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Fraunhoffer

Simple standalone platesolving to show on star map?

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Posted (edited)

I don't have a goto mount and I wondered if there was just a simple way of showing where the scope is pointing on (for example) stellarium or kstars.

I try and star hop to where I want to go and in the depths of the garden (or remote) I don't have any wifi to run nova.astrometry. so Im looking for a platesolving app that can run standalone on a windows laptop.
Usually I get to where I want to see, but sometimes I just get lost so Im looking for something that will help confirm or show where I have ended up so that I can manually adjust the scope to get where I want.

A typical use case would be....

Locate bright star near target.
Check collimation of camera, finder, telephoto (with dslr or gpcam + startcap)
Move/starhop to target.
… check whats supposed to be in the finder
… mhh its not there.
-- reverse steps and try again.
… mhh its still not there
check Im at the right start, double check target position and  and try again
… mmmh still not there

Then what I want to do is
* take a photo and platesolve to find out where Im actually looking at this time
* correct manually using slow mo or some more star hopping
* hopefully get to the target, and enjoy the view.

Ive tried loading up 'all sky platesolver' which I can get to solve and give me location RA and DEC, but then I cant see how to get that location just to show on a star map.
Also I cant get any images to show on the screen from allskyplatesolver (although it says it should - image get not-found type error)
I don't really care what star map I use. I don't really want to start copying and pasting ra and dec into scripts at 3am.
The details of the platesolving apps seem to be mainly focussed on driving a mount to a location, whereas I just want to confirm where I've ended up pointing on a map so I can do the correction myself.

Any help please ?

PS - I  might be trying to do this at 3am in a grassy field with the laptop balanced on an upturned crate whilst doing this ?
 



 

Edited by Fraunhoffer

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This is the bit I cant get to work in allskyplatesolver: 
"Once your image is solved, the
Astrometric Image Browser
lets you to interact with it!"
 

 

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Not at home at present so going from memory. 

I assume that the error occurs when you hit the 'Browse solved image' button. 

The only thing that I can think of is that an error has occurred prior to creation of the solved image but after the display of the results. Make sure that auto syncing boxes are not checked. 

Grasping at straws I'm afraid. 

Rob 

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1 hour ago, Fraunhoffer said:

Ive tried loading up 'all sky platesolver' which I can get to solve and give me location RA and DEC, but then I cant see how to get that location just to show on a star map.

One way might be to do a dummy connection to simulated telescope - e.g. Ascom Telescope Simulator or Indilib Telescope Simulator.  I think,but being honest I am not sure, the problem is the star map needs to be connected or be aware of a Telescope mount so that it can pass the RA/DEC else it will just display the RA/Dec - which is where you have been copying the RA/DEC data from.

Unfortunately it would mean  installing Ascom or Indilib just to gain access to a simulated mount connection which will allow Platesolving to "Sync" positions onto a Star Map automatically.

Unless someone else has an idea ?

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1 hour ago, Robd said:

Not at home at present so going from memory. 

I assume that the error occurs when you hit the 'Browse solved image' button. 

The only thing that I can think of is that an error has occurred prior to creation of the solved image but after the display of the results. Make sure that auto syncing boxes are not checked. 

Grasping at straws I'm afraid. 

Rob 

Hi thanks - yes its when I hit browse solved image button.

Would seem a nice solution if I can get it to work and have an 'electronic finder' that shows where I am pointing in the sky on the laptop.


 

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Probably the easiest way to find you way is to load the solved FITS image in a planetarium program. They will read the FITS header for the celestial location and plot the image in a map

You can either load the image or set the image path in a planetarium program to the solved image folder and rescan of refresh the map. Planetarium programs Carte Du Ciel en HNSKY can do this.

Since the images will have no initial position, solving could take some time, so you have to be a little patient.  If you have mechanical indicating RA, DEC scales, calibrating them on a bright known star will be much faster and convenient or just try star hopping.

Han

 

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Dont normally use ASPS "browse solved image" so I thought I would see what happens - On a Win 10 64bit desktop if I click on the "BROWSE SOLVED IMAGE" button I get  "memory violation" - however if I wait 5-10 secs and try again it displays the WCS image. I consistently tried this a number of times and it did the same thing. Sounds like a thread problem. 

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Rather than an error (my earlier reply) or thread problem it sounds more like a timing issue, OK yes a problem with a thread. 

Solving completes, and results are shown. A separate thread is kicked off to create the 'solved' image, since this is 'interactive' it takes a while to create hence the problems if user is to quick with the mouse. 

Rob 

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38 minutes ago, Robd said:

Rather than an error (my earlier reply) or thread problem it sounds more like a timing issue, OK yes a problem with a thread. 

Solving completes, and results are shown. A separate thread is kicked off to create the 'solved' image, since this is 'interactive' it takes a while to create hence the problems if user is to quick with the mouse. 

Rob 

ok thanks - Ill give it another go and see what happens.

 

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, han59 said:

Probably the easiest way to find you way is to load the solved FITS image in a planetarium program. They will read the FITS header for the celestial location and plot the image in a map

You can either load the image or set the image path in a planetarium program to the solved image folder and rescan of refresh the map. Planetarium programs Carte Du Ciel en HNSKY can do this.

Since the images will have no initial position, solving could take some time, so you have to be a little patient.  If you have mechanical indicating RA, DEC scales, calibrating them on a bright known star will be much faster and convenient or just try star hopping.

