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Current Minor Planet issue
#1
One function of ST3 Pro in the Nightly Planner that I don't fully understand is the Observing List > Group: Current > List: Current Minor Planets.

My copy of ST3 doesn't show Ceres (for example) in the current list.  I read in Sky & Telescope that it is currently near opposition.  And I didn't realize it because it doesn't show in my ST3  current minor planet list.  Now, for comets and supernovae I think I can rely on ST3 to list the ones currently visible but I'm not sure.

I call Ceres a minor planet.  I can search ST3 for Ceres and the Object Information calls it a Minor Planet / Dwarf Planet.  I don't understand how it is so favorably positioned for viewing and yet I wasn't aware of it.   I know I can search and create a list in Special Events, General Tab .... But I gradually forget to do so.  

I wonder if Halley's Comet or Hale/Bopp were bright and in the zone, would they also remain hidden because they are classics?

Can I configure ST3 to list the major classical minor planets along with those dozen or so that are currently listed in the Current Minor Planets List?

I think of the Observing List > Group: Current > 3 Current Lists as sort of a clearing house to know which transitory objects are available to view.
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#2
Hi,

The Current Minor Planets list includes all minor planets that are opposition during the month and will brighter than magnitude 12.5. The purpose of this list is to give casual observers a small number of good minor planets to observe every month. There are many other tools available. For instance, should you wish to observe Ceres, you can look it up in the database. The Object Info will tell you how well observed it is currently. Note that you should update the supplemental Minor Planet database first.

Another thing to do is to use the Nightly Observing List Generator. Tell it to make a list for "Solar System Objects of Interest" for the night you want to observe.

Ceres just happens to fall right at the end of the month, and it the time zone the calculation was made for the opposition occurs after February begins. So it will appear in next months list. This was an unusual circumstance.

Use the "Sun, Moon, & Planets" observing list (Default Group) for planetary observing.
Clear skies,
Greg

SkyTools Developer
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#3
Thanks Greg

'The "Solar System Objects of Interest" list generator for the night you want to observe' feature works nicely. Thanks for the reminder there.

I performed the 'Update Current Lists from the Web' command.  And I Reset Filters.  Then, in the Nightly Planner, I switched my observing night to the Evening of February 12.  Ceres is not in the list.  (8) Flora is the brightest MP in the Current MP List. There are 12 MPs in the list (696) Leonora the last of 12 at magnitude 13.9.

Is this result what you would expect?
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#4
(2018-01-26, 06:13 PM)masec Wrote: Thanks Greg

'The "Solar System Objects of Interest" list generator for the night you want to observe' feature works nicely. Thanks for the reminder there.

I performed the 'Update Current Lists from the Web' command.  And I Reset Filters.  Then, in the Nightly Planner, I switched my observing night to the Evening of February 12.  Ceres is not in the list.  (8) Flora is the brightest MP in the Current MP List. There are 12 MPs in the list (696) Leonora the last of 12 at  magnitude 13.9.

Is this result what you would expect?

The current list is published at the start of each month, unless there is a recently discovered close approaching asteroid that needs to be added. Other than that, it contains the minor planets that come to opposition that month (January). It is not meant for use in February. There will be an updated list published at the start of February with the February objects. This is what makes it "current."
Clear skies,
Greg

SkyTools Developer
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#5
Thank you.
I think I get it now.
SkyTools has has been an indispensable observing companion.
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