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The Interstellar Comet
#1
I have written an article about C/2019 Q4 (Borisov), the interstellar comet.

https://skyhound.com/2019_Q4.html
Clear skies,
Greg

SkyTools Developer
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#2
Nice article -- I'll be linking it to any posts I make about C/2019 Q4 (Borisov). And thanks for the quick addition of the elements for Borisov to ST4i, but will they be available for ST3 soon?

I just ran theĀ  "Update 'Current' Lists from Web" in ST3.2k Pro and it shows "Current Comets updated 2019 September 2," so no Borisov. Then I downloaded supplemental data, comets, "MPC Observable," but still no Borisov. The latest comet now listed on a designation search is C/2019 J2 (Palomar), apparently from May 2019. Is that a consequence of the computer problems MPC had in June 2019?
Joe Stieber
http://sjastro.org/
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#3
Hello Joe,

It is unusual for such a faint comet (likely fainter than 18.5 mag) to garner so much interest.

The Current Comets list in SkyTools 3 is primarily for visual observation, so it is limited to those objects that are brighter than about magnitude 15 and have reported magnitude/coma diameter/DC estimates. The MPC Observable comets can have a delay in the elements being updated. They should be there now that the second MPEC is out, so try again.

For those wondering how to do this, here are the instructions:

For imaging with ST3, which can reach fainter comets, you should do the following:

1. Open the Data Manager via the button on the planner tool bar

2. Select the Supplemental Data tab

3. Click the Download/Import Data button

4. Click to download the MPC Observable (comets). Do not check the box to overwrite magnitude parameters.

This will add the latest comets your your database including C/2019 Q4. Type "2019 Q4" into the Designation Search and add it to any observing list.
Clear skies,
Greg

SkyTools Developer
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#4
Are the observable comet files being updated again or does SkyTools pick this up from somewhere else as the current last comet there is J2.

Owen
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#5
(2019-09-15, 09:22 AM)obrazell Wrote: Are the observable comet files being updated again or does SkyTools pick this up from somewhere else as the current last comet there is J2.

Owen

It was my understanding that the Observable Comets database was being updated with new comets (I saw several of these last month), but many of the orbits have epochs from May, which has not been a big problem but we are far enough away that it is going to be soon. Looking at it right now, I see 2019 N1 as the most recent comet, so it looks like maybe they are updating it irregularly? The whole thing is a mystery to me. According to several people who have asked directly, the MPC has not been very forthcoming about why this is still a problem and when it will be fixed. It's never even been listed officially as a problem with their service. One gets the impression, true or not, that they are paid to do NEOs and comets are something they only reluctantly do when they have the time.
Clear skies,
Greg

SkyTools Developer
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#6
I am not sure if you have seen this site http://astro.vanbuitenen.nl/cometelement...t=skytools where he is updating his comets from JPL elements for several popular programs. I asked him to add SkyTools and it seems to work. I think it was initially mostly for Guide and then he added others.
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#7
I see C/2019 Q4 in the Observable Comets list of one of my test versions of SkyTools 3 Pro. That list is generated directly from the downloadable Observable Comets file, so it would appear that the MPC has it updated through C/2019 Q4 after all. Maybe you should try downloading it again.

Yes, I am aware of the alternative file, but I have not needed to use it. BTW ST4 Imaging doesn't have the ability to download comet data from a file. It's not supposed to need it! SkyTools 3 should be able to read these files, however, but I have not tried it. They seem to have added the latest comets, but as far as I can tell they have no means of updating the epochs of the orbits, which is starting to become an issue. So I do not recommend using it.

For the current comets in both ST3/ST4 I do my own import of data and then export it in the form of the observing lists. So in the vast majority of cases all anyone needs to do is download the current comet lists.
Clear skies,
Greg

SkyTools Developer
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