Quick Start Guide

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Selecting objects to observe

The application supports two approaches to object selection. The easier way is to turn on the Star Chart object layers (NGCIC/SAC, PGC) and either:

  • set the limiting magnitude for each layer and field of view (FOV). All objects whose magnitude is below limiting will then be shown on Star Chart. Besides limiting magnitude you could also filter NgcIc/SAC layer by object types;
  • or use the visibility filter for object layers to show only objects visible in your telescope.

The second approach is to look through several databases for objects to be observed using various filters in the Object Selection module, prepare observation list, and get its objects on the star chart automatically.

You could use each approach separately or combine them. For a separate use turn off the Object Layers option and fill the current observation list, or contrary — turn on object layers and clear current observation list (or switch to an empty one). For combination of both — turn on object layers and fill the current observation list. To distinguish objects from the observation list from layers' objects you could set the option to show labels for the list objects, as well as the option to dim layers' objects.

Star Chart Screen

The Star Chart shows stars and objects from the selected layers and ALL objects from the current observation list. For each FOV and layer you could adjust limiting magnitude to filter out too dim stars and objects from the screen (keep in mind that the limiting magnitude in Range has no influence on how objects from current observation list are shown).

Star Chart is highly customisable, there are many options in Star Chart Settings that help you adjust it to your needs.

By default, Star Chart depicts preinstalled Digitized Sky Survey (DSS) images and their contours. They are not objects in a usual sense, rather consider them belonging to DSS image layer. To download DSS image of any object or sky region select an object or a star, open Menu an select DSS. You can remove DSS image or download an image of adjacent area with long touch(es) over existing image or adjacent area.

Object Selection Screen

To search for objects go to Object Selection screen. Press Select button. Select object catalogs, set Primary as search type and configure Primary search (e.g. set object types, minimum dimension, visibility or magnitude limit, minimum altitude).

Also select your geographic location, observation time range and sky conditions. Return back and press "Update" button. Here you are, with the list of objects. You can sort them by name, constellation, type, magnitude or the viewing angle.

Tap the object to see it on the Star Chart. Mark objects you want to add to current Observation list (note, that you may need to turn on "CheckBoxes" feature from the module menu first), long tap on the list and select "Add marked to observation list" to add marked object(s) to the current Observation list (after that they will become visible on the Star Chart).

Observations Lists Screen

There are four slots for observations lists available. The current observations list content is displayed in the Observations Lists module. Objects on that list are displayed in the Star Chart module. You can quickly switch the current observations list slot from the module menu (to show it on the map or prior to populating it with objects using the Object Selection module).

There is an option to download DSS images for all objects in the current observation list using "DSS" main menu option of the module to display on the DSS overlay of Star Chart module. Use the main menu of the Observations Lists module for objects sorting, search, note matching, etc..

Examples

Bright objects to observe today

You need to set up search parameters only the first time. After that you may keep them or update only the necessary ones.

  • Star Chart/Menu/Settings/Star, object and image layers — turn off NGCIC/SAC, and PGC layers
  • Object Selection/Select — You come to Select Conditions screen
    • Select object catalogs — Messier, Caldwell, Herschel 400
    • Select search type — Primary
    • Select Object types — Select types of objects you wish to observe
    • Primary search parameters/Filter type — No filter
    • Time of Observation — Set up observation period, e.g. Begin Time - Astro Twilight Ends, End Time - Astro Twilight Begins
    • Geographic Location — Enable AutoLocation (if not already enabled).
  • Update — Go back to the Object Selection module and tap Update button.
  • Add ALL to Observation List — select that item in the Context menu (long tap on the list to open it), objects in the list are now shown on the star chart.

Bright Comets to observe today

  • Settings/Object Databases/Comets/Update — This updates orbital elements of Comets database and adds newly discovered comets (if not updated yet by auto updater)
  • Object Selection/Select — You come to Select Conditions screen
    • Select object catalogs — Comets
    • Select object types — Comet
    • Primary search parameters/Object minimal size — 0
    • Primary search parameters/Filter type — Maximum magnitude filter
    • Primary search parameters/Set maximum magnitude — 12
  • Update — Go back to the Object Selection module and tap Update button.
  • Add ALL to Observation List — select that item in the Context menu (long tap on the list to open it), objects in the list are now shown on the star chart.

Alternatively, you could choose No filter as a Filter type to get all comets above horizon and then sort the resulting list by magnitude.

All visible galaxies with dimension above 10 min

  • Object Selection/Select — You come to Select Conditions screen
    • Select object catalogs — NgcIc, UGC
    • Select search type — SQL-like expression
    • SQL-like expression — Add new search request
      • Set SQL Request — Type: type=gx&a>10
      • Set local request — Type: vis>0
      • Select this request
  • Update — Go back to the Object Selection module and tap Update button.
  • Add ALL to Observation List — select that item in the Context menu (long tap on the list to open it), objects in the list are now shown on the star chart.