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Introduction

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Introduction

Since 3.0 version, Astromist has been empowered with web connexions.
It enables you to download data from various sources and greatly simplify some regular cuberstone processes like refresh of comets, asteroids or earth satellites data. The installation process has been simplyed too and now the synchronization of the whole images library can be done online.

Even if it was possible to do it manually in the previous version using the "pc tools", this new web connexion broaden and simplify your capatibilities to share your work with Astromist. Four domains are empowered:

  • Your custom DSO catalogs,
  • Your locations lists,
  • Your eyepieces lists,
  • Your observer logs.

The new features are usefull to adjust Astromist to your needs. But they are "must have" if you want to share your work within a group (night session or trip organization, Teaching, etc.). You can prepare your lists for your group (point of interest, excercices, etc) and eveybody will be able to sync your preparation. No need to make your self the setup on each device: you can make sure eveybody can use "Your" configuration.

To do so, you have a preparation process with a spreadsheet to let you easily manage your list. Templates on each topic are provided to help you and guide your work. Once your list is fine, you can save your work as a simple text file. The csv (comma ";" separated values) format is required. After upload it on the web in your prefered personnal storage place.
Most of the work is done at this stage, the last steps consist to :

  • Open Astromist,
  • Check the url base of your download data location is set in Preference 7/7 panel (for example http://mypreferedsite.com/data/" beware the last "/" is mandatory),
  • Then use FileManager to download and install your work.

Template and sample files
Astromist 3.0 Data Management Package

How to create your custom catalogs of Deep Sky Objects (DSO)?
You have to create a text file that contians all your DSO.
The format is the following:
Catalog:This column contains the Astromist code of the Catalog. Just open finder assistant to find the short name to use. If no catalog match, use the User catalog code.
Code:The id of your object within its catalog. If you are using the User catalog code, just put a unique id starting from 1. If you are using several custom catalog with user object, take care to create a unique id among your catalogs to avoid trouble when creating list of objects.
Name:19 characters max. This field contains the name of the object. By default you can just concatenate the catalog code and the id code. For you own objects or if you are using User catalog code, fill this field with a usefull mnemonic.
Type:The type of the object.
Category:This field lets you detail the object category. You can let it blank if you have not this information.
RA:The right ascension of the object. Astromist support a precision up to the second.
Dec:The declination of the object. Astromist support a precision up to the second.
Magnitude:The magnitude of the object. Only a dot is accepted as separator. Example: 8.1
a (width):The with of the object in arc seconds. For clusters only this value can be filed
b (height):The height of the object in arc seconds.
PA:The angle of the object against the North. This information is in degrees.
Dist:The Distance of the object from earth in mega parsec.
Each field must be separated by a coma ";"

Exemple:
Note :Spaces has been added for lisibility only and are not mandatory

+Catalog Code Name               Type  Cat. RA         Dec      Mag a   b  PA Dist  
+--------+---+-------------------+-----+--+----------+---------+---+---+--+--+-----+
NGC ;224;Andromeda ;GALXY;Sb;00:42:44.3;+41:16:08;3.4;178;40;35;0 ;

The excel spreadsheet will help you to create your file using the correct format. Please do not modify the formula of the first column to avoid trouble. As an example a catalog with most well know objects and ther common name is provided. Plus custom catalogs can be share with Astromist Yahoo group.

To create a new custom DSO catalog follow this procedure:

  • Copy the default excel template to an other one with a new name (user_catalog.xls for exemple),
  • Edit your file (user_catalog.xls) to adjust its contents (remove existing lines, add the new ones, etc),
  • Create an empty text file (user_object.txt for example) using a text editor,
  • Copy and Paste the first column of your spreadsheet file into (without the first line),
  • Save the new text file,
  • Copy the text file into your web repository (using FTP or other tools).
    The text file must be available without user account and password and should be available/visible as a link on the web. For example http://www.astromist.com/data/user_object.txt,
  • Launch Astromist,
  • Into Astromist Preference 7/7 verify the Download Data path to your web repository path is set,
  • Open FileManager and then select "User Catalogs",
  • Type your location text file name without .txt extension (user_object),
  • Press the @ button,
  • Verify Astromist imported the same number of lines than you put into your text file. If it is different there is a format issue,
  • Select the new catalog,
  • Press the Load icon to verify the catalog using NightTripper.

How to create your custom list of locations?
You have to create a text file that contians all your locations.
The format is the following:
Country:20 characters max.
Code:4 characters max, Astromist uses the ISO 2 characters code.
Town:23 characters max.
Longitude:11 characters, in fraction of degrees. For 12030W put -120.5. For 120.30E put 120.5
Latitude:11 characters, in fraction of degrees. For 4030N put 40.5. For 40.30S put -40.5
Time Zone:6 characters, in fraction of hours i.e 6 for 360 minutes or 4.5 for 270 minutes
Each field must be separated by a coma ";"

Exemple:

+Country     Code Town  Longitude Latitude Time Zone
+------------+--+-------+--------+--------+-+
United States;US;Chicago;-87.6413;41.82655;6;

The excel spreadsheet will help you to create your file using the correct format. Please do not modify the formula of the first column to avoid trouble. You can reuse the default list (459 are provided) and remove all the unnecessary locations and/or add the line for your owns that are missing.
Note: You can use any other tools to create the text file.