Han

 

I use ASTAP to  solve difficult images where the FITS header is not reliable.  I put the rough Ra and Dec into the boxes, and I put a rough FOV in on the "alignment" tab.  I find it blisteringly fast, and it doesn't need an accurate start point.  The only small issue is that I don't understand the image angle that it reports.

After ASTAP updates the FITS headers the image can easily be displayed.  In CdC I just put the image into a Pictures directory (Setup -> Pictures -> Archive and then "Scan Archive").

Thanks Han.

Edited by don4l

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If you have the RA and Dec from the platesolver, you could use those to correct the mount's setting circles.

Then move to your target's RA and Dec on the circles, and platesolve again, etc.

Even with the tiny setting circles on most EQ mounts, with platesolving you should quickly get on target.

Short high ISO exposures should be good enough.

There's also the stand-alone PlateSolve 2.

Michael 

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Hi don4l.  Yes ASTAP is faster then Astrometry.net. I didn't want talk Fraunhoffer into that since he has already "all sky platesolver " up and running.  The image angle reported by ASTAP is the "PA" where north is 0  degrees and then the angle increases counter clockwise.  This is the convention in astronomy. The north & east arrow indicator is easier to understand

Anthonyexmouth, user Fraunhoffer has no wifi so can't use online tools.

 

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Just now, michael8554 said:

There's also the stand-alone PlateSolve 2. 

 

Platesolve2 is a good solver but as soon you are a degree or more off, it takes ages to find a solution. He requires blind solve capabilities.

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Posted (edited)
22 minutes ago, han59 said:

Platesolve2 is a good solver but as soon you are a degree or more off, it takes ages to find a solution. He requires blind solve capabilities

That's true.

Thankfully it sounds like he already has platesolving sorted. 

Michael 

Edited by michael8554

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12 hours ago, michael8554 said:

That's true.

Thankfully it sounds like he already has platesolving sorted. 

Michael 

Hi. I can run the platesolver ok and get a result to say where I am RA and DEC, so I can use that to compare with where I thought I was supposed to be looking and after a working out the difference do a manual correction that way.


I still cant get the 'browse image' button to work on all skyplatesolver after reinstalling  - I just get a file not found error for some reason.
I was thinking it would be nice to see on a map where I was, check that's what Im seeing in the EP,  and where I need to go to get to my target and what I should see when I get close/there.




 

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14 hours ago, han59 said:

Platesolve2 is a good solver but as soon you are a degree or more off, it takes ages to find a solution. He requires blind solve capabilities.

That's what ASPS is - a blind solver.

IMHO as a user ASPS (and Platesolve 2,Astrometry.net,Astrotortilla) is as fast as ASTAP but far far simpler to use IMO,especially for "first time users",once installed and in my own tests using the same image files ASPS successfully solved the images more times than ASTAP did. I know ASTAP can replace Platesolve 2 in APT  and you can fool APT to use ASTAP by changing the name of ASTAP to platesolve - a process I believe Han documented.

The fastest Platesolver I have used is the one provided by Indi/Kstars/Ekos which again I think(?) uses Atrometry.net API.

Of course most Platesolving solutions use Astronmetry.net API and just present a GUI front end.

The biggest problem with ASPS it does not seem to be actively supported /developed any more which,IMO, is a shame as there are a few odd balls - e.g. "Browse Image" problem. But on the whole most people "get on" with ASPS.

 

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3 hours ago, stash_old said:

That's what ASPS is - a blind solver.

IMHO as a user ASPS (and Platesolve 2,Astrometry.net,Astrotortilla) is as fast as ASTAP but far far simpler to use IMO,especially for "first time users",once installed and in my own tests using the same image files ASPS successfully solved the images more times than ASTAP did. I know ASTAP can replace Platesolve 2 in APT  and you can fool APT to use ASTAP by changing the name of ASTAP to platesolve - a process I believe Han documented.

The fastest Platesolver I have used is the one provided by Indi/Kstars/Ekos which again I think(?) uses Atrometry.net API.

Of course most Platesolving solutions use Astronmetry.net API and just present a GUI front end.

The biggest problem with ASPS it does not seem to be actively supported /developed any more which,IMO, is a shame as there are a few odd balls - e.g. "Browse Image" problem. But on the whole most people "get on" with ASPS.

 

SUCCESS

My issue with ASPS was using the fits files and not a jpg file.
Maybe the browse image bit only support jpgs?

As its a cloudy day, I set up a book at the end of the room and fudged the camera to focus on a nice page of stars with a telephoto.
I figured the grainy image would simulate some typical rubbish seeing.
I snapped a jpg image and checked it on nova.astromety.net to get the correct pixel scale.
Then platesolved with ASPS within 90s on my aged 'doesn't  matter too much if it gets trashed' laptop and the browser image worked a treat.

Just what I wanted to do ?


So my - 'im totally lost and don't know where I am again and starting to get eggy'  workflow atm is:
Launch Altair capture for my little gpcam
Adjust the settings for exposure & gain
Take a snapshot
Save as a JPG file
Launch ASPS
Check the pixel scale/ fl etc (crib sheet handy)
Load the JPG file
Set it to platesolve
……. view the sky with binos / drink coffee etc until solved
Check the resulting cords against my target
Browse the image to see where Ive gone
Adjust and recheck if necessary

Could do with reducing the number of steps - but its a start - and hopefully it might get me out of trouble at the weekend.



 

 



 

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2 minutes ago, Fraunhoffer said:

My issue with ASPS was using the fits files and not a jpg file.
Maybe the browse image bit only support jpgs?

Unfortunately not true JPG or FITS do work so long as the FITS format is "standard" whatever that means - but who cares if that works for you great ?

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