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Variable Stars

Having used SkySafari recently to select a variable to observe and log with AAVSO, It would be useful if the option was available to order the list of variables by mag. variation. This information is available in the description but only individually. As icing on the cake, what would be even greater would be to order by constellation then by mag. variation so you could first select a constellation that would be visible from your locale for several months.

9 comments

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    Bill Tschumy

    Michael,

    I can add this to our list of possible enhancements but it seems like a pretty specialized request.  There are other, more general, things that will have higher priority.

    Bill

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    Michael Southam

    Understood. My thought was that it may be easy to implement as the information is already in SkySafari. If not, no big deal. 

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    B

    It would also be nice (if difficult!) if you could display the AAVSO chart on request.

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    Bill Tschumy

    That would probably take some cooperation with AAVSO.  Not sure their charts are in the public domain.  If we could do that it would probably have to be displayed from the Object Info.  I don't see how we would incorporate it into the main chart.

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    B

    OK. Well, put it at the bottom of the "it would be nice if" list :)

    As a new user I have to say SF5 is well worth the money. It's great, both indoors and outside - it's so useful to be able to check if a field one has star-hopped to really is the field you think it is, and being able to display a chart of arbitrary size and magnitude is just what's needed. Best £30 I've spent recently ...

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    Michael Southam

    Bill, If including a link to the AAVSO light curve in the description of a variable star is something that you might like to include in future, I can ask their Director for permission and assistance in how the link would work.

    Currently the only single click link I can see for a particular star (U Orionis in this case) would be something like this. https://www.aavso.org/content/u-ori which does not return the latest information for that star.

    To get a one click to the up to date light curve you currently need 1 click to get to the AAVSO web site, then to type in the star name into the 'Pick as Star' box on the home page and then another click on the 'Plot a Light Curve' button. This is far too complicated to be included in the description which IMHO needs a single click from sky safari to the up to date light curve. 

    The 'Plot a Light Curve' button executes an html command that I cannot decipher (below) but perhaps adding the star name (U-ORI) in the command somewhere would execute the command in 1 click.

    <a id="edit-submit-lcg" href="#edit-auid" onclick="return requestStarPlotPick(document.getElementById('edit-auid').value)">Plot a light curve</a>

    Let me know if I should ask permission from AAVSO. I would include you on the email.

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    B

    If all else fails, and if AAVSO are amenable, perhaps a library of JPGs (whatever) of the N "most popular" variable stars (Chi Cygni, U Geminorum etc etc) that could be displayed on request. Not sure what scale and orientation you'd use though ... the other method would be to allow the user to add his/her own image and call it up (in red!) on demand.

    In fact that might be a very useful general thing - call up any user-supplied image you fancy but have Sky Safari take care of displaying it in red (if such can be done, clever algorithm required methinks). Or allow two images, one for day, one for night.

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    Bill Tschumy

    There is not much point in doing it now.  We are semi-swamped with things to do and, if we do it at all, it wouldn't be until later this year.

     

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    Michael Southam

    Understood. Let me know if I can be of further assistance in gaining approval and technical input from AAVSO at a later point.

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