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Forum: SkyTools 3 General Support
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adding to an observing li...
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iTelecope Data Load
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Seeing Double (or Triple)
Forum: Visual Double Star Observing
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2018-05-23, 10:04 PM
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Virtual Atlas orientation...
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  Supplemental Data Download
Posted by: Attila - 2017-12-31, 01:26 PM - Forum: SkyTools 3 General Discussion - Replies (1)


I have a long term problem in ST3Pro (Win7/64) using Supplemental Data Download function.
If I download and am refreshing any Minor Planet Data package, the program will be waiting a lot for Stellar, Deep Sky and Skymarks checking (sometimes 4-5 minutes!!!) after completing minor planet data  refreshing.

How may I shorten this long and needless (?) part of this process?


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  MS Surface Pro Display Issues
Posted by: E Mark Smith - 2017-12-18, 03:35 AM - Forum: SkyTools 3 General Support - Replies (1)

I just got around to installing SkyTools 3 on my MS Surface 4 Pro.  I was having the display issue with the maps that was noted in the support section on the SkyTools website (graphical overlay portion of the display is confined to the upper left of the map on all of the chart views).  I went through the entire troubleshooting section:

1.  Display driver is up to date.
2.  Turning the scaling off DOES solve the chart issue but makes the list view unreadable.
3.  No matter what other settings I try (resolution and font size combinations), if I fix the Chart view, the list view is unreadable.

Ideas?  I can send screen shots if desired.

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  Comet Page
Posted by: Paul Alsing - 2017-12-14, 05:35 AM - Forum: Bright Comets - Replies (1)

Is there still a comet page?  A google search provides many results, but virtually all of them give me this message...

This site can’t be reached

observing.skyhound.com’s server DNS address could not be found.   -or-

The webpage at http://cometchasing.skyhound.com/ might be temporarily down or it may have moved permanently to a new web address.

What's up?

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Question Yahoo status?
Posted by: blakesphere - 2017-11-30, 10:24 PM - Forum: Beginners Forum - Replies (1)


Obviously, there's value in the old Yahoo!Group in terms of archival messages, files, etc.

Do you have plans to turn off new message posting there?

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  Nereid, third largest of Neptune’s moons – Brisbane 27th & 28th Aug 2016.
Posted by: Dennis - 2017-11-28, 04:28 AM - Forum: Solar, Lunar and Planetary Imaging - Replies (1)

Looking forward to Nereid being included in ST4 - thanks Greg. Smile

In the meantime, here are a couple of images of Nereid taken from my back yard on 27th & 28th August 2016.

Taken using a Tak Mewlon 210, Tak x0.8 Reducer/Flattener and an ATIK 414 EX camera. I captured 75x60 sec frames on 27th Aug and 37x120 secs on 28th Aug. Images were calibrated, aligned and stacked using CCDStack2 and finished in CS6. You can easily see the movement of Neptune, Triton and Nereid against the field stars over the two nights of 27th & 28th August 2016.
The full size originals have a FOV of 15.2 x 11.3 arcmin at 0.65 arcsec/pixel. The 1024x768 crops have a FOV of 13 x 9.7 arcmin.



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Wink Seeing Double (or Triple)
Posted by: John S - 2017-11-20, 04:44 AM - Forum: Visual Double Star Observing - Replies (10)

I would have thought that there would be a lot of posts here.  After all, observing double stars is the most fun you can have in Astronomy!   Smile

I do have a real question.  I love how SkyTools has made my double star observing a snap.  This has probably been answered before, but are there improvements specifically for doubles in ST 4?


Long time user of SkyTools for my doubles!

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  (3200) Phaethon in December 2017
Posted by: Joe Stieber - 2017-11-19, 10:21 PM - Forum: Observing Close Approaching Asteroids - Replies (7)

On the Minor Planet Mailing List today (19-Nov-2017), Alan Hale, of Comet Hale-Bopp fame, posted this alert...

Quote:Just to remind everyone, Phaethon passes 0.069 AU from Earth on December 16 [2017] — the closest it has approached Earth since its discovery in 1983, and it won’t make a closer approach until 2093. Right now it’s  moving rather slowly – barely over 10 arcminutes per day — since it’s coming almost right at us; when closest to Earth it will be traveling at 15 degrees per day and should be as bright as 10th magnitude.

