Comet Tracking


Alvaro Cruz-Cabrera
 

I have a question (I have to accept that I haven't search for it):  how do you track a comet? I am thinking of the ATLAS comet.

I am using a MESU 200, and an Edge HD 9.25

Thanks,


Alvaro


Don W
 

Hi Alvaro,

The easy way in SiTech is to download the comet database into SkyView and then tell Skyview to go to the comet.  The Skyview dialog will offer to set the tracking rates for the comet (each comet is different).  Alternatively if you use a planetarium program like TheSky and it is connected to SiTech, then directing the mount to the comet from TheSky will set the tracking rates for you.

Don W


Ross Salinger <rgsalinger@...>
 

When using the SKYX you also need to push the button Set Track Rates on the Telescope tab to get the correct tracking rate for a comet or an asteroid. I'd stick with the SkyView technique - it works no matter what software you are using.

Rgrds-Ross

On 4/4/2020 1:42 PM, Don W wrote:

Hi Alvaro,

The easy way in SiTech is to download the comet database into SkyView and then tell Skyview to go to the comet.  The Skyview dialog will offer to set the tracking rates for the comet (each comet is different).  Alternatively if you use a planetarium program like TheSky and it is connected to SiTech, then directing the mount to the comet from TheSky will set the tracking rates for you.

Don W


Alvaro Cruz-Cabrera
 

Thank you for the info, and that sounds reasonable.
I am going to try download the comet database. and see if I can use Skyview.
I am bit worry that I am using old data, but maybe it is still valid.

this is from this pdf I found in the web:
====================================================================================================================

SiTechExe Help
SkyView Orbits
as of Version 0.91V


Here's a screen shot:
http://siderealtechnology.com/CometAsteroidsScreenGrab.jpg
Comets:
If you want to select and/or goto/track Comets, here's a step by step procedure:
1. Download the file named Soft00Cmt.txt from the minor planet center.
You can do that by clicking on the menu item labeled Orbits/Load Comets From Internet: Soft00Cmt.txt
This file is only 150K, currently, there's about 900 comets in it.
Normally, this file can be downloaded here:
http://www.minorplanetcenter.net/iau/Ephemerides/Comets/Soft00Cmt.txt
If you want to get this file somewhere else, you can change the path in the SiTechExe/Config tab/ChangeConfig/Misc.
However, it has to have the exact same format as Soft00Cmt.txt.
If you want, you can download this file manually, then place it here:
C:\ProgramData\SiTech\SiTechExe\Database\Soft00Cmt.txt
Your path may vary depending on your windows computer and location settings.
This should be downloaded occasionally, to get the latest orbital elements.
2. Once you've downloaded the file, you can select the menu item:
Orbits/Load Comets From Existing Soft00Cmt.txt
This will calculate the Comet orbits, and put the data into memory.
3. Set up the limiting magnitude you want for the comets under the Magnitudes menu.
4. Under the Objects menu, turn on Comets
Now there should be comets on SkyView.
You can search for a particular comet by selecting the Orbits/Search For Comet
You can put in an integer here, it will return the indexed comet. For instance, "1" would return "Hale Bopp", "10" would return "P/2000 S1 (Skiff)"
Otherwise, it will look for the string you specify. It's not case sensitive, you can use lower or upper. It returns the first occurance of your string.
Thus, "C/2013 E" would return "C/2013 E1 (McNaught)", even though there is an "E2".
I think the coolest feature is the menu item Orbits/Comet Selection and Sorting.
It loads all the comets from the Soft00Cmt.txt file into a listBox and you can sort by Altitude, Magnitude, Motion, Distance from Earth or File order.
For instance, to look for the brightest comet that's above the horizon, you can sort by Magnitude, and then look through the Altitudes column to find the highest one you're interested in.
Double click on an entry (or click the OK button) , and you have the option to GoTo/Sync or Center Skyview on the Comet.
If you want to GoTo the comet, you can make sure the "Track Planetoid" is checked. This is the default.

