Using Stellarium to assist with Astrometry

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Citizen science images of aurora and celestial features can often be noisy. Additionally, consumer and even prosumer cameras manipulate images in ways that typically cannot be completely disabled or even easily quantified in all cases. To make scientific use of images, the image metadata must include:

  • Geographic coordinates (e.g. from GPS)
  • time of image (accuracy ~ 10 seconds for wide angle view, ~ 1 second with < 20 degree FOV).

Stellarium

Stellarium helps manual verification of image calibration. F11 toggles full screen mode.

Scripting

Repeatable work implies scriptable work for a GUI tool like Stellarium. Stellarium uses ECMAScript, which may be loosely thought of as a generalized, formal JavaScript. Scripts have a .ssc or .inc filename extension. A quick GitHub search reveals numerous useful examples scripts beyond those included with Stellarium.

Press F12 to toggle the scripts menu.

Example:

LabelMgr.deleteAllLabels();
core.setDate("2014-09-26T09:10:00","utc",true)
core.setTimeRate(0)
StelMovementMgr.zoomTo(38,0)
core.setObserverLocation(-140.1,65.4,500,0,"my camera")  // -140.1W, 65.4N, 500m WGS84 elevation
core.moveToRaDecJ2000(239.3,57.63,0)  // point to ra, dec
core.setDiskViewport(false)
GridLinesMgr.setFlagAzimuthalGrid(true)
GridLinesMgr.setFlagEquatorGrid(true)
LandscapeMgr.setFlagCardinalsPoints(true)
LandscapeMgr.setFlagLandscape(false)
ConstellationMgr.setFlagLines(true)
ConstellationMgr.setFlagLabels(true)

//core.wait(2); //to allow FOV to settle

//LabelMgr.labelScreen("HST1 El/Az (deg.)",400,380,true,20,"#ff0000")
//LabelMgr.labelScreen(core.getViewAltitudeAngle(), 400, 400, true, 20, "#ff0000");
//LabelMgr.labelScreen(core.getViewAzimuthAngle(),400,420,true,20,"#ff0000");

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