INDI Library v2.0.6 is Released (02 Feb 2024)

Bi-monthly release with minor bug fixes and improvements

New Targets tool?

I don't believe the current "Observation Planner" tool is suited for the average astrophotographer. Therefore, I wanted to start on a new tool that would be very useful for decision making without going through a multi-step wizard. One Window where you can change all the knobs and sliders and then get immediate updates. I came up with this rather poor mockup, but hopefully it represents the overall idea:

So here we would have the following features:
1. Lists: You can have lists (some are default). Lists can be Favorite (default) and whenever you have a favorite object, you just click it to add to the favorites list. You can create custom lists, and even share them with others and export them. You can browse users lists and import them to KStars.
2. Equipment profile, you can either create one or just "Import from INDI' and it would import whatever you have currently running. This is required to calculate the FOV of your setup which is important.
3. Filters: By default, the table would contain literally everything, though most likely, we'll just show the top most interesting objects this evening if all filters are clear.
3.1. Search: This is a simple search, if an object is found, the list is filtered out. If you select a list, it would clear the table and reload all the objects in the list.
3.2. Type: Select from object type: Galaxies, Solar System, Planetary Nebula, Open Clusters... etc. I'm thinking of also adding "Narrowband Nebulae" as a separate type since this is of interest to astrophotographers.
3.3. Direction: which direction you want to filter your objects on? Maybe North sky is obstructed and you just want to limit the list to eastern view.
3.4. Magnitude: limit by magnitude, for object that have magnitude information. So are you increase the slider, fainter objects would be removed. This would be a 0 to 100 relative slider. 0 has no effect, whereas 100 only shows the brightest magnitude objects in the list.
3.5. Altitude: 0 to 90 scale. I haven't decided yet on how to deal with this, perhaps it is the minimum altitude of an object this evening? not sure if there is a better metric.
3.6. FOV: This is related to your equipment, so for objects with KNOWN FOVs, what's the % of overlap between the two? If you set it to 40%, then an object must at least occupies 40% of your sensor and so forth.

Next comes the list of object with the common information. I think we should include Alt vs Time and image for each object in the list. Furthermore, we have actions for each object:
1. GOTO & Plate Solve
2. Add To Favorite
3. Add to List (then you select which list)
4. Add to Scheduler

So there it is, this is just brainstorming at this stage. We really to keep this as simple as possible, all in one window. Ideas welcome.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Alfred, Jim, Tom, Brian, Scott Denning, Paolo
2 years 7 months ago #73515

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Replied by Jim on topic New Targets tool?

There is a website that I use for this, telescopius.com/. Having this function in one place would be quite nice. Telescopius does have some other features that are neat such as uploading your own images that would not make sense, so it still has its place too.

2 years 7 months ago #73522

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Replied by hades on topic New Targets tool?

Hi Jasem, I like this idea.Here are some thoughts:
  • Altitude: Could be altitude of an object at 0:00 local time. Or
  • Could be time, at which the object reaches culmination during the night
  • You can also implement filter based on a catalogue (Messier, NGC, IC, SH2,...)
2 years 7 months ago #73533

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Replied by Doug S on topic New Targets tool?

Hi Jasem,

A derivative of this observation planning topic was raised here:     

IMO, the current wishlist/session list functionality isn't bad; it just needs a facelift via some addressed weaknesses.  Importing an external list is lacking.   I found it was easy to write a piece of code to import from another text based format (in my case from an ArgoNavis format used for visual work).  IMO, the "big picture" concept for wishlist (as a general list), and session list (as a pre-scheduling list) are fine.   The real issue seems to be no way to migrate item selections (especially multiple selections) from wishlist to session list and then to the scheduler.   I see you've suggested yourself the idea of moving a selection from the new "targets tool" item to the scheduler.    You're on a similar track as the previous suggestion(s).

My recommendation would be to take a look back at the prior post, and think about whether you are really that dissatisfied with the "big picture" of wishlist as a general list and session list as a pre-scheduling list.    The "facelift" seems to be only some needed mouse action, a multi item "push-to-scheduler" interface for the scheduler, and a generic external list import feature.  Icing on the cake would be to make the rise/set graphs consistent (see original post for details).   cheers,   Doug   
2 years 7 months ago #73578

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Replied by Tunafish on topic New Targets tool?

Maybe this is already a feature of KStars/EKOS but an easy to use framing tool as part of planning targets would be nice. I currently use telescopius.com/ to do my framing. I'll filter and pick a target then get the FOV framing based on my equipment details. I can then drag the FOV frame around to get the best framing. Then I usually add the RA/Dec of the center point as a custom object to KStars to use for my session. Be nice if this could be done quickly inside KStars/EKOS.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Scott Denning, jiberjaber
2 years 7 months ago #73579

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Replied by Jasem Mutlaq on topic New Targets tool?

The features are split over three tools:

1. Observation Planner
2. What's up tonight?
3. What's interesting?

I'll try to combine them plus add the framing/fov part into a the new Targets tools and try to make as concise as possible.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Tunafish
2 years 7 months ago #73611

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Replied by Scott Denning on topic New Targets tool?

As an imager, it's critical to me to be able to see details of things in KStars like dark nebulae so I can frame and rotate before capturing. telescopius does this. SkySafari to a lesser extent. The HiPS overlays do this, but only with an internet connection.
2 years 7 months ago #73612

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Replied by John on topic New Targets tool?

Great idea! I use Telescopius and it seems to cover the things I do (newbie here). The > altitude for certain amount of time is useful, as is the framing.

Other than replicating what Telescopius does, where Kstars/Ekos could really benefit is by strong integration with the sequence tool and mosaic tool so you could start with a proposed observation and turn it into a sequence; or start with an old sequence and load it into the proposed observation tool and have it update for tonight. 

It would be useful to see details of capture sequences vs time vs altitude / direction over the course of the observation so if you wanted, say, to match the highest altitude to a particular filter you could.
2 years 7 months ago #73648

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