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Big, bright fast mover (7...
Forum: Observing Close Approaching Asteroids
Last Post: PMSchu
11 hours ago
» Replies: 30
» Views: 772
OOTW 2021 stx file
Forum: Visual Deep Sky Observing
Last Post: bigmasterdrago
2022-01-13, 04:49 AM
» Replies: 4
» Views: 147
FAST mover 2022 AC4
Forum: Observing Close Approaching Asteroids
Last Post: bigmasterdrago
2022-01-13, 04:12 AM
» Replies: 6
» Views: 194
MP 2022 AB
Forum: Observing Close Approaching Asteroids
Last Post: bigmasterdrago
2022-01-12, 08:55 PM
» Replies: 1
» Views: 50
SkyTools 4.0j R9 Release ...
Forum: Announcements
Last Post: theskyhound
2022-01-12, 12:21 AM
» Replies: 0
» Views: 54
Fairly Bright Nova in Cas...
Forum: Visual Deep Sky Observing
Last Post: theskyhound
2022-01-11, 12:07 AM
» Replies: 2
» Views: 321
Need a better way to keep...
Forum: How do I do it in SkyTools 4 Visual?
Last Post: PMSchu
2022-01-09, 05:34 PM
» Replies: 5
» Views: 266
New iTelescope at New Mex...
Forum: iTelescope Users Forum
Last Post: theskyhound
2022-01-06, 05:03 PM
» Replies: 6
» Views: 580
Comets for Nexus DSC
Forum: Visual Comets
Last Post: obrazell
2022-01-05, 07:18 PM
» Replies: 4
» Views: 218
Meaning of Z and L arrows...
Forum: How do I do it in SkyTools 4 Visual?
Last Post: Spence
2022-01-03, 03:14 PM
» Replies: 2
» Views: 191

 
  MP 2022 AB
Posted by: PMSchu - 2022-01-12, 05:42 PM - Forum: Observing Close Approaching Asteroids - Replies (1)

The MP 2022 AB is predicted to reach max brightness tonight ~3:30 EST in Gemini. The predicted path is shown here:     

Closest approach doesn't occur until 2022 Jan 20, but it will be fainter than 17th magnitude then.

Good hunting,

Phil S.

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  SkyTools 4.0j R9 Release Notes
Posted by: theskyhound - 2022-01-12, 12:21 AM - Forum: Announcements - No Replies

I have released an update to version 4.0j R9. You should be prompted to update when you start SkyTools, but this may not happen immediately. To force the update, select "Updates, Registration & Feedback" from the top level Setup menu and click Check for Updates.

The primary reason for this release is to fix a rather perplexing issue that caused a range of apparently unrelated problems when connecting to mounts using ASCOM. This happened for all versions of SkyTools 4. Many had no trouble at all. But others had symptoms that ranged from not being able to connect, to crashes. The most common report was receiving a "missing property" error. This was caused by a call to ASCOM that found its way into a thread in SkyTools. ASCOM does not play well when being called from a different thread. If you were having any kind of problem connecting to your mount, this will likely fix it.

Additional fixes:


Visual & Imaging

  • The Eyepiece/Camera Viewer for the Atlas now defaults to being locked to the telescope position if opened with a mount connected to SkyTools. This should help people find where the telescope is pointing on the atlas.
  • Chart labels for some moving object trails had the hours for the time truncated such that the first digit was not visible.
Visual 
  • When printing logs using the Print/Copy logs for Observing Award feature: observing conditions text will now wrap when printed, and the text copied to the clipboard is better suited to pasting into Word or Wordpad.
  • The Crab nebula was using the larger diameter of 8'x8' when estimating the visual difficulty. This outer diameter is mostly H-Alpha emission and not visible to the eye. The diameter was adjusted to a more appropriate 6'x'2 for the calculation, which now provides better results.

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  OOTW 2021 stx file
Posted by: obrazell - 2022-01-10, 06:56 PM - Forum: Visual Deep Sky Observing - Replies (4)

Attached is the stx file for the DSF forum object of the week 2021. This is in ST4 format so cannot be used with ST3. These are mostly challenging or very challenging objects for medium sized telescopes



Attached Files
.stx   OOTW2021.stx (Size: 940 bytes / Downloads: 9)
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  FAST mover 2022 AC4
Posted by: PMSchu - 2022-01-10, 06:22 PM - Forum: Observing Close Approaching Asteroids - Replies (6)

The NEO 2022 AC4 is predicted to reach max brightness of 14.7 magnitude on 2022 Jan 10 ~2200 EST in Auriga. It will be slightly fainter, but closer & faster over the course of the next few hours reaching a speed of ~ 17"/sec! A real screamer.

