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Two requests :Option to add SAC notes and to change Comet parameters

Hello Bill , Keith ,developers...    
I've been onboard the SS5 pro for a little while now, several years. I'm using SS5pro primarily as a “star chart” and to use making observing lists made by myself or others. Use the program for general planning on a laptop and as a star chart on a tablet under the skies.

Not using telescope interface or electronic control. Only have really learned the basics for what I need and want it to do, In "help" I did not find the answers i was looking for.

 Like many here  -using SSpro as well as several versions of  of "other" developer’s Astronomical software.  I have SS across 3 platforms OS-x ,plus both android and mac . One issue or request is regarding adding users notes to "info" ,  example is another DVD based / PC program that under “more info” will display Steve Coe's notes from SAC 7.2 database.

Is any way to get these notes by STEVE COE into SS so they an be seen in “info- description” ?

Often it’s the “other “ program that has slight errors in a Comet’s position whereas SSpro will be very accurate and just a button to press for updates ( as apposed to the other program have to go to manually to MPC and copy a soft cmt file over and dump in a the programs directory cache on the HD then coax it to open.   In addition the “other" program allows me to set a Comet’s orbital element parameters, with the icing on the cake being “absolute magnitude (H)” that can be tweaked to display a more accurate visual mag.  

Would be nice to enable a SSPro user to modify the Comet parameters visual magnitude then comparatively relate to and be consistent with others observations , using references like their own estimates, or others on Comet observer's websites and decide for themselves what Comet's mag to display in "info" in SS.

Have been hesitant to upgrade to newer versions of SSpro , what I have is making do ok -  have SS5pro on three different platforms and thats enough to keep my eyes all over the screen(s) as a user ,the interface appears little different on each platform. 

To get to the point , the Comets in SSpro  do not display the mag as what I think they should be and would like control over that.
Is there a fix for this , or is this something that has appeared in more recent versions of SSpro?

12 comments

  • 0
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    Bill Tschumy

    Thanks for your comments.

    1. We would, of course have to get permission to include these notes.  I can add it to the list of possible enhancements

    2. We get the comet information directly from the Minor Planet Center.  Yes, their magnitudes are not always accurate but we do agree with what they show when you visit their web site.  We do have on our list, the ability to add and edit your own objects.  Maybe we can bend this into modifying existing objects. It is not as simple a matter as just allowing you to specify a magnitude.  That value has to change depending on how far away the object is and the angle of illumination.

     

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    Deepskyobservers

    Thanks for the quick reply Bill , and possibly including those notes in the future. Steve is no longer with us, not sure how permission might be granted.

    I agree regarding not being simple to just specify a magnitude, and that value would have to change and soon not be accurate. When I had problems with MPC way back I had to enter my dozen brightest Comet's parameters manually.

    The users group for that "other" software has been using tweaking "H" value as a temporary hack to get several Comets that have come up before as not correct brightness ,to display closer visual magnitude for a short time when you select Comets in the line up on that software program.

     Bill Gray the developer /writer of the program suggests just that fix in appendix F in the user manual for these times-  he is well regarded in the astro-software community with his works GUIDE9 and CHARON, PC based astrometry program.  A few on CN are still running GUIDE.

    I love the SSpro software, just looking for work-arounds.

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    Chris

    +1 for suggestion 1, I have long desired the ability to have other experienced observers' notes easily accessible in SS. I was hoping LiveSky would give us the ability to opt in to have our observations shared out to everyone in the community, but that isn't so. I find SO MUCH value in being at the eyepiece, looking at an object that isn't well known, and being able to see the notes of others to compare to what I see, as well as to point out things I should look for. I think this is how we learn and grow as observers and I know other programs have done this for a decade or more. These notes, and the ability to rotate fields by specified degrees, are the only reasons I'm still left using other programs along with SS.

    Chris 

  • 0
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    Dave Whipps

    Chris,

    Can you describe what you'd like to see in terms of rotating fields by specified degrees? SkySafari already has some functionality to do that. Is there something we could be doing better?