===================================================================================================================

On 4/4/2020 2:42 PM, Don W wrote:

Hi Alvaro,

The easy way in SiTech is to download the comet database into SkyView and then tell Skyview to go to the comet.  The Skyview dialog will offer to set the tracking rates for the comet (each comet is different).  Alternatively if you use a planetarium program like TheSky and it is connected to SiTech, then directing the mount to the comet from TheSky will set the tracking rates for you.

Don W



Alvaro Cruz-Cabrera
 

Yes, I am going to try that.   Now I am trying to figure out how to download the file from the web.
The only weird thing is that the data files in the SiTech\SitechExe\Database\ are extension .dat, but the file with the ephemerids is with extension .txt.

I hope that is correct.

Alvaro


On 4/4/2020 3:26 PM, Ross Salinger wrote:

When using the SKYX you also need to push the button Set Track Rates on the Telescope tab to get the correct tracking rate for a comet or an asteroid. I'd stick with the SkyView technique - it works no matter what software you are using.

Rgrds-Ross

On 4/4/2020 1:42 PM, Don W wrote:
Hi Alvaro,

The easy way in SiTech is to download the comet database into SkyView and then tell Skyview to go to the comet.  The Skyview dialog will offer to set the tracking rates for the comet (each comet is different).  Alternatively if you use a planetarium program like TheSky and it is connected to SiTech, then directing the mount to the comet from TheSky will set the tracking rates for you.

Don W



Alvaro Cruz-Cabrera
 

BTW: I have a question.  Does Skyview uses the MPC format to read the comet ephemerids?

Thanks,

Alvaro


On 4/4/2020 3:30 PM, Alvaro Cruz-Cabrera wrote:

Thank you for the info, and that sounds reasonable.
I am going to try download the comet database. and see if I can use Skyview.
I am bit worry that I am using old data, but maybe it is still valid.

this is from this pdf I found in the web:
====================================================================================================================

SiTechExe Help
SkyView Orbits
as of Version 0.91V


Here's a screen shot:
http://siderealtechnology.com/CometAsteroidsScreenGrab.jpg
Comets:
If you want to select and/or goto/track Comets, here's a step by step procedure:
1. Download the file named Soft00Cmt.txt from the minor planet center.
You can do that by clicking on the menu item labeled Orbits/Load Comets From Internet: Soft00Cmt.txt
This file is only 150K, currently, there's about 900 comets in it.
Normally, this file can be downloaded here:
http://www.minorplanetcenter.net/iau/Ephemerides/Comets/Soft00Cmt.txt
If you want to get this file somewhere else, you can change the path in the SiTechExe/Config tab/ChangeConfig/Misc.
However, it has to have the exact same format as Soft00Cmt.txt.
If you want, you can download this file manually, then place it here:
C:\ProgramData\SiTech\SiTechExe\Database\Soft00Cmt.txt
Your path may vary depending on your windows computer and location settings.
This should be downloaded occasionally, to get the latest orbital elements.
2. Once you've downloaded the file, you can select the menu item:
Orbits/Load Comets From Existing Soft00Cmt.txt
This will calculate the Comet orbits, and put the data into memory.
3. Set up the limiting magnitude you want for the comets under the Magnitudes menu.
4. Under the Objects menu, turn on Comets
Now there should be comets on SkyView.
You can search for a particular comet by selecting the Orbits/Search For Comet
You can put in an integer here, it will return the indexed comet. For instance, "1" would return "Hale Bopp", "10" would return "P/2000 S1 (Skiff)"
Otherwise, it will look for the string you specify. It's not case sensitive, you can use lower or upper. It returns the first occurance of your string.
Thus, "C/2013 E" would return "C/2013 E1 (McNaught)", even though there is an "E2".
I think the coolest feature is the menu item Orbits/Comet Selection and Sorting.
It loads all the comets from the Soft00Cmt.txt file into a listBox and you can sort by Altitude, Magnitude, Motion, Distance from Earth or File order.
For instance, to look for the brightest comet that's above the horizon, you can sort by Magnitude, and then look through the Altitudes column to find the highest one you're interested in.
Double click on an entry (or click the OK button) , and you have the option to GoTo/Sync or Center Skyview on the Comet.
If you want to GoTo the comet, you can make sure the "Track Planetoid" is checked. This is the default.

