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andrew63

Stellarium help - how accurate ?

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While following Ceres and Vesta over the last week and checking eyepiece and binocular screens, there appears to be a problem with the position of Ceres.  Mind you, I lost a bit of confidence using Sky Live with Ison last year as the mag. seemed not right.

Looking at the position from a few sites - sky live, heavens-above and pocket sky atlas, Stellarium  is showing Ceres in the wrong position - about half a deg. out.  The current position is showing them very close together yesterday and today.   wonder why, is it me ? Very confusing. Would anyone like to check their Stellarium or offer some explanation.  

Thanks, andrew

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I don't think stellarium is very good at minor body calculations such as asteroids and comets. It's not a research grade tool.

The 3 body (or n-body) problem causes the orbital properties of small objects to change with time. 

A couple of years ago when asteroid  2012 DA14 was winging it way Earthward most planetarium software was giving quite inaccurate positions.

The makers of SkySafari  recognised a problem and beefed up their calculating engine to take better account of Earths effect on the asteroid. The result was very, very accurate tracking data. 

That's what I use for accuracy now.

For me Stellarium is a great "what's up tonight?" package but that's all.

And as with all planetarium packages, it's important to make sure the orbital elements are up to date.

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Thanks for clearing that up Paul - was beginning to doubt what i was seeing ! Sky safari does sound good but i have no iphone or android device. Heavens Above also is doing a good job on tracking them so will use this in future. 

andrew

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While following Ceres and Vesta over the last week and checking eyepiece and binocular screens, there appears to be a problem with the position of Ceres.  Mind you, I lost a bit of confidence using Sky Live with Ison last year as the mag. seemed not right.

Looking at the position from a few sites - sky live, heavens-above and pocket sky atlas, Stellarium  is showing Ceres in the wrong position - about half a deg. out.  The current position is showing them very close together yesterday and today.   wonder why, is it me ? Very confusing. Would anyone like to check their Stellarium or offer some explanation.  

Thanks, andrew

Are you use orbital elements from 2011 year still? If answer - yes - please update it via Solar System Editor plugin.

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I wouldn't say that I totally trust Stellarium for exact locations, but a few months back I took the camera out on a tripod for some wide shots and managed to get Ceres and Vesta in the same shot. I used Stellarium to check the image I had and it was pretty close. Not only the asteroids but the star field around them.

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Are you use orbital elements from 2011 year still? If answer - yes - please update it via Solar System Editor plugin.

Hi

Please could you explain each step to do this?

Are there any other things that should be up-dated?

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Are you use orbital elements from 2011 year still? If answer - yes - please update it via Solar System Editor plugin.

I have version 12.4 and the solar system plug-in is version 1.3 so quite current i thought. I am not sure how you find what year orbital elements is - when updating comets etc it says 2013 from list.

Ceres has been very close to star HIP 66482 and is now moving away it is not shown accurate on stellarium -  showing ceres very close to vesta for last week.  The position on heavens above is and has been spot on.

Asteroid 1 Ceres

I brought this up as i and perhaps some others where tracking this event with stellarium and might have caused confusion !

andrew

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To update asteroids and comets is a little clunky in Stellarium.

Try this: 

Open the configuration window (left hand edge of screen)

Plugins

Solar system editor

Configure

Solar System tab

Import orbital elements in MPC format.

   select asteroids

   select download list from internet

   select url or paste: http://www.minorplanetcenter.net/iau/Ephemerides/Bright/2014/Soft00Bright.txt

   click download.

Or something like that.

Right now stellarium is crashing for me so I'm struggling to confirm it.

EDIT:

The URL I posted turned into a clickable link! Struggling to keep it plain text for copy and paste.

Edited by Paul M

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To update asteroids and comets is a little clunky in Stellarium.

Try this: 

Open the configuration window (left hand edge of screen)

Plugins

Solar system editor

Configure

Solar System tab

Import orbital elements in MPC format.

   select asteroids

   select download list from internet

   select url or paste: http://www.minorplanetcenter.net/iau/Ephemerides/Bright/2014/Soft00Bright.txt

   click download.

Or something like that.

Right now stellarium is crashing for me so I'm struggling to confirm it.

EDIT:

The URL I posted turned into a clickable link! Struggling to keep it plain text for copy and paste.

Hi

Tried to follow your instructions, but it did not give me the option to download, what do I do now?

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Hi

Tried to follow your instructions, but it did not give me the option to download, what do I do now?

Probably my mistake.

Here is where you should be although I just noticed I've not selected for asteroids in my attempt. No bother just make sure you click on asteroids.

post-28650-0-79538800-1405633685_thumb.j

Paste the URL I gave in the box as shown. Then click "Get Orbital Elements".

That should retrieve a list of all the easily visible asteroids and you can select individual items or select all.

That should do it.

Edited by Paul M

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