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» Online Classroom   » Tech Support   » StarPilot   » Finding Best Sights

Author Topic: Finding Best Sights
David Burch

 - posted April 06, 2003 02:37 PM      Profile for David Burch           Edit/Delete Post 
When asking the PC or especially your calculator to find the best sights from the entire sky, keep in mind that it might take a long time to compute if you have the magnitude limit set to dim stars. This is true even on older PCs, since in some skies with many stars and planets, the program does many many thoudands of computations to come up with the best triads of sights. The best bet is to limit the magniute to 2.0 to start with, or even 1.5 for a quick look. As a rule, you will get all you need with 2.0, and only very rarely will you need to extend to 2.3 or so. If, on the other hand, you choose magnitude 4 (barely visible) then be prepared for a long computation. The location and elevation of the stars can end up contriubting more to the "best choice" than the magnitude does, which accounts for the extra comptuations. Another solution is to go into the best sights settings and change the goodness criteria to add more weight to the brightness, but we would not recommend that. We think we have this set about right for practical use at sea.
From: Starpath, Seattle, WA
David Burch

 - posted April 06, 2003 02:40 PM      Profile for David Burch           Edit/Delete Post 
A symptom of the above issue (ie magnitude set too high), is that the program appears to quit or lock up during Best sights computation. It has not, it is just crunching away as described above.

This is a powerful feature of the StarPilot program; we must just keep in mind what it is doing. There is no cel nav program on the market except StarPilot that can actually figure out what the best sights are for any complete sky. The only comparision would be Pub 249, vol 1, for selected stars only.

From: Starpath, Seattle, WA

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