Re: Heavensat - simple question

From: Greg Roberts (
Date: Fri May 01 2009 - 13:27:20 UTC

  • Next message: Greg Roberts: "Fw: Heavensat"

    Hi Bob
    Ill try and provide some of the answers but dont really know why you have a 
    problem so dont know how detailed to go -- dont want to write a manual if not 
    necessary :-))
    Okay the basics:
    I assume you have the program installed okay and you have set up the OPTIONS 
    under the COMMON at extreme left of top of screen display- eg set your 
    position,time zone,date and time formats etc. In the STARS option make sure you 
    have the BSC and SKY2000 catalogs selected, you can leave the other options for 
    the moment at the default values and play with this later.
    Click on the HEAVENSAT icon. Program loads. Go to SELECT ( middle lower half of 
    screen).Select Satellite Source or USER list. Will take you to the TLE directory 
    where you have installed your TLE database/s. Select which database you want. 
    Click APPLY then OK and will take you back to main screen which tells you how 
    many satellite elements have been loaded.
    Now , assuming you want passes, click on PASSES. Then set the date , time and 
    duration - if night time observing I usually set the time of twilight or 
    thereabouts, set duration from 1 to 5 hours--choose what you want - , sun el < 
    = -6,sat el>10,sat mag<15 and click BEGIN. You can select APULSES and the 
    minimum or max distance from a bright star, select occultations of 
    stars,moon,planet or sun etc and iridium flares.
    All satellite passes for the satellite element set selected and in the time 
    interval defined will be shown on the screen. You can set how the data is 
    displayed horizontally,one line per satellite sorted on various parameters such 
    as catalog number, common name etc - the choice is yours from the OPTIONs menu.
    Double click on the satellite you want  - no use looking for satellites not 
    making passes unless you define the duration as 24 hours say and remove the sun 
    altitude restriction etc. After clicking on the satellite the screen display 
    changes and you will be given a wide angle view of the sky with lots of 
    satellites plotted on the screen with your choice at the center. You can now do 
    several things- zoom in on the satellite by using the + in a circle at top right 
    of screen where there are a lot of icons. Passing your mouse over each one will 
    tell you what the icon does - the + will zoom in, the - will zoom out. To show 
    the satellite trajectory click on the "hemisphere" symbol shown - 11th down from 
    top - this will then show the satellite trajectory, Click on the "lock" and the 
    satellite will stay centered in middle of screen whilst you play. Click on the 
    "clock" to set the time your want or real time, and then on right arrow icon at 
    top for the program to run in "real time" relative to the time you chose. Click 
    on the icon above the "bincoulars" and a time slider will appear - this you can 
    use to move the time and see how the satellite moves across the sky- the span of 
    this time slider is set in the OPTIONS menu.
    There are of course many other things you can do - for example you can can show 
    the satellite path on a map of the earth as well as a 180 degree view of the sky 
    centred on your pole ( north pole for northern hemisphere).
    HEAVENSAT is very forgiving so its a simple matter to explore all the options - 
    Im learning all the time.
    If you click on SATELLITES - 4th item from left at top of screen - you can 
    select EPHEMERIS. This will take you to the part where you can calculate 
    detailed pass detail - you can select what order you want etc -- just be careful 
    how many satellites you have in the database- if you have 13000 satellites you 
    will then get predictions for all those that are visible in the duration you 
    set!  You can also filter out satellites that meet certain specifications 
    As I said there is a LOT to HEAVENSAT so it is worth while playing and exploring 
    the options. To adequately describe all of them will take a very lengthy 
    document!- probably why there is no official manual as the program is 
    continually being developed.
    Hope this helps
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