Will this be close enough to require special elements in ST3? Since 0.069 au is about 6.4 million miles (10.3 million km), I'm guessing it won't, but I'm not the expert on this.

BTW, 15 degrees per day is about 37.5 arc seconds per minute of time, or roughly a Jupiter diameter per minute. I then checked it in ST3, and for December 16 at 6:45 pm EST (when it transits for my location), the total motion is given as 38.6"/min.

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  Gaia Import
Posted by: Starmaster - 2017-11-19, 06:46 PM - Forum: SkyTools 3 General Discussion - Replies (10)

I would like to import subsets of GAIA data into SkyTools.

The GAIA Archive is located here: http://cdn.gea.esac.esa.int/Gaia/gaia_source/csv/

The data sets are large, so I have downloaded and created small subsets of less than 1000 stars per file set. I do not see an import facility in SKT3Pro that would allow me to perform the import.

Can you provide guidance.

Will SKT4Pro provide this facility assuming SKT3Pro does not?

Thank you!

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  Mars showing Phobos & Deimos
Posted by: Dennis - 2017-11-18, 06:41 AM - Forum: Solar, Lunar and Planetary Imaging - Replies (3)

More with hope than confidence, I set up on Sunday night, 15th May 2016 to see if I could record the two moons of Mars; Phobos and Deimos. I expected Deimos to be fairly straightforward, lying some 60 arc secs from Mars but Phobos would only be 24 arc sec distant, bathed in the glare of the Martian disc. The seeing was very good and when the results came in, Deimos was unmistakable and I had a few grains of light as a promising candidate for Phobos. Smile
After much image processing and stretching of the data, I was able to get everything to “pop out” in one aligned/stacked frame, including 4 field stars. Cool
Taken with a Tak Mewlon 180 F12, TeleVue x2 PowerMate, Atik 414EX CCD camera, 20x4 sec exposures, 10:08pm AEST.
For the disc of Mars, I used a ZWO ASI224MC CMOS camera and overlaid the (re-sized) image over the grossly over-exposed Martian disc.
As usual ST3 provided the confirmation when I overlaid an ST3 screen capture and the plotted positions in ST3 precisely fitted the imaged positions. Smile

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  Uranus; Ariel, Miranda, Oberon, Titania and Umbriel
Posted by: Dennis - 2017-11-18, 05:56 AM - Forum: Solar, Lunar and Planetary Imaging - Replies (3)

On 24th October 2017 I managed to record the 5 brighter satellites of Uranus; Ariel, Miranda, Oberon, Titania and Umbriel. SkyTools 3 Pro was used to confirm the positions of 4 of these, namely Ariel, Oberon, Titania and Umbriel. Smile
The following (edited) data was Copy/Pasted from ST3.

Uranus details:
Magnitude: 5.69
Size: 3.7"
Earth Distance: 18.9 AU
Diameter: 51118.0 km

Satellite details:
(Name/Mag/Angular separation)
Ariel                       14m3     11.2”
Miranda               16m7     09.5”
Oberon                14m1     41.9”
Titania                  13m9     23.4”
Umbriel                15m0     14.5”
Equipment details:
Takahashi Mewlon 210 F11.5.
TeleVue 2” Powermate x2.0
Efl 4830mm at F23
Camera details:
Atik 414EX Camera
Exposure 30sec
5 frames
Image scale of 0.28 arcsec/pixel
It was a tough job digging 16.7 magnitude Miranda out of the glare of the disc of Uranus but choosing the time of maximum elongation (9.5 arc secs) and favourable seeing, made the task feasible.
SkyTools has consistently plotted these fainter objects reliably and accurately compared to the other two Windows PC Planetarium programs that I also use. When chasing some of the more rare objects, it is comforting to know that I can rely on the accuracy of the SkyTools data. Smile
The ST3 overlay in the 1st image shows how accurate ST3 plotted the 4 brighter satellites of Uranus. Hey Greg – will Miranda be added in ST4? Wink
Thanks Greg, for such a fantastic, feature-rich program. Smile

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