked at all the videos (Nicely done, BTW). I do use planner with TheSky Plan Capture. What I really was looking for was something that "suggests" or gives a list of "available" objects within the user parameters you input. I am especially interested in some of the less known objects and catalogs. Several programs (see above posts) do this but none seem to have what I would call a "full feature set". Of those, CCD Navigator is probably the best but still has it's missing features as well.

    Using TheSky will tell me if an object I already know about is suitable for a given night but is not very good at revealing things I am unaware of. At this point I am beginning to suspect that there really is no program with the feature set I am looking for. What seems to work is a combination of semi-manual use of CCD Navigator and TheSky Plan Capture. Works, just not ideal and kinda spendy (for CCD Navigator).
    Bill McLaughlin

    *************

    For every complex problem there is an answer
    that is clear, simple, and wrong.

    H. L. Mencken


    *************

    My Website: Nightskypictures

    My Observatory: Raptor Ridge

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Mesa, AZ
    Posts
    32,887

    Default

    I understand. I chose not to make ACP itself serve as both a planning and an execution tool, for reasons which should be clear. Planning tools are complex in their own right (hence the value/price of e.g. CCD Navigator). SkyTools is another choice, and ACP Planner can directly import lists from SkyTools.
    -- Bob

 

 

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