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Thread: Planet locator

  1. #1 Planet locator 
    tr1
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    Hi
    I've decided to get my old telescope out of the loft to take a look at the night sky and I'm trying to find out where the current visible (to the naked eye) planets are at the moment. I've had a look online but the only planet locators I can find are not easy to figure out for a novice like me.

    Does anyone know of any more 'novice friendly' sites I can take a look at to find out what's visible at the moment from my location in the UK?
    Thanks


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  3. #2 Re: Planet locator 
    Moderator Moderator Dishmaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tr1
    Hi
    I've decided to get my old telescope out of the loft to take a look at the night sky and I'm trying to find out where the current visible (to the naked eye) planets are at the moment. I've had a look online but the only planet locators I can find are not easy to figure out for a novice like me.

    Does anyone know of any more 'novice friendly' sites I can take a look at to find out what's visible at the moment from my location in the UK?
    Thanks
    If you want coordinates (Right Ascension and Declination), you can try this site:
    http://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/horizons.cgi

    If you want a map of the sky showing the locations of the planets, you may want to download any free planetarium programme (e.g. stellarium, xephem) or use this online tool:
    http://www.fourmilab.ch/yoursky/


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  4. #3  
    tr1
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    Thanks Dishmaster. I'd already come across one of the links you provided but didn't find it very easy to grasp - nor the other one I hadn't seen.

    I did download and install the stellarium which looks great and is exactly the sort of thing I'm after - easy to use, well laid out and very pretty! trouble is, my pc is a little frayed around the edges and the stellarium runs really slow. I did try adjusting the frame rate in the config file but it didn't make any difference. I'll have a go at xephem next although that doesn't look quite as user friendly.
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  5. #4  
    Moderator Moderator Dishmaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tr1
    I did download and install the stellarium which looks great and is exactly the sort of thing I'm after - easy to use, well laid out and very pretty! trouble is, my pc is a little frayed around the edges and the stellarium runs really slow. I did try adjusting the frame rate in the config file but it didn't make any difference. I'll have a go at xephem next although that doesn't look quite as user friendly.
    I actually like XEphem very much, because it is much easier to configure, but it is actually not really made for Windoze. It can only be used on this OS with a trick by emulating a Linux computer. Therefore, I guess, if you are running Windoze, you wouldn't be very happy with it since it would be pretty slow, too.

    I'd suggest, you just try to browse the internet for similar applications that are not so CPU challenging. Here is a list for different operating systems.

    http://astro.nineplanets.org/astrosoftware.html
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  6. #5  
    tr1
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    Thanks for the link. Will take a look at some of the others out there although despite being rather slow, I really love Stellarium and would recommend it to anyone who wants a simple, novice friendly introdution to the night sky (using Windoze of course )
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