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Why Are The Solar System Object Rise Times Off By A Few Hours In SkySafari 6 Plus On MacOS? (Answer: Read On!)

I didn't realize anything was wrong (haven't used the app in awhile) until I turned on notifications a couple of days ago and received a notification on my MacBook Pro that the sun was 9:54am. This was obviously incorrect. Didn't have a chance to look at it until I received a notification that Mercury was rising later this morning, so I compared that data to both StarWalk and SkySafari Plus on my iPhone and found a large discrepancy,

SkySafari 6 Plus, version 6.4 for MacOS indicates a rise time for Mercury today of 10:41:56am.
SkySafari 6 Plus, version for iOS indicates a rise time for Mercury today of 7:18:21am.
StarWalk on iOS, data for Mercury shows a rise time of 7:18am.

I've verified that both SkySafari apps are set to current time at my location and to the same longitude and latitude. Precession settings are the same.

What am I missing?


  • 0
    Simon Miller

    Q. What am I missing?
    A. You are missing Support!

    This version hasn't been updated for quite some time and sadly I think you are out of luck!

    Meanwhile, you have the iOS version (many versions ahead) and you can get accurate (matching) times from Stellarium on the Mac.

    It would be helpful to list your location e.g. Houston, Texas.
    Or, to provide some other examples e.g. in London, New York, Singapore on this day, I get the following (wrong) answers...


  • 0

    I see that the original question was asked over three months ago, and the iOS version of SkySafari is now (the MacOS version is still 6.4.0). However when I set the time to match the time of the original post (November 08, 2019 09:04) and select Mercury, the Object Info on both versions show a matching rise time of 7:02:33 AM for my location (west coast of southern California).

    The only difference is that I'm using the Pro version rather than the Plus.

    Obviously, you should be sure that the "Minor Body Orbit Data" has been recently updated (although I'm not sure if that affects the position of the planets).

    If it's still a problem now, three months later, then there is probably a settings difference that you have overlooked.


  • 0
    Mike Matassa

    Thanks for the responses. I'd actually forgot that I posted this. For the life of me I also can't remember how I fixed it, except that I did (that's what happens when you're of Medicare age, I suspect).

    I opened the app hoping it might refresh my memory, and I think it may have had to do with the Horizon Altitude setting. I checked the rise time of a random star, which showed "Rises 07:46:16 PM". I moved the Horizon Altitude slider to 25 degrees and rechecked the rise time of the same star, which now reads "Rises above 25.0º 09:45:41 PM". I imagine that will also affect the notification of rise time.

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