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Why Are Some Comets Not Showing Up In Search? (Answer: Preferences -> Startup -> Change Number Of Comets Read In At Start Up To 2000)

So far, the upgrade to SNPP8 has been going quite well, as has moving my logs over to LiveSky.  But while double checking the logs I'd imported I find at least one comet, 65P/Gunn, that is not showing up in the program.  It is present in SkySafari 6 Pro as well as LiveSky Web, and I entered my August 2010 observations on it.  From either SkySafari (tablet and phone) as well as LiveSky, I can pull up my observations and view or edit them.  But from Starry Night, the comet doesn't show up; Starry Night does report there is an observation of that object as well as a session for that night (Aug 10, 2010), but I cannot search for or see the comet, nor access the logs.

However, when I open the comets.txt file in "C:\Program Files (x86)\Starry Night Pro Plus 8\Sky Data" 65P/Gunn is listed.  Not sure why it (and perhaps others I've not noticed yet) are not available.  Perhaps this has already been identified but I did a brief search but couldn't find anything on this related to SN8 yet.


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    Running on Mac El Capitan. There, too, I cannot find most comets when searching. I looked at the Comets file and the comets are listed there, but (a) they don't come up in a search, and (b) the file is dated July, although I have automatic update enabled. I've had version 7 since it debuted and comets always worked before, so I don't know what would have changed, but something's obviously gone wrong.

    Some comets do appear - including Halley and 9P/Tempel - but 2P/Encke, 4P/Faye, 6P/d'Arrest, 7P/Pons-Winnecke, 8P/Tuttle, and 10P/Tempel 2 don't, and they obviously should.

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    Shawn Grant

    Go to File and then Preferences. In Preferences select Startup/Auto Updates. By default Starry Night loads just 600 comets. Put in a larger number 1,000 or 1,200. Restart Starry Night and you will be able to find the comet.

    To the Starry Night developers. Why? This is by far the most common support question asked on here or in Yahoo Groups. Starry Night runs just as fast if it loads 1 comet or 1,000 comets. This is an unnecessary hoop people have to jump through to interact with comets. Most people, even tech savvy ones won't be able to figure this out. Can this be fixed? All other software, if the comet is in the database it is found if entered in search including your own SkySafari.

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    Steve Cox

    Thanks Shawn, I'm halfway there now.  The comet in this case, Gunn (65P/Gunn) now shows up in both the Comet list within the Right Pane, Planets, and also on-screen when I search. 

    But...any log I've entered against the comet in LiveSky, is still not showing up or editable within Starry Night  It's still reported from my Logs that there was an entry, in this case Aug 10, 2010, but the log entry does not show up in the Object Info window for the comet, nor is the log accessible to be read or edited in anyway.  

    However, if I add a new observation within Starry Night to the comet, it seems to add it fine; I haven't checked LiveSky yet to see if it's sync'ing from Starry Night to LiveSky/SkySafari.  The only reason I've been adding my historical observations from LiveSky is the difficulty of doing so within Starry Night due to having to change the Starry Night's "system" date and time for each individual object and entry I add, instead of being able to change that from within the Observation Editor and leaving Starry Night's "system" date/time alone.


    edit -- 

    Okay, I did a little more testing and believe I've found the source of my trouble in this case; the comet is listed/named differently in Starry Night than it is in both LiveSky and SkySafari and appears there's no cross-linking or association between the two.  When adding an observation of the comet from Starry Night, it's named Gunn (65P) and files as a separate log entry not associated to the comet within LiveSky.  When I add an observation from LiveSky or SkySafari, it's named simply Gunn.

    As a double-check, I added the comet to my Working List file, and as suspected, it's being treated as two different objects, and neither program seems to understand the other's entry.

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    Steve Cox

    As a follow-on, I decided to peruse my Observing Lists and found the following items not being recognized at all by Starry Night - they're reported as [Unrecognized] "Starry Night could not find this object in its database".  What I've found so far by list:

    Meteor Showers:  Quadrantids; Lyrids; Eta Aquarids; Perseids; Orionids; Leonids; Geminids - NONE are recognized nor can you add observations.

    Stars:  TU Gem; HD 294271; SAO 161161; Xi Sco; HR 7048; HD 23479.

    Yes, all these objects/events are located in Starry Night, and if I add them from Starry Night, then they're listed as [Unrecognized] in SkySafari.  In fact, in the case of the Meteor Shower list, if I add a new entry for the Quadrantids from within Starry Night, Starry Night itself turns around and says its own entry from its own database is unrecognized. So there's no way to add observations and notes for these objects and events in our logs.

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    Hi Shawn -

    I dunno if you were answering Steve Cox or me, but on my end, your solution worked fine. As you say, who woulda thunk it. Thanks very much.

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    Keiron Smith

    Just following up here...

    Look in:

    (Windows) \Users\<YourUserName>\AppData\Local\Simulation Curriculum\Starry Night 8Prefs\

    (Note that the AppData folder is often "hidden". A quick Googling can show you how to un-hide it)

    (OS X)  /Users/<YourUserName>/Library/Application Support/Simulation Curriculum/Starry Night 8 Prefs/

    Note that this is where any "streamed" data will be located too.

    Find the:

    • Asteroids.txt file
    • Comets.txt file

    Open the files.  This is where the auto downloaded data goes.

    The number of asteroids and comets in each file is determined by your preferences:

    File -> Preferences -> StartUp -> Max number of objects read in at startup.

    ^^^ You can make a change here to have MORE comets/asteroids read in.

    Also, you can modify these Asteroids.txt/Comets.txt files - but must match EXACT format.  Note, these files will be OVERWRITTEN next time you update the data, so keeps this in mind.  

    Got a fast computer?  Bonus! It is possible to add EVERY SINGLE KNOWN ASTEROID into Starry Night.

    Read this:

    Note, the KB articles reference SN7, which has a different pathway to the Prefs folder.  Starry Night 8 uses the "Starry Night 8 Prefs".

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