===================================================================================================================

On 4/4/2020 2:42 PM, Don W wrote:
Hi Alvaro,

The easy way in SiTech is to download the comet database into SkyView and then tell Skyview to go to the comet.  The Skyview dialog will offer to set the tracking rates for the comet (each comet is different).  Alternatively if you use a planetarium program like TheSky and it is connected to SiTech, then directing the mount to the comet from TheSky will set the tracking rates for you.

Don W




Don W
 

SiTech uses the Soft00Cmt.txt data.  You can download it directly in SkyView by clicking on "Orbits" menu.  That data will be downloaded into the SiTech database folder.  Then go to the SkyView Magnitudes menu to set the magnitudes, and then go to Objects menu to turn on Comets.

Don W


Alvaro Cruz-Cabrera
 

Great, thanks

On 4/4/2020 6:30 PM, Don W wrote:

SiTech uses the Soft00Cmt.txt data.  You can download it directly in SkyView by clicking on "Orbits" menu.  That data will be downloaded into the SiTech database folder.  Then go to the SkyView Magnitudes menu to set the magnitudes, and then go to Objects menu to turn on Comets.

Don W



Alvaro Cruz-Cabrera
 

I tried that last night and it worked relatively well.

As always we had clouds moving in and we have the moon in waning gibbous, so I did not got my best go to (the comet in center of the field, but still visible), but I managed to get some images from the comet.  Not sure if worth publishing;  I was using the sony A7s, so there were no many pixels on the comet.  I can say that I learned something new yesterday, that made my day.

Thanks,

Alvaro


 On 4/4/2020 6:38 PM, Alvaro Cruz-Cabrera wrote:

Great, thanks

On 4/4/2020 6:30 PM, Don W wrote:
SiTech uses the Soft00Cmt.txt data.  You can download it directly in SkyView by clicking on "Orbits" menu.  That data will be downloaded into the SiTech database folder.  Then go to the SkyView Magnitudes menu to set the magnitudes, and then go to Objects menu to turn on Comets.

Don W




Don W
 

Hi Alvero,

Well, you are now ready for better nights and more comets.  Great!

Don W


Dan Gray
 

I seem to be a re-occuring problem with internet links.  The DSS virtual camera, the satellite TLE downloads, and the comet link.  The above directions that were posted are correct EXCEPT 1 minor detail. There is now an 's' in the url.....
You can edit in SiTechExe/Config/ChangeConfig/Misc/"Internet Path to Comet Database"
change this:

to this:

note the https instead of http.

In 0.95G, all of this is fixed (well, for the comets you have to edit as described above, but the satellite tle's and the dss virtual camera work now.
Dan





On Sun, Apr 5, 2020 at 12:37 PM Don W <westergren@...> wrote:

Hi Alvero,

Well, you are now ready for better nights and more comets.  Great!

Don W


BR
 

I want to jump in here with a question. Several times I have seen the DSS Virtual Camera mentioned, however all my searches have turned up nothing. Someone please fix my stupid for me.

On Mon, Apr 6, 2020 at 11:59 AM Dan Gray <grayarea@...> wrote:
I seem to be a re-occuring problem with internet links.  The DSS virtual camera, the satellite TLE downloads, and the comet link.  The above directions that were posted are correct EXCEPT 1 minor detail. There is now an 's' in the url.....
You can edit in SiTechExe/Config/ChangeConfig/Misc/"Internet Path to Comet Database"
change this:

to this:

note the https instead of http.

In 0.95G, all of this is fixed (well, for the comets you have to edit as described above, but the satellite tle's and the dss virtual camera work now.
Dan





On Sun, Apr 5, 2020 at 12:37 PM Don W <westergren@...> wrote:

Hi Alvero,

Well, you are now ready for better nights and more comets.  Great!

Don W


Dan Gray
 

In SiTechExe/Config/ChangeConfig/CameraStuff,
There's a radio button on the left, labeled "use DSS Virtual Camera"
Set your field of view.
Now next time you open scripting/PlatesolveStuff, the software will download and platesolve an image from the DSS instead of your camera.
Great for testing.
The DSS folks changed their format, so you have to download 95G to make it work.
Dan


On Mon, Apr 6, 2020 at 10:33 AM BR <marsobservatory360@...> wrote:
I want to jump in here with a question. Several times I have seen the DSS Virtual Camera mentioned, however all my searches have turned up nothing. Someone please fix my stupid for me.

