Target Settings Experiment

Beta software is not just about stability… it is also where we will test out new ideas and gauge feedback prior to formal release. will see a simplification of the target settings dialog. The left side of this dialog has always been the only part that truly contains settings for the target… the equally large right side is really just a set of tools to help you populate location data on the left. More than a few folks have shown some amount of confusion with this setup.

So… without further adieu, here is the refactored target settings dialog:

The old (as it exists now):

I like this simpler presentation without the tool set attached. You might be asking now…

  • How do I easily populate the target location with solve data from another image (your own from a previous session, or any image really)?
  • How do I easily populate the target location with web based data from an image I found on AstroBin or Flickr?

Good questions. To use file solve data, simply open the image you want to use, right click it and plate solve it. With the resultant dialog, you can transfer the results directly to any target you’d like:

As for using web URLs from AstroBin or Flickr, you can click the new text link on the settings dialog labeled “Populate from web link” (where “populate” refers to populating location data). This will provide a simple dialog that allows entry of and validation of said link:

I hope folks like this, but if the response is overwhelmingly negative, we can pretty easily change it back to the way it was.


Speaking for myself, I like it. I never use the stuff on the right, I only ever use FMW, or, rarely, the plate solve window’s “Use these results as the reference image for target”.

Love it. Simple and solves the confusion issues.

Looks great. For someone who is not familiar with all the wonders out there in the night sky, I’d love a feature where either:

  1. A target can be selected from a list without a network connection, similiar to APT
  2. A target selected in a planetarium program, i.e. Stellarium, can populate a SGP target sequence without slewing to the object first, using current RA and Dec, etc

Particularly with the plate solve hints, if you don’t have access to the Internet, then blind solve is the only option other than manually finding and entering the RA and Dec. This doesn’t represent convenience in my mind. It seems like with all the catalogs out there, it would be an easy capability to tap into them and use the information to populate some of these fields and provide features for listing targets for viewing or imaging. Oh also image scale should just autopopulate from the current equipment profile (similar to FMW) or FITs header, if applicable! Now that I think about it, perhaps this is meant primarily for a separate astroplanner software. So I’ll research those to see which ones work best with SGP.

Just some thoughts on making the software even more streamlined and accommodating, although it is already a great resource for making life easier!!

Thanks for burning the midnight oil and keep up the great work!


I always find that I populate the Ra and Dec fields by copying the position from CdC and pasting them into the Ra and Dec fields.

CdC gives this sort of thing: “Mean J2000 RA: 19h53m 48.0s DE:+18°47’00"”. That’s copied from the object properties window. There’s also a copy coordinates context menu option that gives “19h53m48.0s +18°47’00"” if the display is set to J2000.

I end up pasting this into both fields, then deleting the bits that don’t apply.

Is there some way this process could be simplified? Some way that the Ra and Dec values could be separated and posted to the two text boxes?

Or could some other way to do this be done? CdC has remote access capability.

I wouldn’t suggest doing this just for me but it seems that this could be of use to other people as well. The idea of looking for an object in a star chart program then copy and pasting its coordinates seems pretty universal to me.


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I very much like this approach.

I like Kens Idea too, looks great A+

I also like the idea of being able to use an already selected target in Stellarium to populate the catalogue No of the object and also the RA and DEC coordinates into either the Target or the F & M wizard to fetch so users can then frame and rotate for their chosen composition.


Smarter parsing of the clipboard text would be great.

I also like the idea of grabbing the value from CdC. Here’s the link to the server command interface: Server Commands ; the commands you want are GETRA and GETDEC. I use the CdC server commands for other applications and it works great.


Looks Great. I have used the functionality and the way you are revising the presentation looks good. Is there any way to just populate the fields with the location the scope is currently pointing to? Then you could just start the sequence if you are already on target. I am new and may be missing this functionality. I navigate using the Sky 6


Sure. It’s not much harder than opening a file and solving. Just click the “Solve and Sync” button. The dialog that comes up after this is the same and you can transfer the results to a target of your choosing.

We are trying to stay focused on stuff and not go off chasing butterflies… but this only took a few minutes to do. I think it is done in a way that is far more robust than just patterns found in CdC (RegEx) so it should be good for anything in the clipboard that contains an "h m s [+ or -]° ’ “” pattern (anywhere in the string).

If required, we can support other patterns very easily… like 00:00:00 type stuff or whatever.

I know this is not a huge deal, but I was all over this code anyhow…

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Try the framing and mosaic wizard. I don’t use anything else to determine framing anymore.


Couldn’t agree more, the F&M wizard is excellent and worth the small additional fee IMHO.


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