Topics

Non-Messier objects in ExploreStars #EXOS2 #ExploreStars


Paul Meesters
 

Hi,

Can someone explain to me how to find and use non-messier objects in the ExploreStars application ?
I can't find a way to, for instance, find the Heart nebula and slew to it..

I thought this app contained 10.000 objects to GoTo ?
But in stead I only can find some Messier objects.. what gives ?

Thanks,
Paul


James Everson
 

You can search by the NGC #.

In the case of the Heart Nebula, it would be NGC 1795 or you can try IC 1805. Most objects in the sky have different identifiers. Some objects will also come up if you just search "heart" (without the "").

Clear skies.


--
Mounts: Explore Scientific EXOS II GT, iEXOS-100, Celestron AVX
Scope: Explore Scientific AR102, AR152, FirstLight 152mm Mak-Cassegrain, SpaceCat 51
Guide Scope: Astromania 50mm Guidescope (190mm focal length)
Guide Camera: ZWO ASI120MM Mini Monochrome
Camera: Canon RP (IR modification)
Software: PHD2, ASCOM, and APT


James Everson
 

I know it's in there I as I got this a few weeks back...


--
Mounts: Explore Scientific EXOS II GT, iEXOS-100, Celestron AVX
Scope: Explore Scientific AR102, AR152, FirstLight 152mm Mak-Cassegrain, SpaceCat 51
Guide Scope: Astromania 50mm Guidescope (190mm focal length)
Guide Camera: ZWO ASI120MM Mini Monochrome
Camera: Canon RP (IR modification)
Software: PHD2, ASCOM, and APT


 

Use the search function in ExploreStars. 


On 16 Oct 2020, at 17:56, James Everson <jeverson.biz@...> wrote:

I know it's in there I as I got this a few weeks back...

<Heart_Soul_001.png>

--
Mounts: Explore Scientific EXOS II GT, iEXOS-100, Celestron AVX
Scope: Explore Scientific AR102, AR152, FirstLight 152mm Mak-Cassegrain, SpaceCat 51
Guide Scope: Astromania 50mm Guidescope (190mm focal length)
Guide Camera: ZWO ASI120MM Mini Monochrome
Camera: Canon RP (IR modification)
Software: PHD2, ASCOM, and APT

--
Michael Whitaker
Wakefield, UK. 
MOUNTS. Exos-2 PMC Eight..
SCOPE: RVO Horizon 72ed. 
CAMERA: Not Applicable. 
SOFTWARE: Just iPad at moment. 


Paul Meesters
 

Hi,

My mistake, the longitude and latitude info was incorrect for my location :( Hence it didn't show the Slew To button.

However, IC 1805 (the heart nebula according to Stellarium) returns the Cassiopeia Objects Group. Not the Heart nebula. This object type is "Open cluster"  not "Nebula"
NGC 1795 returns the Dorado objects group.. Not the nebula..

I'm confused ..

Thanks,
Paul


James Everson
 

The Heart Nebula resides within an open cluster. If you like, you can find a bright star in or near the nebula and use it's HIT # as a slew point.


--
Mounts: Explore Scientific EXOS II GT, iEXOS-100, Celestron AVX
Scope: Explore Scientific AR102, AR152, FirstLight 152mm Mak-Cassegrain, SpaceCat 51
Guide Scope: Astromania 50mm Guidescope (190mm focal length)
Guide Camera: ZWO ASI120MM Mini Monochrome
Camera: Canon RP (IR modification)
Software: PHD2, ASCOM, and APT


Paul Meesters
 

I guess, you meant HIP #, but the ones I tried are not in the database.
This application is not as handy as I thought :( 
It's frustration after frustration. When an object # is not found in the database, you have to renavigate to the search form.. this is poorly designed :(


Paul Meesters
 

Some objects will also come up if you just search "heart" (without the "")
When I search for "heart" I get 9 objects, none of them "The heart nebula" so that is kinda useless.


