Cartes du Ciel (SkyCharts)

Astronomy software or computer hardware that you need to help get a good nights viewing
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rwilkinson
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Cartes du Ciel (SkyCharts)

Post by rwilkinson » Mon Oct 26, 2009 8:58 am

http://www.ap-i.net/skychart/
This is a free program which will run on "any old" PC (I've even used an old Dell laptop running Windows98).

I find it indispensible for "star-hopping" to find targets: I can set the field of view and rotation to match what I see in my finder-scope or eyepiece, so tha I know which way I need to "hop" next. I can also upload the latest MPC orbital elements for comets or asteroids, to help locate these in the sky (often they are too faint to see in the eyepiece, but soon show up on my CCD images!).

I can even set a custom "horizon" file, which shows the postion of the trees and buildings from my garden, so I can tell without going outside when the object will come into view.

And I understand that it has ASCOM drivers, to interface to a range of Go-To telescope mounts, but I've never tried this myself.

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rwilkinson
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Re: Cartes du Ciel (SkyCharts)

Post by rwilkinson » Tue Apr 12, 2011 10:15 am

And I understand that it has ASCOM drivers, to interface to a range of Go-To telescope mounts, but I've never tried this myself.
Well I can update this information now to confirm that it will indeed control my Celestron CG5-GT mount.

I've found that the quickest way to get up and running is to use the polar-scope to align the mount, and then select Last Alignment (one I did several months ago). This is adequate to Go-Near (rather than Go-To) the target, and then using the finder-scope I centre a nearby bright star (also useful for focussing) and Sync the mount to the CdC program, after which I can Slew onto the required object.
This saves all that tedious slewing and centring of alignment and calibration stars each time! 8-)

And I can use the Hand Control panel in CdC to manually re-point the 'scope while doing planetary imaging from indoors.

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rwilkinson
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Re: Cartes du Ciel (SkyCharts)

Post by rwilkinson » Sat Sep 21, 2013 3:47 pm

I've just added the "compact" HST ACT-Guide-Star Catalogue to my CdC /cat/folder, so now it can display stars down to magnitude 16 when required (with my webcam/SCT, I sometimes couldn't see any of the SAO or Tycho stars in my field-of-view).
It took over an hour to download all the data via FTP, so if anyone else needs this, I can write it onto a CD-ROM for you.

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rwilkinson
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Re: Cartes du Ciel (SkyCharts)

Post by rwilkinson » Sat Aug 29, 2015 7:32 am

Now that I'm running the AntiX (Debian Linux) operating system on my old Asus eeePC netbook, I've installed CdC 3.10 and INDI (the Linux counterpart of ASCOM) and soon had it controlling a Celestron GoTo mount - if anything it was quicker to set up than using Windows & ASCOM.

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bbones
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Re: Cartes du Ciel (SkyCharts)

Post by bbones » Sat Aug 29, 2015 10:15 am

Thanks for the tips

I have tried Cartes du Ciel before and have just installed it on a my main Windows 10 PC which seems to work well, as I'm not using this PC with my mount I have not tried the drivers but will give it a go later and see how I get on

Bill

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