Ang: Re: UNIDs

Date: Wed Jun 23 2004 - 05:18:57 EDT

  • Next message: Ed Cannon: "Re: New Zenit upper stage - probable fast flasher"

    >spending a lot of time identifying unids (and usually 
    >unsuccessfully). What is best program / software, IYHO?
    Ed answered:
    >Findsat works well for me.  Other good ones that people 
    >use are IDSat, SkyMap, and ObsReduce.  Especially for 
    >bright objects, Quicksat and Highfly can often be used 
    >successfully by defining a "box" in alt-az or RA-Dec.  
    >for objects one might expect to see given the optics used 
    >provides hundreds of objects.  I just used +7 magnitude cut-off, 
    I agree with most of Ed's comments, but have a few additions:
    As he says, there are usually too many candidates, even when you
    are using a "box", and you can't always put a sane magnitude limit
    since you might have seen it during an unusual "glint" or flare.
    (Even supposedly small debris objects are often found, especially
    by Russell Eberst)
    The problem with textual programs like FindSat, IDSat, Quicksat
    and HighFly is that they only give the distance to one point
    (and in the last two you may also have to interpolate to get
    close to your observed point). If you have two or more points
    you will have to single out the candidates that appear in all
    of the boxes.
    The graphic programs will allow you to match your visual
    recollection of the track's position and direction (perhaps
    even speed) to the plotted tracks, using a single point.
    Use a sketch, and/or a written note like "passed two degrees
    above Vega in the 10 o'clock direction (300 degrees), taking
    12 seconds to cross my FOV diameter".
    In addition to the display box and magnitude limits, SkyMap
    also allows you to set min and max range, which sometimes
    helps you to remove "impossible" tracks cluttering your view.
    In this situation, ObsReduce (otherwise superb) is limited to
    log the coordinates from your visual recollection, or confirm/
    dismiss a few likely candidates, one at a time.
    /Björn  ( )
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