To create a new location database follow this procedure:

  • Copy the default excel file to an other one with a new name (location_list.xls for exemple),
  • Edit your file (location_list.xls) to adjust its contents (remove existing lines, add the new ones, etc),
  • Create an empty text file (location_list.txt) using a text editor,
  • Copy and Paste the first column of your spreadsheet file into (without the first line),
  • Save the new text file,
  • Copy the text file into your web repository (using FTP or other tools).
    The text file must be available without user account and password and should be available/visible as a link on the web. For example http://www.astromist.com/data/location_list.txt,
  • Launch Astromist,
  • Into Astromist Preference 7/7 verify the Download Data path to your web repository path is set,
  • Open FileManager and then select "User Location",
  • Type your location text file name without .txt extension (location_list),
  • Press the @ button,
  • Verify Astromist imported the same number of lines than you put into your text file. If it is different there is a format issue,
  • Select the new location list,
  • Press the Load icon to verify the new location list using LocationList.

How to create your custom list of eyepieces?
The process is the same than to the one described for custom list of Locations.
The format is the following:
Brand Name:25 characters max.
Code:4 characters max.
Eyepiece Name:29 characters max.
Focal in mm:6 characters, , in mm. This value can be a float (i.e 11.5) or an interger (20)
Field of View (FOV):6 characters, in degrees. This value can be a float or an interger

Exemple:

 Brand   Code Eyepiece  FOV
 name         Name   Focal 
+--------+---+------+--+--+
+Tele-Vue;Tel;Nagler;13;82;

The excel spreadsheet will help you to create your file using the correct format. Please do not modify the formula of the first column to avoid trouble

Basic lists include only your eyepieces but you can create advanced lists that mixes other optical parts.
For example you have a nagler 22mm and use it with a barlow. You will have two lines. One for the eyepiece alone and an other one with the barlow. The barlowed line differ from the first by the FOV which is divide by the scale factor of the barlow.
A mnemonic is used to identify the configuration.
In our case it could looks like:
Note :Spaces has been added for lisibility only and are not mandatory

 Brand   Code Eyepiece  
 name         Name               Focal FOV
+--------+---+-------------------+--+--+
+Tele-Vue;Tel;Nagler             ;22;82;
+Barlowed;Tel;Nagler+powermate x2;11;82;

A even more complete approach can be applied with your binoviewer. For example with your denkmeier which includes a power switch:
Note :Spaces has been added for lisibility only and are not mandatory

 Brand   Code Eyepiece  
 name         Name          Focal  FOV
+--------+----+--------------+----+--+
+Tele-Vue;Tel ;Panoptic      ;24  ;68;
+Bino    ;Denk;Pano x1.4 A   ;17.1;68;
+Bino    ;Denk;Pano x2.1 A+B ;11.4;68;
+Bino    ;Denk;Pano x3.6 B   ;6.7 ;68;
To explain the figures:
  17.1 = 24 / 1.4
  11.4 = 24 / 2.1
  6.7  = 24 / 3.6

To create a new eyepiece database follow this procedure:

  • Copy the default excel file to an other one with a new name (eyepiece_list.xls for exemple),
  • Edit your file (eyepiece_list.xls) to adjust its contents (remove existing lines, add the new ones, etc),
  • Create an empty text file (eyepiece_list.txt) using a text editor,
  • Copy and Paste the first column of your spreadsheet file into (without the first line),
  • Save the new text file,
  • Copy the text file into your web repository (using FTP or other tools).
    The text file must be available without user account and password and should be available/visible as a link on the web. For example http://www.astromist.com/data/eyepiece_list.txt,
  • Launch Astromist,
  • Into Astromist Preference 7/7 verify the Download Data path to your web repository path is set,
  • Open FileManager and then select "User Eyepieces"
  • Type your location text file name without .txt extension (eyepiece_list),
  • Press the @ button,
  • Verify Astromist imported the same number of lines than you put into your text file. If it is different there is a format issue,
  • Select the new eyepiece list,
  • Press the Load icon to verify the new eyepiece list using Preference 3/7.
Note: Several list can be created and load one by one upon needs to match your night session targets for example.

Migrate your observation logs from Palm to iPhone or Windows Mobile 3.0 versions
It is possible to convert palm observer logs using the following procedure:
  • Install the 2.6.4 Palm version to be able to procedure from your palm an export format compatible with 3.0 versions
  • Launch Astromist and open ObserverLog assistant,
  • Then Use the Memo button to export all your logs into Palm Memo,
  • Sync your PDA to export the memos to your computer,
  • Create a new text file using text editor,
  • Using palm desktop, open each memo and copy/paste the lines into the new text file. You can let the first header line,
  • Copy the text file into your web repository (using FTP or other tools),
    The text file must be available without user account and password and should be available/visible as a link on the web. For example http://www.astromist.com/data/observerlog_list.txt,
  • Launch Astromist 3.0 on your iPhone/iPod/iPad or Windows Mobile device,
  • Into Astromist Preference 7/7 verify the Download Data path to your web repository path is set,
  • Open FileManager and then select "User Observer Log",
  • Type your location text file name without .txt extension (observerlog_list),
  • Press the @ button,
  • Verify Astromist imported the same number of lines than you put into your text file. If it is different there is a format issue,
  • Select the new ObserverLog archive,
  • Press the Load icon to verify the logs are loaded into your device.