James Everson
 

Yeah, was a typo. Which interface are you using (iPad, Android, PC)? Are you sure your database is up to date? While there are some objects I couldn't find, I have found about 90-95% that I have searched for. Some objects have NGC, HIP, IC, SAO, and other identifiers. Sometimes you just have to find the one ES uses.


--
Mounts: Explore Scientific EXOS II GT, iEXOS-100, Celestron AVX
Scope: Explore Scientific AR102, AR152, FirstLight 152mm Mak-Cassegrain, SpaceCat 51
Guide Scope: Astromania 50mm Guidescope (190mm focal length)
Guide Camera: ZWO ASI120MM Mini Monochrome
Camera: Canon RP (IR modification)
Software: PHD2, ASCOM, and APT


Paul Meesters
 

I carried all my stuff outside, hooked everything up, and now ExploreStars is stuck at Please Wait.. damn what a really bad program it is..
Last week I tried everything out inside the house, and it was all hunky dory, and now I will have to abondon the first clear skies in weeks, because the system won't work

I guess I need another brand of mount and abandon ES.  It's one disappointment after the other.. 


James Everson
 

Paul,

I can understand your frustration. My first few outings with the mount was challenging. It has a rather steep learning curve compared to my Celestron AVX mount. However, once you figure it out, it is a great mount. It sounds like you are using either a laptop or a Windows tablet to connect to the PMC8 device. I would suggest, if you happen to have one, is using an iPad when getting started. It connects to the PMC8 wifi easily and the databases are updated automatically. I am only just starting to get into auto-guiding which involves moving from my iPad to my laptop and I am running into some challenges again. As with all new things, we have to learn and adapt. ES does seem to target more intermediate to advanced users. Give it some time and I think you'll find that even with it's quirks, it's a good mount.

Good luck and clear skies

--
Mounts: Explore Scientific EXOS II GT, iEXOS-100, Celestron AVX
Scope: Explore Scientific AR102, AR152, FirstLight 152mm Mak-Cassegrain, SpaceCat 51
Guide Scope: Astromania 50mm Guidescope (190mm focal length)
Guide Camera: ZWO ASI120MM Mini Monochrome
Camera: Canon RP (IR modification)
Software: PHD2, ASCOM, and APT


Paul Meesters
 
Edited

Carried everything inside again, gave it one more try, and now it's connecting again :(. 
I'm not carrying it outside again to only find out it doesn't work outside.

I'm using a Microsoft Surface laptop.. expensive stuff. If that doesn't work I definitely need another mount.
I have an old iPad 3 lying around somewhere which I don't use anymore, because most apps need a newer iOS then the iPad3 is capable of.  is the ExploreStars App compatible with iOS 9.3.5 ?
I am not planning on buying another iPad. I'd rather buy a better mount.

It may be a good mount, but when it is not working, it's just a heap of scrap metal.

EDIT: ExploreStars is not compatible with this iPad..


 

Paul please persevere with the mount and ExploreStars, it is a very good programme and once you get your head round it you will love it. Like any other programme or software to work to its full potential you must definitely have a good polar align so that the mount knows where you are. I had the same problem as I thought I was polar aligned but the polar scope inside the mount needed collimating itself. I had weeks of nothing working properly until I discovered this. Since it was collimated I have had no probs with slewing to anything, maybe a slight tweak here and there to get things central, I don’t even do any star align.  Although ExploreStars is mostly for observing, once you know you have a good PA the mount tracks superbly, good enough for short exposures. I can now push it to 1min/ 90 sec exp. please check your polar scope, I would put my house on that not being properly calibrated. Cheers, Mick. 


On 16 Oct 2020, at 19:20, James Everson <jeverson.biz@...> wrote:

Paul,

I can understand your frustration. My first few outings with the mount was challenging. It has a rather steep learning curve compared to my Celestron AVX mount. However, once you figure it out, it is a great mount. It sounds like you are using either a laptop or a Windows tablet to connect to the PMC8 device. I would suggest, if you happen to have one, is using an iPad when getting started. It connects to the PMC8 wifi easily and the databases are updated automatically. I am only just starting to get into auto-guiding which involves moving from my iPad to my laptop and I am running into some challenges again. As with all new things, we have to learn and adapt. ES does seem to target more intermediate to advanced users. Give it some time and I think you'll find that even with it's quirks, it's a good mount.

