[Chaos-l] A great PDA planetarium program recommendation
md_south at mac.com
Fri Oct 13 11:17:29 EDT 2006
I would like to make it tomorrow night, but have a schedule conflict. Itching to get out in the nice, crisp, cooler clear nights.
Anyway, I wanted to pass along a Palm program that I've been trying out for about 2 weeks and it's wonderful. It's called Planetarium. I'm interested if anyone else has used this program... I'm loving this little program.
It's gotten good reviews and awards and I can see why. It's so good, I'm going to start using this at the eyepiece for starhopping and recording some observations. The fields of view are easy to switch. You can put in any FOV Circle you want--including telrad. Perhaps the coolest feature is the compass--you can locate any object in the database with this thing. It's hard to explain how to use the compass without reading the manual, but worth it. For example, last night I saw a star low on the horizon and wondered what it was. I was able to easily determine it was alpha-Piscis (Fomalhaut)in seconds flat with the compass feature. If the sun, moon or stars are out, you'll always know which way directions are. You can also get instant rise/setting info. Finally, you can zoom in really close down to stars of mag 10 (or greater) for a good field of view in your finderscope-- even your eyepiece (30'). You'll need to cover your palm with a red rubylith or cellulose transparency to keep your night vision. I hear you even control go-to scopes with this thing or manual setting circles for dobs.
So now, I can eliminate a laptop, bulky maps, clipboard for observations at the eyepiece or at the site. I'm still going to be using my Skyatlas 2000, and Observer's guide, but the bulk of my time will be this program at the eyepiece for starhopping and records. I'll be giving it a real workout at Mid-year (MASP) to see if I still want to do this. If anything, it would be cool to show folks at the Morehead Planetarium public outings what this thing.
Has anyone else used this program? Below is a link.
If I don't see folks Sat., hope to see some of us at MASP!!!!
500 Market Street Ste. 204
Chapel Hill, NC 27516
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