The predicted path is shown here from Central Ohio (40°N):     

Parallax will affect all observations as this object is quite close. Also note that the time should read 20 - 23 hrs on 1/10 because the tens digit of the hours isn't displayed as BMD has noted in another post. I suspect that this is due to the length of the field allotted for the output character string being too short when seconds are part of the time output - an unusual occurrence.

Good hunting,

Phil S.

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  Need a better way to keep track of close aproaching asteroids
Posted by: PMSchu - 2022-01-05, 07:38 PM - Forum: How do I do it in SkyTools 4 Visual? - Replies (5)

Hi Greg,

I've been creating observing logs to keep track of close approaching asteroids, but that's not an ideal solution. All the MP log entries really slow down the Restore operation. Can you suggest a better way to rank the quality of close approaches? I want to keep track of the ones that I've already evaluated. Perhaps the log entries can be deleted once the ratings have beeen applied. I do like the information that the logs allow me to add regarding maximum brightness & minimum earth distance though. Would Notes offer the seme options?

TIA,

Phil S.

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  Comets for Nexus DSC
Posted by: obrazell - 2022-01-05, 04:08 PM - Forum: Visual Comets - Replies (4)

As the Nexus DSC seems to be getting more popular it would be nice if ST4 could output the current comets list in a format that it could read. The Nexus DSC basically reads an MPC softCmt00.txt file that has to be copied onto a MicroSD and put in the device. Although one can of course edit the one from the MPC or Gideons site it would be nice for ST4 users to do it easily. Just to balance out all the requests from the MP users  Smile

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  Big, bright fast mover (7482) 1994 PC1
Posted by: PMSchu - 2022-01-03, 05:31 PM - Forum: Observing Close Approaching Asteroids - Replies (30)

Hi All,

This big, bright NEA is currently in Puppis at -49° Dec moving north & brightening. Max brightness is predicted to reach 10.4 mag on Jan 18 @ 1900 EST when it will be in Pisces ~7° Dec. It should be visible from both northern & southern hemispheres, weather permitting. It's already 15th mag & should remain at least that bright until Jan 25.

Here's the predicted path:     

Good hunting,

Phil S.

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  Meaning of Z and L arrows on eyepiece viewer
Posted by: Spence - 2022-01-03, 12:29 AM - Forum: How do I do it in SkyTools 4 Visual? - Replies (2)

On Using the Eyepiece Viewer help page, what are the meanings of the Z and L arrows in the image?

Also, what determines the angle of the W arrow on the eyepiece FOV circle? For example, viewing 65 Psc on the Interactive Atlas has W to the right, but after selecting Eyepiece View, the W arrow points near upper left.

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  New Update to V4.0j R7 should fix problems with minor planet database
Posted by: theskyhound - 2021-12-29, 09:45 PM - Forum: Observing Close Approaching Asteroids - Replies (2)

Hello,

As advanced users of the minor planet database, I wanted to let you guys know that the latest update fixes several bugs in the minor planet database management. In particular, deleting a minor planet, or a set of elements, could truncate or corrupt your database. Adding a minor planet manually could cause similar problems.

I recommend cleaning your database (using the built-in feature) after the update, by deleting as many minor planets as possible. There is no danger in doing so, as all necessary elements are not allowed to be deleted. Once the database is as clean as you can make it, close the Minor Planet Database dialog. Then re-open it and add new and more recent orbital elements.

I apologize for these problems that I know have caused considerable trouble, and I wish you guys the best hunting in 2022!

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  Fast mover 2021 YK
Posted by: PMSchu - 2021-12-28, 11:30 PM - Forum: Observing Close Approaching Asteroids - Replies (9)

The Apollo class MP 2021 YK is predicted to reach 16.1 Mag on the night of 2022 Jan 1-2. Here's the predicted path as seen from the Houston TX area:     

From this location the path crosses NGC 891 between 21:43 to 21:44 CST.

Hope you have good weather BMD. The orbit certainty is 9 so there may be refinements in the next few days.

Phil S.

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