Good luck and clear skies

--
Mounts: Explore Scientific EXOS II GT, iEXOS-100, Celestron AVX
Scope: Explore Scientific AR102, AR152, FirstLight 152mm Mak-Cassegrain, SpaceCat 51
Guide Scope: Astromania 50mm Guidescope (190mm focal length)
Guide Camera: ZWO ASI120MM Mini Monochrome
Camera: Canon RP (IR modification)
Software: PHD2, ASCOM, and APT

--
Michael Whitaker
Wakefield, UK. 
MOUNTS. Exos-2 PMC Eight..
SCOPE: RVO Horizon 72ed. 
CAMERA: Not Applicable. 
SOFTWARE: Just iPad at moment. 


Harry
 

Paul,
Another option I used when I didn’t want to use my iPad, was an inexpensive Amazon Fire HD8. You need a micro SD card to separately load the ExploreStars database, but I had great luck with it. Your Windows laptop should do this fine.  It is a modified Android device. Just make sure the ExploreStars app is still available from the Fire App Store. I think mine was a 32mb unit.
I certainly understand your frustration, but the mount really is a great product. I have been there.
--
Harry
Vero Beach, FL

Mounts: ES iExos 100-PMC Eight
Scopes: ES  ED80CF, ES AR102,  Meade ETX 90 EC (Deforked)
Guide: ZWO 30mm Mini, ZWO ASI120MM-Mini
Software: ASIair Pro, iPad Pro, MacOS, Starry Sky Stacker, Affinity Photo, Lightroom,  SkySafari Plus
Cameras: Nikon D600, D5500
Misc: ES USB Power Bank, Rigel QuikFinder, 0.8x Focal Reducer
Filters:  Optolong L-Pro, L-eNhance






Mikas
 

Hi Paul,

I would definitely go outside to confirm it's not working there. How it could be? What changes when you go outside? Does Laptop get connected to another wifi instead of PMC-Eight?. Different power supply? Does the laptop run on battery there? Perhaps there is microwave interference from faulty street light? Is there 5G telecom antenna nearby? Use a wifi analyzer app to check if there is a neighbors wifi on channel 1 near your mount. Must be some reason for it to be working inside, but not outside.

I have nearly new Skywatcher EQ5 pro with Synscan Go-To, but because of oblong stars had to upgrade to EXOS II also. So on Synscan there is no search at all. Arguably better than EXOS II  would be also belt-driven Sky-Watcher EQ6-R PRO and you can get many tablets for the price difference. I bought TECLAST P20HD 10.1 Inch 8-Core 4GB Tablet Android for £128, but it could be way cheaper to get the job done. The only requirement is an SD card slot and can be as old as Android 4.4 kitkat.


 

Paul,
 
Out of curiosity, when you tested indoors vs. outdoors, did you change from mains power to battery?  
 
I believe Win10 has power management settings for the wifi adapter, and I seem to recall that we've had the odd post concerning that.  Just wondering if Win 10 decided to power down your adapter on you...
 
FWIW...
 
- Bob
 
--
Mounts: ES PMC-8 EXOS2
Scopes: SV 102EDT, ZWO 60/280 Guide
Cameras:  Nikon D5300, Altair GPCAM2 290M
Software: ASCOM, CdC, AstroTortilla, BYN Pro, Sharpcap, PHD2
Computer:  Thinkpad x230, Win7Pro/64


Paul Meesters
 

When I set up outside, I was still on mains power (both the PMC-8 as the laptop). The laptop was correctly connected to the PMC-8 via WiFi. I even switched to my normal internet-wifi signal and back again. It connected without any problem, but the ExploreStars application was stuck on "Please Wait". restarting ExploreStars several times had no effect.
Once inside again (I had unplugged the power to do that) and putting the power back on, ExploreStars started up normally with the compass-rose for slewing.
The distance between inside and outside is about 5 meters. That cannot be the issue.

