SkySafari 5 | Observing Lists

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    Observing Lists

    Observing lists keep track of objects you wish to observe, and record a log of your observations. Items in the list can be edited to show the time and date you observed the object, and let you enter notes about your observations of the object. You can share observing lists with friends by email, or send them to yourself for safekeeping.

    You create and access observing lists at the bottom of the Search view, in the Custom Observing Lists section.

    Creating Observing Lists

    By default, SkySafari comes with a single, empty observing list called "My Favorites". To create additional observing lists, tap the Create New Observing List button at the bottom of the Search view. Give your new list a title; you can then add objects to the list.

    Adding Objects and Observations

    You can add an object to an observing list, log a new observation of an object, or show your existing observations of the object, from the Object Info view. Tap the Observe button at the bottom of this view. This gives you three options:

    • Add to Observing List - lets you add the object to the observing list.
    • Create New Observation - lets you log a new observation of the object.
    • Show Observations - shows all of your existing observations of the object.

    Choose Add to Observing List from the popup list of options. If you have more than one observing list, SkySafari lets you choose which list to add the object to. If you have only a single list, this choice is skipped.

    Sorting and Highlighting the List

    You can rearrange and delete items in an observing list. Here's how.

    On iOS, tap the Edit button at the top of the screen. Then tap and drag the "grip" icon on the right side of the list item to move it around the screen. Tap and drag the - (minus) icon on the left side of the item to delete it. Tap the End Edit button at the top of the screen when you're finished.

    On Android, tap the Edit link at the top of the screen. Up/down arrows and a trash can appear at the bottom of the screen. Then tap the observing list item you want to move or delete. Use the up/down arrows to move the item in the list, or tap the trash can to delete it. When finished, tap the End Edit link at the top of the screen.

    You can sort all objects in the list by tapping the Settings button above the list. Then choose a property to sort on. For example, to sort objects in the list by magnitude (brightest to faintest), choose "Visual Magnitude" from this menu.

    To visually show where objects in the selected list appear in the sky chart, tap the Settings button, then turn on the Highlight Objects switch. When an observing list is highlighted, a small list icon appears at the bottom of the sky chart. Click this icon to quickly return to the highlighted list.

    To delete an entire observing list, use the same techniques to edit the list of observing lists at the bottom of the main Search view.

    Using an Observing List

    Tap an observing list in the Search view to see the objects it contains. Tapping an object in the list provides a choice of:

    • Showing the Object Info for that object
    • Editing your observations of the object
    • Centering the object in the sky chart

    When editing an observation of an object, you can enter the following information about your observation:

    • Observed - a switch you can turn on to mark that you've actually observed the object. You can "cross it off your list".
    • Date and Time - when you actually observed the object.
    • Comments - any particular notes about the object that you want to save. For example, "Jupiter's Great Red Spot was unusually red tonight."
    • Location - the location from where you observed the object. You can enter the location name by typing, or you can tap the button to the right to choose a particular location from SkySafari's built-in database.
    • Equipment - the combination of equipment you used to observe the object (telescope, eyepiece, binoculars, etc.) You can enter the equipment by typing, or you can tap the button to the right to choose from SkySafari's equipment list. See the Equipment Help for information on how to add equipment to the list.
    • Seeing - a measure of how steady the air was when you observed the object. Use the slider to choose from 0 (very turbulent) to 9 (perfectly still).
    • Transparency - a measure of how steady the clear the sky was when you observed the object. Use the slider to choose from 0 (very hazy) to 9 (perfectly clear).

    You can go back and edit your observations of an object at any time.

    Sharing Observing Lists

    Below the objects in an observing list is an Email Observing List button. Tap this button to create an email message with the observing list as an attachment. Enter the recipient's email address in the "To:" field, and edit the message body as desired. Tap Send to send the observing list to the recipient.

    When the recipient receives the email on their mobile device, they can import the attached observing list into their copy of SkySafari. To do this, the recipient should touch and hold the observing list attachment until a view appears with an Open in SkySafari button. Tapping this button imports the observing list into the recipient's copy of SkySafari.

    You can email your observing lists with or without observations. This lets you send a "clean" copy of an observing list to someone else. You can also email your observing list as a plain-text attachment, or as a CSV (comma-separated value) text file attachment. This lets you import your observations and notes into other programs.

    Using iTunes File Sharing

    If you're using SkySafari on an iOS device, you can import and export observing lists to SkySafari using iTunes file sharing. To do this, connect your iPhone or iPad to a computer running iTunes with a USB cable. Select your iOS device when it appears in iTunes, then find the "Apps" section that lists all the apps on your device. Choose SkySafari from the list of apps. iTunes will then display a list SkySafari Documents that can be shared with iTunes.

    To export an observing list (.skylist) file from SkySafari, drag and drop it from the list of SkySafari documents to your computer's desktop. You can also rename or delete observing lists here. Changes should be reflected immediately in SkySafari's Custom Observing Lists section.

    To import an observing list (.skylist) file, drag and drop it from your computer into the list of SkySafari Documents displayed by iTunes. iTunes will copy your file over the USB cable onto your iPhone/iPad. If everything works correctly, your observing list will then appear in SkySafari's Custom Observing Lists section. You can select and display objects in the new observing list, just like any other.

    If your observing list doesn't appear in SkySafari, make sure it's a valid SkySafari observing list file, and that its name ends with ".skylist". If all else fails, you can email your observing list to Simulation Curriculum technical support, and we can try to debug it for you.

    SD Card Import & Export

    If you're using SkySafari for Android, you can import and export observing lists to SkySafari using your SD card. To do this, connect your Android device with a USB cable to a computer. Then mount your Android's SD card on your computer, so it appears as a disk. Look for a SkySafari, SkySafari Plus, or SkySafari Pro folder on the root (top level) of your SD card, depending on which version of SkySafari you own. Then locate the Observing Lists folder within this folder. For example, if you own SkySafari Pro, your observing lists are stored in the following directory on your SD card:

    <top level of SD card>/SkySafari Pro/Observing Lists/

    To export an observing list (.skylist) file from SkySafari, copy it out of this folder on your SD card to your computer's desktop. You can also rename or delete observing lists directly on your SD card. Changes should be reflected immediately in SkySafari's Custom Observing Lists section.

    To import an observing list (.skylist) file, drag and drop it from your computer into this folder. If everything works correctly, your observing list will then appear in SkySafari's Custom Observing Lists section. You can select and display objects in the new observing list, just like any other.

    If your observing list doesn't appear in SkySafari, make sure it's a valid SkySafari observing list file, and that its name ends with ".skylist". If all else fails, you can email your observing list to Simulation Curriculum technical support, and we can try to debug it for you.

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