    - Dave

  • 0
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    Chris

    Hi Dave--  Yes, I'd be happy to!  When I and others are at the eyepiece and using SS on our tablets or phones as our star chart, it would be extremely helpful if the field matched exactly on screen to what we see in the eyepiece.  Depending on how you stand or how you sit, or the angle at which your eyepiece is mounted on your scope, or the object you're looking at, the vertical and horizontal flip options don't suffice.  When really studying an object for hard-to-see details, one doesn't want to figure out the rotation each time they look down at their screen.  I'll go back and forth between typing out an observation and looking at the object on-screen, so manually turning the device to match over and over isn't feasible as a work-around either.  In the threads below, some have suggested some kind of bar that can be dragged that rotates the field until it matches perfectly.  This bar could be toggled on through the shortcut at the top right that's currently used to flip, maybe the flip options stay and this is another button that lets you manually rotate the field by degrees.  In Guide, another software I use, this option has been available for a decade, and everyone I know that uses the software also uses this rotation feature.

    I'm still currently a version behind on SS6 Pro on my tablet since some changes were made in the last version that significantly increases my steps to log observations, but this change going in might make it worth upgrading anyway and dealing with that headache.  I appreciate you looking into this option.


    Here are other articles where this has been referenced:

    https://support.simulationcurriculum.com/hc/en-us/community/posts/223641427-Ability-to-rotate-a-view

    https://support.simulationcurriculum.com/hc/en-us/community/posts/360017423613-SS6-Pro-Feature-Requests-User-definable-field-rotation-

    https://support.simulationcurriculum.com/hc/en-us/community/posts/115006686127-Field-Rotation

    https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/602702-skysafari-6-for-ios-is-now-available/?p=8300382

    https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/602702-skysafari-6-for-ios-is-now-available/?p=8302681

    https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/602702-skysafari-6-for-ios-is-now-available/?p=8355714

    https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/632193-sky-safari-6-android-is-out/?p=8817447

  • 0
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    Deepskyobservers

    Thanks Chris for the links, was not aware any field rotation was possible-  Will be plenty to catch up on there.

     

     

  • 0
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    Dave Whipps

    All,

    Now that Chris has clarified this, I understand. SkySafari does not currently support arbitrary field rotation. I was referring to the ability to rotate the Field of View indicators, not the sky display itself.

    This is definitely something we will look into over the upcoming months.

    - Dave

     

     

  • 0
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    Bill Tschumy

    The main reason we have not implemented arbitrary field rotation is that SkySafari is used mainly on mobile devices.  This means you can rotate the device to rotate the field.  I realize that some people mount their device on their scope and this makes that impossible.

    There is some confusion possible with allowing rotation.  It needs to be made very clear that the field is rotated.

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    Chris

    I know what you mean, I often find myself forgetting I rotated the field using the two flip options, only to realize it after wondering why the objects I'm looking at are below the horizon now :)  I don't really understand how rotating by degrees is any more or less confusing than rotating vertically or horizontally, as long as it's implemented similarly.  Maybe the button you click in the shortcut menu that brings up the drag bar to rotate by degrees 'lights up' or changes in some way when the screen is rotated, similar to the Horz and Vert buttons now.

    Rotating the device works for some uses, but when you're reading the info, logging observations, checking to see if objects are on other observing lists, etc. it doesn't really make sense.  And you bring up a good point, someone I observe with has their tablet mounted to their telescope and complains about this as well.

    Sorry to hijack this thread, as I think getting the notes in SS as suggested would also be very beneficial.

  • 0
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    Roman Bakay

    1. https://www.astronomy-mall.com/Adventures.In.Deep.Space/steve.ngc.htm 
    Many programs contain these notes. I think Steve is not against it.

  • 0
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    Mario Wolczko

    if SimCur is up for a challenge, perhaps they could get permission to include Annals of the Deep Sky as notes. I'd love to have the descriptions at the 'scope, but I'm not about to lug a couple thousand pages around with me. Willman-Bell has not released an electronic version, perhaps to circumvent piracy. Wrapping an app around it might suffice.

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    Deepskyobservers

    Hi Roman ,that link was not working for me...   Steve's notes especially helpful , many are observed with a 13" and the descriptions are very comparable to what I see in that aperture, my used at home telescope ...    FYI https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/641688-steve-coe-1949-2018-rip/

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