One positive point was that clouds drifted in 15 minutes later (not forecasted by the nightshift app by the way, it promised clear skies for hours), so no precious observing time was lost.

I have the Exos-II / PMC-8 now since September 4th, and have had zero skywatching time with it :( So, forgive me for being less then jubilant.


Patrick Maher
 

I agree with you about finding objects that aren't solar system objects or Messier objects.  This, in my opinion, is a weak area of the app.  What if someone doesn't know the names of things to view?  Wouldn't it be better if we could at least scroll through a list of viewable objects in the sky at the moment?  Obviously, a more graphical interface like we have for the Messier objects and the Solar System objects would be even better but just a list would be okay.  Maybe add-on packs for the app? 

I also use a Surface tablet with ExploreStars and I have no problems so there must be something wrong with your particular tablet/OS or you are doing something wrong (which is easy to do and expected for someone new to the system).  

As far as your other problem, it sounds like you might be losing connection with the mount.  The obvious reason is because you have your tablet set to "Always Connect to this Device" for your home's Wifi.  You must uncheck that option.  Even better, set your mount's Wifi to "Always Connect..."  

My guess is that will resolve the connection issue.

Patrick
--
Explore Scientific iEXOS-100 and EXOS-2GT (non-PMC)
Explore Scientific ED 102mm Refractor


Mirko Gude
 

Hi Paul,

I may be wrong, but for me it seems to be correct. I got one hit in ExploreStars Search for „heart nebula“. Maybe the description "open cluster" is not what you expect, but the destination seems to be ok.





Regards, Mirko


Am 16.10.2020 um 19:25 schrieb Paul Meesters <p.h.meesters@...>:

Hi,

My mistake, the longitude and latitude info was incorrect for my location :( Hence it didn't show the Slew To button.

However, IC 1805 (the heart nebula according to Stellarium) returns the Cassiopeia Objects Group. Not the Heart nebula. This object type is "Open cluster"  not "Nebula"
NGC 1795 returns the Dorado objects group.. Not the nebula..

I'm confused ..

Thanks,
Paul


--

Mounts: ES PMC-8 IEXOS 100, ES EXOS2-GT 
Scopes: Skywatcher 80/600
Cameras:  Nikon Z6, D7000, ZWO ASI385 Color, QHY 5L-II-mono
Lens: Sigma 150-600mm, Sigma Art 135mm/1,8, Nikon Z 50mm/1,8, Tamron 70-200mm
Msc: LRTimelapse Pro Timer 2.5, Raspberry Pi4, Polemaster, GPS Dongle
Software: PixInsight, Kstars, Starry Night, Redshift


Wes Mcdonald
 

Also don’t forget.   While not optimum, one can enter the ra and dec of any object.  It is best to have a planetarium program to use on your phone or laptop to look up things anyhow to check visibility etc.

Also, as with many hobbies you get out of this one in proportion to what you put into it.  There are lots of resources out there to explain things like how various catalog reference systems relate to sky objects.  There are, as you have been told, several other than Messier.   

Glad to see many on the forum are helping you out.  I am sure you will get over the hump.  That’s not to say Explorestars is a perfect application, but it works well once you get used to it.  Also the mount is quite capable of being driven by ASCOM, where the world of applications awaits your use.

Wes



--
Wes, Southport NC
EXos2-GT PMC-8, iExos 100
ES ED 127, 10" LX200GPS+wedge, Astro-Tech 8" Newt, ETX-90, 60mm no-name guide scope ~ 260mm FL
Polemaster, Orion ST-80 and SAG, ZWO 290MM, D5300 astro modified
Nina, Bootcamped Mac Mini control computer, RDP to iMAC
110 amp hour lead acid deep discharge battery for field power
Electrical Engineer, Retired