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Hi Greg,

I've managed to break my ST4i v4.0e Interactive Atlas. The atlas won't display the star fields, just the info at the top & bottom of the page. The Naked Eye & Overhead views work correctly. When I try to switch from Overhead view to the Atlas, SkyTools displays a 'Fatal Error' message.

I think that I caused the issue by using the Task Manager to end the SkyTools task when it hung this morning during startup. The splash screen was displayed over another program & wasn't going away so I got impatient & ended the SkyTools task. I've done the 'Reset to Defaults' thing, but that didn't help.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.


Phil S.
Hi Phil,

It was possibly updating your minor planet database due to the monthly update, which can take some time if you have a lot of minor planets loaded. It should tell you what it was doing on the splash screen... But unless killing the process somehow corrupted your minor planet database, which should not normally happen, then I doubt that is the problem with the atlas. But you never know. Its hard to test things like that.

Without knowing what is causing the problem it is difficult to suggest a fix. You already tried the obvious. Try using the Target Selection tool, and opening the atlas via a right-click on one of the objects in the target list, preferably one that does not have an imaging project defined for it. Does it still crash?

Hi Greg,

The issue does seem to involve the minor planet database. That's what was being updated when I ended the SkyTools task. There used to be 500k+ minor planets listed at the bottom of the atlas display, now the blue line that indicates that the atlas image is being generated goes over to the right side of its section at the bottom of the atlas window, but the starfield remains all white. Clicking the 'Stop imaging' button has no effect. I've tried both the 'a' keyboard shortcut and the right-click to open the atlas, getting the white display both times.

When I display an object in the overhead sky view, the image is generated, but it says that there are no minor planets at the current epoch. Of course no minor planets should appear in the overhead sky view - too faint, maybe that's why it's displayed, but the atlas view isn't.

The new Win10 update (ver 1903) has really slowed down my FX-8350 processor since Microsoft blessed me with it  Sad . The ver 1903 Win10 is running ~250 processes while the old ver 1803 only had ~150 processes loaded. System responsiveness is much reduced. ST4i still only uses 12% of the processor during heavy computations - one of the 8 available threads.

Is there a way to repair the minor planet database without loosing all of my customizations?


Phil S.

Normally when one of these databases is being updated a copy is made and the copy is updated. Only when the update is successful is the actual database replaced. So simply because you closed the window isn't a strong argument that it is in fact the minor planets.

Have you tried looking at your minor planet database? Open it via the top level Data menu. Does it load properly? Browse some of the objects. Do they appear to be ok?

If you really think its the minor planets, there are tools on that dialog to reset the database. Select Cleanup/Delete and then Delete all minor planets. Note that any that are in use for a target list, project, etc. will not be deleted. Close the dialog. Try the atlas again.

To get the minor planets back, open the Minor Planets database dialog and download them. I suggest using ASTORB over MPCORB because the MPC doesn't update their minor planets often enough, one of many questionable practices of theirs in recent years. They haven't updated their comets since May! Ridiculous. For a good selection of minor planets that is not too huge, just download the numbered ones.
Hi Greg,

I've used the 'Cleanup' feature for the minor planets & deleted 'All Minor Planets'. About 4k entries remained after the deletion process. The Interactive Atlas opened SUCCESSFULLY. I'm now downloading the minor planets from ASTORB (Numbered only). So far 300k objects have been added, 43 updated & 3.6k skipped. The blue progress bar indicates that processing is ~35% complete. Again SkyTools is using 12% of the FX-8350 processor availability (equivalent to 1 of the 8 cores available). Do you plan to implement multithreading in a future update by any chance?

It looks like I corrupted the Minor Planet database when I closed ST4i using the 'End task' option in the Task Manager. I guess I need to be more patient.

Thanks again for your help, much appreciated,

Phil S.