Most of us I’m sure do not have a flat horizon 360’. Mine can be 20 to the S and 70 on my west and 50 to my east with 30 to the north. I have cheap apps (observer pro is an awesome one) that lets me draw my horizon. APCC also lets me draw my horizon. Of course, those don’t do me any good in SGP. Lack of this makes the planner not very helpful. PLEASE allow us to define a custom horizon. Most do this using a degree 0-360 text file that has each elevation point… like 5,20 10,30 15, 32 20,34 all the way to 360. APCC does this and if compatible I could share the same data. If you don’t have it - get out the IOS app Observer Pro - it uses the device’s camera to pan the horizon to create it. It then will show when I can see a target exactly at my location and when it dips behind a tree. The planner really needs this to make it viable.
Fully agree. I also do this separately and almost avoid the planner because of this lack of custom horizon option.
Not to negate the request but I wonder if you are trying to image too close to the horizon? Anything below about 40-45 degrees is subject to a lot of atmospheric problems. If you stay above that limit, then the custom horizon is hardly necessary.
It is needed for me. I have trees high east and west. I image a target the minute it leaves the treetops and stop the minute it touches on the other side. With your suggestion, I’d have to set mine to 82! That would kill my ability to grab the Eagle Nebula at 30.
My treeline 360 degrees
Low elevation imaging is challenging. Look at the graph near the bottom of this link:
You can see that a star image size is about 2.5 times bigger at 30 degrees than at 45 degrees. Plus seeing issues increase at lower elevations.
While you folks are obviously correct…the lower the target, the more challenging the imaging, Ron’s request is absolutely a valid one (and one others have asked for as well).
Consider the situation where a single tree or building presents a barrier on one direction, but only briefly.
Consider the situation where a nearby line of trees presents varying horizons…all well above a “useful” altitude, but potentially costing you time depending on target location.
Or, possibly, consider the fact that many of us will image lower than you think “appropriate” because we simply enjoy imaging more than we worry about FWHM for the first 3 frames of the night.
A custom horizon would be a tremendously useful modification to the planning tools, imo.
Lets keep things civil
I found I could create a custom landscape for stellarium last night. Very welcomed.
It’s DSS is also a nice addition. Finally going back to it for my goto’s. Vs WWT.
I took a 360 image of my garden and imported into Cartes du Ciel. You can calibrate it and it gives a fairly accurate visual indicator and aids my planning by seeing when the neighbouring houses interfere with the imaging.
Just another option.
It’s cool seeing my real horizon. Lets me know if a target is behind the tree’s before I slew there.
I don’t like cartes. (graphics are extremely crude). New stellarium has deep sky photos and a complete deep sky survey background now!
How complicated is it to create the custom horizon (360) in stellarium?
Tedious, but not hard.
- Take pictures in a circle
- Stitch pictures together
- Delete sky (This is the most tedious part)
- Tweak a simple well-documented config file
Thanks for the info and link.