On Mon, Apr 6, 2020 at 11:59 AM Dan Gray <grayarea@...> wrote:
I seem to be a re-occuring problem with internet links.  The DSS virtual camera, the satellite TLE downloads, and the comet link.  The above directions that were posted are correct EXCEPT 1 minor detail. There is now an 's' in the url.....
You can edit in SiTechExe/Config/ChangeConfig/Misc/"Internet Path to Comet Database"
change this:

to this:

note the https instead of http.

In 0.95G, all of this is fixed (well, for the comets you have to edit as described above, but the satellite tle's and the dss virtual camera work now.
Dan





On Sun, Apr 5, 2020 at 12:37 PM Don W <westergren@...> wrote:

Hi Alvero,

Well, you are now ready for better nights and more comets.  Great!

Don W


CandCShaw
 

Hi Dan!

 

It’s a rainy day here in Florida, so since I already had 95G installed I tried the DSS virtual camera.  Pretty slick!!!  I tried both a test image and a single photo init and built a 3 start PXP scripted model.  For each of them I used Platesolve to view to view the image and I could match the star patterns, and the test and single photo inits were on some small galaxies.  Way cool……

 

I updated the https fix and the soft00cmt.txt downloaded just fine!!!    I thought I was on a roll, so I decided to SatTrack to track some satellites for fun (obviously could not see anything except big raindrops!!).    When I clicked on Download TLE’s, I got a msg window that said in the bar at the top:  “You need internet access to download TLE’s!” and the msg says “It appears to don’t have internet access”.   We, I don’t think that is true since I had just downloaded soft00cmt.txt using Sitechexe…

 

So I used “Space Track TLE Retriever 3” to download both Space Track TLE’s and also to download the Celes Trak TLEs.  Both  downloaded the TLE’s just find and save them in “My TLE’s” just like they were supposed to be!  So, I looked at the “Web Sites” tab in Space Track TLE Retriever 3, and saw the Space Track url was unchanged (has always been https), but the Celes Trak url now is changed to https from the previous http.     

 

I could not find where the url is stored in Sitechexe however to see what Sitechexe was using……     So I manually changed the TLE file to one I had just downloaded into the Celes Trak folder (Using “Space Track TLE Retriever 3”) , and it loaded and tracked just fine…

 

Can you check the fix in 95G for the TLE Retrieval?    There is a workaround (just use “Space Track TLE Retriever 3”) so there is obviously no hurry to fix it…..

 

Cheers! (and stay healthy!!)

 

Chuck

 

From: Sitechservo@groups.io On Behalf Of Dan Gray
Sent: Tuesday, April 07, 2020 6:51 PM
To: Sitechservo@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Sitechservo] Comet Tracking

 

In SiTechExe/Config/ChangeConfig/CameraStuff,

There's a radio button on the left, labeled "use DSS Virtual Camera"

Set your field of view.

Now next time you open scripting/PlatesolveStuff, the software will download and platesolve an image from the DSS instead of your camera.

Great for testing.

The DSS folks changed their format, so you have to download 95G to make it work.

Dan

 

 

On Mon, Apr 6, 2020 at 10:33 AM BR <marsobservatory360@...> wrote:

I want to jump in here with a question. Several times I have seen the DSS Virtual Camera mentioned, however all my searches have turned up nothing. Someone please fix my stupid for me.

 

On Mon, Apr 6, 2020 at 11:59 AM Dan Gray <grayarea@...> wrote:

I seem to be a re-occuring problem with internet links.  The DSS virtual camera, the satellite TLE downloads, and the comet link.  The above directions that were posted are correct EXCEPT 1 minor detail. There is now an 's' in the url.....

You can edit in SiTechExe/Config/ChangeConfig/Misc/"Internet Path to Comet Database"

change this:

 

to this:

 

note the https instead of http.

 

In 0.95G, all of this is fixed (well, for the comets you have to edit as described above, but the satellite tle's and the dss virtual camera work now.

