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How to add satellites in Pro Plus 7

Changing Satellites.txt  to add more satellites  using Norad data has no effect in Pro Plus 7.

Even completely removing satellites.txt has no effect at all.

Satellite magnitures.txt    seems to be being used instead


How do I add Norad Satellite Data in Pro Plus 7

- merely adding Norad data  to satellites.txt used to work in Pro Plus 6.4.3, does not now


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    I'm attempting to move some related questions I have from the discussion on the 7.3.1 update page, and specifically in light of Marko Kudjerski 's comments from September 16, 2015, 17:39:

    As Marko explains, the Sky Data folder contents should never be changed in SN7, due to new Apple requirements (as I understood it) that program elements not be modifiable, such as when the satellite.txt file is altered (as above) or, as I have been doing since way back to at least SN5, swapping it out entirely with another list I much prefer (Celestrak's "visual.txt" file, renaming it "satellites.txt").  It not only renders the Sky Data folder "modified" and thus requiring the entire SN7 program to be reinstalled each time one attempts install an update, but it seems SN7 will not load the new or modified Sky Data satellite.txt file anyway.

    Which raises the obvious question  --  how do you do bulk modifications of the artificial satellites that SN7 loads, now that you can't change the Sky Data folder and its satellites.txt file?  

    The User Guide only talks about manually adding individual objects, including satellites.  I need to make large-scale satellite changes that I've always been able to do quickly with past versions of SN that would now take far too much time to do manually with SN7.

    As I explained to Keiron some weeks back, I do stargazing programs at my local park.  I've been using SN, SNP, SNPP over the years to project the night sky on a their auditorium screen, to preview what we hope to see when we go outside.  (I wrote to lament the dropping of the still desperately needed F8 key I've been using for years to hide the SN controls during my talks — they can be a big distraction during public talks.  If at all possible, please restore the F8 key "hide controls" option.)  These talks have always included simulating any interesting satellites passing overhead during that night's outdoor stargazing, in hopes people will keep an eye out for them.  It's always fun to see who can spot the moving satellite on the screen first -- it gives people a true sense of what it is like to try to spot real satellites once we go outside.  

    So, all this time, I've been swapping out the satellites.txt file for Celestrak's visual.txt file, because that is specifically intended for visual satellite spotting, consisting of the "100 or so brightest" satellites.  For stargazing programs like mine, it works so much better than using the default SN satellites listing.  (I can always add an individual Iridium satellite manually if one is going to flare during a given program.)   

    Is there some way to make bulk satellite changes to those SN7 loads at startup?  If not, can you add (or re-add) that feature somehow?  Perhaps you could change the way satellites are loaded in the preferences settings down the road?  Maybe give people the option of picking which list of satellites to load each time (letting people pick from some common sources, like Celestrak's "visual.txt" file, or the default SN7 satellites, or whether to load the geosats, etc.), with SN updating them each time you let it update its databases?

    It's heartbreaking to me that I still need to use SN6 over SN7 for my public programs because it does what I need it to do, whereas SN7 has removed those features.  When you asked people on Twitter what features would they would like to see included with the (then) upcoming SN7, it never occurred to me any long-existing ones would be dropped.

    I look forward to your comments, with fingers crossed.

    - Jim

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    Marko Kudjerski

    I am happy to say that you can still make Sky Data modifications, albeit in a separate folder and not in the main application folder. Our lead developer, Dave, laid everything out in this article:

    You can think of the custom Sky Data content as "overrides" rather than "modifications". Feel free to reach out if you encounter any issues with the process.

    Clear skies!

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    Well, what do you know.  I searched the support pages many times for adding satellites in SN7 and never found that page.  I never thought to search for "Sky Data."  Thank you Marco (and Dave) -- this is a HUGE help!  

    Well, I'm glad I posted this here so perhaps the next person trying to change the Satellites.txt file will find this.  The SN7 User Guide still shows: 

    "The data for these objects is stored in the files “asteroids.txt”, “comets.txt” and “satellites.txt”, which are all located in the “Starry Night\Sky Data” folder (on the Macintosh, you will need to Ctrl-click on the Starry Night application icon and choose Show Package Contents, then open the Resources folder to view the Sky Data folder)."

    If Mac users are still following those instructions, when it doesn't work and they come searching the support pages for help adding multiple satellites, hopefully they'll find this page and learn how to use the new Sky Data folder. 

    Thanks again!

    So {ahem}, if you guys get a chance, about restoring that F8 key ... could still use some help there. ;)

    - Jim

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