Last updated 12 Jul 2024

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Custom Software used at Great Shefford

Ephemeris interpolator

Ephemeris Interpolator overview


User Guide

This allows positions for an exact time to be worked out quickly and easily from an ephemeris. It was originally intended for when orbital elements were not readily obtainable (e.g. objects still on the NEOCP) so that accurate telescope pointing and rate of motion could be determined. However, at Great Shefford it is now used for all ephemeris work at the telescope and also when reducing measures with Astrometrica, to accurately interpolate between ephemeris intervals and to save time by sending the speed and position angle information to Astrometrica and invoking the track & stack command automatically.

A minor planet or comet designation can be typed into the 'Object' box to retrieve an ephemeris from the Minor Planet Center's MPES service or the JPL's Horizons service.

A NEOCP designation can be entered to retrieve an ephemeris from the MPC's NEOCP service or from the JPL's Scout service. Or the Object box can be left blank to retrieve all current NEOCP objects that meet criteria set by the user. Alternatively, the Object box drop-down list displays a list of the objects on the NEOCP and allows an ephemeris for an individual NEOCP object to be retrieved. Variant orbits from the MPES or NEOCP can also be retrieved.

If Find_Orb has been used to generate an ephemeris, the ephemeris can be imported by pressing a button.

Pressing the Calculate button works out the RA, Dec, Speed and PA of motion for the specified time using a third order interpolation method.

A separate 'pad' can be undocked from the main form (visible to the right in the screen shot above) which is set to be an 'always on top' window for ease of use when transferring values into other software.

Pressing the blue "Astrometrica" button sends the calculated Speed and PA to Astrometrica and initiates the completion of the Astrometrica "Stack Images" function.

See the User Guide for further functionality and more detailed information. Download the software here

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