Dan

 

 

 

 

 

On Sun, Apr 5, 2020 at 12:37 PM Don W <westergren@...> wrote:

Hi Alvero,

Well, you are now ready for better nights and more comets.  Great!

Don W


Dan Gray
 

Wow, I just fixed the satellite tle downloads, space-track changed how to access it.  So did they change it again? Geesh!
D


On Thu, Apr 16, 2020 at 11:03 AM CandCShaw <candcshaw@...> wrote:

Hi Dan!

 

It’s a rainy day here in Florida, so since I already had 95G installed I tried the DSS virtual camera.  Pretty slick!!!  I tried both a test image and a single photo init and built a 3 start PXP scripted model.  For each of them I used Platesolve to view to view the image and I could match the star patterns, and the test and single photo inits were on some small galaxies.  Way cool……

 

I updated the https fix and the soft00cmt.txt downloaded just fine!!!    I thought I was on a roll, so I decided to SatTrack to track some satellites for fun (obviously could not see anything except big raindrops!!).    When I clicked on Download TLE’s, I got a msg window that said in the bar at the top:  “You need internet access to download TLE’s!” and the msg says “It appears to don’t have internet access”.   We, I don’t think that is true since I had just downloaded soft00cmt.txt using Sitechexe…

 

So I used “Space Track TLE Retriever 3” to download both Space Track TLE’s and also to download the Celes Trak TLEs.  Both  downloaded the TLE’s just find and save them in “My TLE’s” just like they were supposed to be!  So, I looked at the “Web Sites” tab in Space Track TLE Retriever 3, and saw the Space Track url was unchanged (has always been https), but the Celes Trak url now is changed to https from the previous http.     

 

I could not find where the url is stored in Sitechexe however to see what Sitechexe was using……     So I manually changed the TLE file to one I had just downloaded into the Celes Trak folder (Using “Space Track TLE Retriever 3”) , and it loaded and tracked just fine…

 

Can you check the fix in 95G for the TLE Retrieval?    There is a workaround (just use “Space Track TLE Retriever 3”) so there is obviously no hurry to fix it…..

 

Cheers! (and stay healthy!!)

 

Chuck

 

From: Sitechservo@groups.io On Behalf Of Dan Gray
Sent: Tuesday, April 07, 2020 6:51 PM
To: Sitechservo@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Sitechservo] Comet Tracking

 

In SiTechExe/Config/ChangeConfig/CameraStuff,

There's a radio button on the left, labeled "use DSS Virtual Camera"

Set your field of view.

Now next time you open scripting/PlatesolveStuff, the software will download and platesolve an image from the DSS instead of your camera.

Great for testing.

The DSS folks changed their format, so you have to download 95G to make it work.

Dan

 

 

On Mon, Apr 6, 2020 at 10:33 AM BR <marsobservatory360@...> wrote:

I want to jump in here with a question. Several times I have seen the DSS Virtual Camera mentioned, however all my searches have turned up nothing. Someone please fix my stupid for me.

 

On Mon, Apr 6, 2020 at 11:59 AM Dan Gray <grayarea@...> wrote:

I seem to be a re-occuring problem with internet links.  The DSS virtual camera, the satellite TLE downloads, and the comet link.  The above directions that were posted are correct EXCEPT 1 minor detail. There is now an 's' in the url.....

You can edit in SiTechExe/Config/ChangeConfig/Misc/"Internet Path to Comet Database"

change this:

 

to this:

 

note the https instead of http.

 

In 0.95G, all of this is fixed (well, for the comets you have to edit as described above, but the satellite tle's and the dss virtual camera work now.

Dan

 

 

 

 

 

On Sun, Apr 5, 2020 at 12:37 PM Don W <westergren@...> wrote:

Hi Alvero,

Well, you are now ready for better nights and more comets.  Great!

Don W


Dan Gray
 

chuck, open up a command window, and type:
That's basically what I do to see if there's an internet connection.
I have the timeout set for 1 second.  Maybe I should increase it?

