Space is vast and with Slooh telescopes there are a lot of objects to follow. Slooh itself has 1000 most prominent objects in the database, from which you can choose your missions. Each object has a separate page, where you can get all needed information, like when the object is rising, in transit (at the highest altitude) and setting. Jarmo Ruuth's Astromosaic had excellent graphs on the visibility of the objects and I was intrigued to know more about astronomical calculations. So I downloaded some books (like Fundamental Astronomy) and headed to Paul Schlyter's How to compute planetary positions, where I found also some examples. My main idea was to get some of unknown availabilities of the Messier objects added to my Messier Info page, but I have now found it very useful in the ongoing Caldwell Challenge at Slooh
So I prepared a program on Python 3.7 that can be used to find out when your objects are available at Slooh Observatories. The program is called Night Sky Objects and one can check three cataloges, the Messier Objects, the Caldwell objects and AAVSO recommended Variable Stars.
NSO.py requires to have in the same folder five accompanying files to operate:
- Observatory.csv comprising of the names and coordinates of the Slooh Teide and Chile Observatories
- three object data csv files (messierObjects, CaldwellObjects, VariableStarObjects) comprising of the names and coordinates of the objects
- Example.jpg starting image to show an example at the start of the program (displays example image at the start of the program, the program works also without this file)
Examples of the program windows:
It is quite straight forward to run the program, you choose the observatory, the object and the date. After clicking submit, you will receive a new image of the altitude of your object on the chosen date. If you so choose, the program will save the image on the same folder, where your program is. the name of the file includes the name of the object, the name of the observatory and the date.
It is quite easy to customize observatories and/or sky objects for your liking and if you are familiar with Python, you can make required changes to the source file (for example change title etc.)
You can download the zipped program and the accompanying files named NSO_1.2_English.zip from our Google Drive
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