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Why Do Satellites Disappear When Increasing Magnification? (Answer: As You Increase Magnification, Satellites Are Effectively Inside The Earth And Thus Disappear - Read On!)

Earlier tonight I had SkySafari Pro 6.4 running on my Macbook Pro. I had "show satellites" enabled, and was able to see the satellites passing over real time around 609PM. I closed my Macbook and went inside. About 10 minutes later, I opened it, brought sky safari up on the screen, adjusted the magnitude of what was displayed, changed the time to around 609PM, incremented the time in seconds, then later and minutes and could not view any satellite that I saw earlier on my display, no matter what I did. I double checked that show satellites was enabled, and even played with the clock to fast forward and backward over the time period where I saw the satelites earlier and then later in the evening and could not get a single satellite to display on the screen. If I searched for a satellite it would display that one, but only just that satellite. I even updated the minor body orbit data, and it didn't help. I'm running Mac OS Catalina 10.15.3. Not sure what happened.... I even stopped and started the program to no avail. ???? Cannot view satellites now...


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    I played around with the settings and may have found a software BUG. Satellites will disappear if the "Planet Magnification & Size" slider is not slid all the way to the left!

    These settings are under the  "Solar System" menu, with "Minor Body Display" submenu item "Show Satellites" Selected (checked), and with a pretty good "Brightness and Size" submenu "Magnitude Limit" set to 15 (but you can use higher numbers).



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    Keiron Smith

    If you increase the planet magnification beyond 1x, the satellites start disappearing. To reproduce (1) turn on satellites with names, (2) go to planet magnification and start sliding the control to the right. By the time you reach 7x virtually all of them will be gone.

    This is working as designed.  As you increase the magnification, the satellites are effectively inside the Earth and thus disappear.

    Increasing the magnification really does change the effective radius of the planet.


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