26 votes

Is there an online planetarium where the observer is on another celestial body?

Yes, the free software Stellarium (also Wikipedia) can do that. It has a list of celestial bodies and you select which one you want to be on. When you open Stellarium go to Location Menu (or the ...
Natsfan's user avatar
  • 4,484
22 votes
Accepted

On the consistency of different well-polished astronomy software

If you set the date to 2018-04-06, Stellarium shows the Moon and planets in positions matching the example image. Any good planetarium software should produce a similar result. Most likely the vendor ...
Mike G's user avatar
  • 18.6k
18 votes

How (the heck) does Astrometry.net work?

I've been trying to figure out the technical details of astrometry.net for quite some time. As others already pointed out, the main input to the whole process is a list of stars. I will not go into ...
Marcel Greter's user avatar
15 votes

Is there an online planetarium where the observer is on another celestial body?

Another simulator allowing to travel and observe from different locations is Celestia. It is not online, installation needed.
Alchimista's user avatar
10 votes

How (the heck) does Astrometry.net work?

Finding an astrometric solution from an image with Astrometry.net is usually called plate solving. As mentioned in the comments, it is based on pattern matching, using a large set of databases that ...
amateurAstro's user avatar
  • 1,575
8 votes
Accepted

Is looking through a telescope to do astronomy a thing of the past?

Scientifically there's little to gain when you look through a telescope with your own eyes. Attach a camera to the telescope and you immediately document what you observe and take out the subjective ...
planetmaker's user avatar
  • 18.9k
7 votes
Accepted

How to find which part of the sky a photo contains?

Have you tried nova.astrometry.net? They set up a web service for doing more or less what you're talking about.
Peter Erwin's user avatar
  • 16.7k
7 votes

Is there a term for "path of the Sun at a given point of the Earth"

Merriam-Webster defines diurnal arc: the portion of the diurnal circle of a celestial body that is above the observer's horizon and diurnal circle: the apparent circle or parallel of declination ...
Mike G's user avatar
  • 18.6k
6 votes
Accepted

Instead of using flexible mirrors, could software be used for adaptive optics?

Short answer: no. Why not? because the mirror is placed at a position in the optical train such that it controls the wavefront phase and tilt of each subsection, "subaperture" of the incoming beam. ...
Carl Witthoft's user avatar
5 votes

On the consistency of different well-polished astronomy software

Stellarium is known to be accurate. Star and planet positions in 1973 are very well known, and correctly shown in Stellarium. At that time and place, Cetus and Taurus are rising in the East and North ...
James K's user avatar
  • 119k
5 votes
Accepted

Convert Stellarium video capture to 360 for youtube

360° panoramic media conventionally use equirectangular projection and a 2:1 aspect ratio. I made a still panorama this way: Configuration > Tools > Screenshots: Custom size 2048 x 1024 View > ...
Mike G's user avatar
  • 18.6k
5 votes

Is there a term for "path of the Sun at a given point of the Earth"

The apparent path of the Sun in the sky is called just that, 'apparent path of the sun'. Sure enough it varies with location and with time-of-year, especially the further you live from the equator. ...
planetmaker's user avatar
  • 18.9k
5 votes
Accepted

What objects can I search for using astropy.coordinates?

The astropy.coordinates packages has the SkyCoord.from_name() convenience method (docs link) uses the Sesame name resolver at ...
astrosnapper's user avatar
  • 8,347
5 votes
Accepted

creating asteroid light curves and analysing them

I am the developer of the software shown in the tutorial video. After seeing your post last year, I decided to create a version of it that runs natively on macOS. It took me nearly twelve months to ...
AsmCoder8088's user avatar
4 votes
Accepted

Astronomy as a profession for moderately good software engineer

A profession in astronomy can entail various things. Unlike what other people are saying, you don't have to have a PhD in astronomy to do work in this field, to be an astronomer. There are other ...
Phiteros's user avatar
  • 3,176
4 votes

Measurement uncertainty of the computed center of gravity from pixel image

Every pixel value $S_i$ on the detector at $\vec x_i$ has some error $N_i$: CCDs for example have a background noise $N_\text{bkg}$ from read-out electronics, thermal noise, and sky background, plus a ...
Hannes's user avatar
  • 516
4 votes

Is there any star recognition framework/library available?

As I do not want to reinvent the wheel, is there any star recognition framework that you've heard of? Preferably open source, the language is of marginal importance as long as I can get the ...
Alphecca's user avatar
  • 696
4 votes
Accepted

Easy interactive visualization of orbital elements

If all you need is a quick and free tool to visualize orbits around earth, websites such as the following might be enough: First, the very simple orbitalmechanics.info, where you can just ignore the &...
SpaceCore's user avatar
  • 2,993
4 votes
Accepted

Installing IRAF

I am on Ubuntu 18.04, and just compiled IRAF successfully. Let me elaborate on my comments. First, you need to understand how to install C++ packages, such as IRAF your interest here. To install a C++ ...
WDC's user avatar
  • 454
4 votes

Would it be a good idea to dockerize softwares in order to conduct hands-on tutorial sessions?

As someone who has done this with other astronomy research grade software, I can say that using Docker fixes some problems but also creates new problems as well. I'll assume for this that your ...
Rob's user avatar
  • 2,035
4 votes

For what aspects of cosmology research can a software engineer contribute?

You can regularly find Software Engineeer positions advertised on the AAS Job Register (check the bottom several sections). There are listings in various countries. With that kind of job, you would ...
giardia's user avatar
  • 2,078
4 votes

For what aspects of cosmology research can a software engineer contribute?

I'm a software engineer and I would love to learn more about cosmology by participating in this field. This seems like putting the cart before the horse to me. I'd suggest you need to learn some ...
StephenG - Help Ukraine's user avatar
4 votes

For what aspects of cosmology research can a software engineer contribute?

There is very much a scope of software engineering in cosmology and astronomy in general. I myself have transitioned from computer science to astronomy. My goals were different - I wanted to ...
P JMU's user avatar
  • 41
4 votes
Accepted

How can I join as contributor to open source code on GitHub?

This is more a general software or open source question. It has an excellent answer here. In summary the usual rules apply: join a project you are interested in and best need yourself for other ...
planetmaker's user avatar
  • 18.9k
3 votes

Measurement uncertainty of the computed center of gravity from pixel image

You might take a look at this 2006 paper by Thomas et al. on centroiding algorithms for astronomical adaptive-optics (AO) systems, which includes a detailed discussion of error estimates for the ...
Peter Erwin's user avatar
  • 16.7k
3 votes
Accepted

Stuck with SDSS data

The header of a FITS file is ASCII, and points you to further information. Calling head -n 1 example.fits directs you to "'Astronomy and Astrophysics', volume 376, ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 2,265
3 votes

Stuck with SDSS data

You should go to the site https://fits.gsfc.nasa.gov/ where you can read about the FITS data format. This site also has utilities for examining and viewing the data. Most of your concerns about this ...
Natsfan's user avatar
  • 4,484
3 votes
Accepted

Graphics packages for publishing

The most commonly used packages for generating graphics in astronomy are probably IDL -- this has long been the most popular, in part because there is a lot of astronomical data reduction and ...
Peter Erwin's user avatar
  • 16.7k
3 votes

What programming languages does SETI (Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligences) most commonly use for signal processing?

A significant portion of SETI's work is done through a program known as SETI@home, which takes signals that have been received and processes them for responses, such as recurring patterns. Here is a ...
Timtech's user avatar
  • 1,685

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