Plans


Plans gives you access to the plan display and calculating features in Deep-Sky Planner Mobile Edition.

When you tap Plans on the Home screen, a list of all observing plans stored on the device are displayed. Tap one to open it, or swipe it to reveal a Delete button for the plan. You can tap Delete to remove the plan from your device or tap elsewhere on the screen to hide the button.

Note: A few plans ship with the app. You can download a fresh copy of these from the Community if needed.

Plan Display

The name of the plan is displayed at the top of screen. It is truncated if there isn't enough room to display the entire name. The name is preceded by an asterisk (*) if a setting in the plan has changed since it was opened or last saved. This indicates that you may want to Save the plan.

Save allows you to save any changes that you have made to the plan on your device. These include changes made on the Localize, Filters and Sort tabs. After the plan is saved, the plan name is displayed at the top of the screen without the asterisk (*).

The Plan display screen contains several tabs. Each tab is described below:

Info Localize Objects Filters Sort


Info

The Info tab shows meta information about the plan. These data help to describe and identify the contents of a plan. These are also used to help users find plans online.

Name is a simple name for the observing plan. This name is different from the name of the plan file (extension .dsplan). Name may contain up to 50 characters.

Category is a name that is used to organize plan files.

Author is the name of the author or contributor of the plan. Author may contain up to 50 characters.

Created contains the system date and time when the file was created.

Modified contains the latest system date and time when the file was modified.

Schema contains the schema (format version number) of the file. Plan documents created by older versions of Deep-Sky Planner are compatible with newer versions of Deep-Sky Planner, but not vice versa. The schema is updated when a plan file is saved with a new version of Deep-Sky Planner.

Description contains a description of the plan contents and should include a citation for the source of the plan. Description may contain up to 255 characters.

Localize

Localize allows you to specify date and time for the plan's calculations.

Calculate for Location is used to specify your observing location which is required to calculate times and angles for the plan. A location is referred to by its Site name.

If no Site is specified in the plan (or that specified is not found in the database) the location used in the plan is the Favorite Location selected in Locations. Note that when an observing plan is opened, it retains the same location that was selected when it was saved. You may select any location by highlighting its Site name in the drop down list.

Calculate for Date/Time allows you to select a date and time for which the plan is calculated. Note that when you tap Calc Now on the Objects tab, the date and time on Localize are ignored and the system date and time are used. Some quick preset selections are available for setting the initial date and time:

Other

Objects

The Objects tab of the Plan window contains the result of the latest calculation of the plan.

Object List Pane

The left pane of the window contains a list of objects in the plan. These are user preferred names. It operates as a drawer panel on narrow screens (mostly phones), meaning that it can be collapsed to expose all of the object details pane on the screen. Tap the drawer button (3 dots for Android, 3 lines for iOS) beside Objects to collapse and expand the list as needed.

Objects (x of y) The total number of objects in the plan is shown along with the number of objects that pass all filter criteria. This appears like Objects (x of y) where x is the number of objects that pass the filters and y is the total number of objects.

Calc Now recalculates data in the plan for the selected location and the current system time. This is useful if you want real time updated information at the telescope as you observe.

PushTo sends the coordinates of the selected object to the selected Digital Setting Circles (DSC) device so that you can use its PushTo capability. If no DSC is selected, PushTo is disabled.

Object Detail Pane

The Object Detail Panel shows detailed information for a single object. Times are accurate for the observer's location and date as shown above the detail pane. Positions reported are either apparent (app) or J2000. Object sizes are scaled to degrees, arcminutes or arcseconds as appropriate, and magnitudes are reported to tenths. The data items in the detail pane are listed below with a description.