Mine returns this:
Microsoft Windows [Version 6.3.9600]
(c) 2013 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

C:\Windows\System32>ping yahoo.com

Pinging yahoo.com [98.138.219.231] with 32 bytes of data:
Reply from 98.138.219.231: bytes=32 time=91ms TTL=49
Reply from 98.138.219.231: bytes=32 time=91ms TTL=49
Reply from 98.138.219.231: bytes=32 time=91ms TTL=49
Reply from 98.138.219.231: bytes=32 time=91ms TTL=49

Ping statistics for 98.138.219.231:
    Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
    Minimum = 91ms, Maximum = 91ms, Average = 91ms

C:\Windows\System32>


On Thu, Apr 16, 2020 at 3:30 PM Dan Gray <grayarea@...> wrote:
Wow, I just fixed the satellite tle downloads, space-track changed how to access it.  So did they change it again? Geesh!
D

On Thu, Apr 16, 2020 at 11:03 AM CandCShaw <candcshaw@...> wrote:

Hi Dan!

 

It’s a rainy day here in Florida, so since I already had 95G installed I tried the DSS virtual camera.  Pretty slick!!!  I tried both a test image and a single photo init and built a 3 start PXP scripted model.  For each of them I used Platesolve to view to view the image and I could match the star patterns, and the test and single photo inits were on some small galaxies.  Way cool……

 

I updated the https fix and the soft00cmt.txt downloaded just fine!!!    I thought I was on a roll, so I decided to SatTrack to track some satellites for fun (obviously could not see anything except big raindrops!!).    When I clicked on Download TLE’s, I got a msg window that said in the bar at the top:  “You need internet access to download TLE’s!” and the msg says “It appears to don’t have internet access”.   We, I don’t think that is true since I had just downloaded soft00cmt.txt using Sitechexe…

 

So I used “Space Track TLE Retriever 3” to download both Space Track TLE’s and also to download the Celes Trak TLEs.  Both  downloaded the TLE’s just find and save them in “My TLE’s” just like they were supposed to be!  So, I looked at the “Web Sites” tab in Space Track TLE Retriever 3, and saw the Space Track url was unchanged (has always been https), but the Celes Trak url now is changed to https from the previous http.     

 

I could not find where the url is stored in Sitechexe however to see what Sitechexe was using……     So I manually changed the TLE file to one I had just downloaded into the Celes Trak folder (Using “Space Track TLE Retriever 3”) , and it loaded and tracked just fine…

 

Can you check the fix in 95G for the TLE Retrieval?    There is a workaround (just use “Space Track TLE Retriever 3”) so there is obviously no hurry to fix it…..

 

Cheers! (and stay healthy!!)

 

Chuck

 

From: Sitechservo@groups.io On Behalf Of Dan Gray
Sent: Tuesday, April 07, 2020 6:51 PM
To: Sitechservo@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Sitechservo] Comet Tracking

 

In SiTechExe/Config/ChangeConfig/CameraStuff,

There's a radio button on the left, labeled "use DSS Virtual Camera"

Set your field of view.

Now next time you open scripting/PlatesolveStuff, the software will download and platesolve an image from the DSS instead of your camera.

Great for testing.

The DSS folks changed their format, so you have to download 95G to make it work.

Dan

 

 

On Mon, Apr 6, 2020 at 10:33 AM BR <marsobservatory360@...> wrote:

I want to jump in here with a question. Several times I have seen the DSS Virtual Camera mentioned, however all my searches have turned up nothing. Someone please fix my stupid for me.

 

On Mon, Apr 6, 2020 at 11:59 AM Dan Gray <grayarea@...> wrote:

I seem to be a re-occuring problem with internet links.  The DSS virtual camera, the satellite TLE downloads, and the comet link.  The above directions that were posted are correct EXCEPT 1 minor detail. There is now an 's' in the url.....

You can edit in SiTechExe/Config/ChangeConfig/Misc/"Internet Path to Comet Database"

change this:

 

to this:

 

note the https instead of http.

 

In 0.95G, all of this is fixed (well, for the comets you have to edit as described above, but the satellite tle's and the dss virtual camera work now.

Dan

 

 

 

 

 

On Sun, Apr 5, 2020 at 12:37 PM Don W <westergren@...> wrote:

Hi Alvero,

Well, you are now ready for better nights and more comets.  Great!

Don W