Field Name Description
Object System's preferred object designation. The name of the object shown in the Objects drawer panel is the User's preferred object designation - Object(User) as defined in the DSP Desktop Edition. This may or may not be the same as Object.
Names Commonly used names and catalog cross references. You may need to scroll the names to see all of them.
Type Object type name. Note that Sun and Moon are assigned the type name Planet.
Constel Constellation in which the object is located
RA/ Decl

For stars and deep-sky objects, these are the equatorial coordinates as recorded in the plan. These may be the astrometric coordinates precessed to epoch and standard mean equinox J2000.0 or J2050.0, or they maybe the apparent coordinates referred to the epoch and equinox of date. You may specify this on the Localize tab.

For all solar system objects, these are the apparent equatorial coordinates computed from orbital elements or an orbital model.

RA (app) / Decl (app) Apparent equatorial coordinates of the object for the instant.
Alt Apparent altitude at the ephemeris date and time.
Az Apparent azimuth at the ephemeris date and time.
LHA Local hour angle at the ephemeris date and time. The angle is formatted as hours and minutes East or West of the meridian.
Airmass Airmass indicates the relative amount of air that light must travel through to reach your eye or optic. A missing value indicates that the object is below the horizon.
Mag

Magnitude of the object and code identifying the photometric system used to derive the magnitude value. A missing value indicates that the magnitude is unknown or not available.

Magnitude codes are:

B=photographic using Johnson Blue filter
R=photographic using Johnson Red filter
V=photographic using Johnson Visual filter
b=photographic using another blue filter, including POSS blue plates
r=photographic using another red filter, including POSS red plates
v=visual or photovisual
p=photoelectric
<none>=not available

Mag.2 Secondary magnitude associated with the object, for example the magnitude of the central star in a planetary nebula or the dim magnitude of a variable star.
B-V Color index of the object in the B-V scale. A missing value indicates that the color index is unknown or not available.
Spectral

spectral type classification of a star. A missing value indicates that the spectral type is unknown or not available. See a list of Spectral Types in the Appendix.

Size Angular size of the object in the indicated unit of measure. A missing value indicates that the size is unknown or not available.
SB Surface brightness in magnitudes per arcsecond. This value may be recorded in the plan or it is calculated for galaxies, globular clusters and some nebulae. A missing value indicates that the surface brightness is unknown or not available.
PA position angle is measured in degrees measured eastwards from north of the principal plane of a galaxy, or the angle between components of a double star. If orbital elements are available for a double star, PA is calculated for the instant.
Incline Inclination of the principal plane of the galaxy in degrees
Emission

Emission is the wavelength of the brightest emission line emitted by a nebulous object. A missing value indicates that the brightest emission line wavelength is unknown or not available. Otherwise, Emission may be one of Ha (656.3nm), Hb (486.1nm) OIII (500.7nm), SII (671.6nm) or NII (658.4nm). A numeric value specifies a wavelength in nanometers other than the common ones listed above.

Emission is not a recommendation for the best filter to use, but it can be used to choose the best optical filter for observing or imaging a nebulous object. Choose a filter that includes the brightest emission line in its bandpass.

Sep separation angle in arcseconds between components of a double star. If orbital elements are available for a double star, Sep is calculated for the instant. Separation is displayed to higher precision than a cataloged value.
Year year of the double star PA and Sep measurement above. If orbital elements are available for a double star, PA and Sep are calculated for the instant.Year is displayed to higher precision and matches the instant.
Var Type Variable star type code
Var Epoch epoch in Julian days of the observed minimum light for eclipsing and ellipsoidal types and maximum light for other variable types
Var Period period between minimum and maximum magnitude values.
Next Min/Max predicted date and time of next minimum for eclipsing and ellipsoidal types or maximum light for other variable types
Var Duration

duration in percent of the total variability period spent in either:

  • eclipse for eclipsing types, or
  • increasing brightness for intrinsic variables
User Text user defined text area (100 characters)
User Integer user defined integer number
User Double user defined floating point number
SA2000 Chart number on which the object appears in Sky Atlas 2000.0 (Tirion, 1981)
U2000 Volume and page number on which the object appears in Uranometria 2000.0 (Tirion, Rappaport, Lovi, 1987) . Note that there is some overlap in the two volumes, but the page number is valid for either volume
MSA Volume and page number on which the object appears in Millennium Star Atlas (Sinnott, Perryman, 1997)
HB Chart series (B & C) and page number on which the object appears in Herald-Bobroff AstroAtlas (Herald, Bobroff, 1994).
U2000.2 Volume and page number on which the object appears in Uranometria 2000.0 2d Ed. (Tirion, Rappaport, Barry, Remaklus, 2001). Note that there is some overlap in the two volumes, but the page number is valid for either volume
PSA Chart number on which the object appears in Pocket Sky Atlas (Sinnott, 2006).
IDSA Chart number on which the object appears in Interstellarum Deep Sky Atlas (Stoyan, Schurig, 2013).
Rise(Az), Set(Az) Time of rise, set, and apparent azimuth at rise and set time for your location and date.
Transit(Alt) Time of transit and apparent altitude at transit for your location and date.
Best(Alt)

Best time to view and apparent altitude at best time for your location and date. The best time to view depends on the type of object:

  • Sun - the transit time of the sun. If the Sun does not rise locally on the ephemeris date, Best time is None.
  • Moon and most planets - highest altitude during the time period starting at sunset on the ephemeris date (or at the ephemeris time if sunset has already occurred) and ending at sunrise on the following date. If the Sun does not rise locally on the ephemeris date, Best time is None.
  • Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, asteroids, comets, stars and deep-sky objects - highest altitude during the time period starting at the beginning of astronomical darkness on the ephemeris date (or at the ephemeris time if it is astronomically dark) and ending when the astronomically dark period ends (at the ephemeris date or the following date). If the object doesn't rise locally above the horizon, or there is no astronomically dark period between the ephemeris time and noon the following day, Best time is None.
Vis Pred Predicted visibility of the object computed by one of the visibility models. Please see visibility modeling for possible values for different object types.

DSS Image

An image of the selected object is shown if it is available on the device. No Image: Tap Download is displayed if no image is available. If the image is available, it appears in colors white on black, red on black (nightvision style only) or black on white (inverted). Also, a caption shows the DSS survey description and the field of view of the image. If Override DSS Image in Plan is active, override is displayed; otherwise, the DSS Image defined in the Plan is shown.

Tap Download to retrieve an image from a DSS server. You can remove the image from your device by tapping Delete Image.

Note that images of all objects can be downloaded from the Localize tab and all images can be deleted from the device from Settings.

Filters

Filters allows you to set data filters on the plan. Objects that meet all filter criteria are shown on the Objects tab. The total number of objects in the plan is shown at the top of the Objects tab along with the number of objects that pass all filter criteria. This appears like Objects (x of y) where x is the number of filtered objects and y is the total number of objects.

Each of Magnitude, Size and Alt/Az specifies a range of values criteria for the object. For each of these 'range' filters, you must tap On to enable the filter. Next, tap the numeric data entry box and set the range limits. Tap Off to disable the range filter. For Magnitude and Size only: these data items can be missing for an object. If you specify a range of values for the data filter, objects with missing values are excluded. Tap Include missing values to include these objects.

Object Type allows you to specify any combination of object types to be included in the filter criteria. Tap an object type to toggle the checked (included) and unchecked (excluded) states. You can also tap All to check each object type or tap None to uncheck each object type.

Constellation allows you to specify any combination of constellations to be included in the filter criteria. Tap a constellation to toggle the checked (included) and unchecked (excluded) states. You can also tap All to check each constellation or tap None to uncheck each constellation.

Sort

Sort allows you to specify one or more sort options. Tap a data item to toggle through its sort options (ascending, descending, none). The order of the sort options depends on the order in which they are added to the sort specification.

Tap Clear to remove all sort options.

 

 


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