by Byron Soulsby
Plains Lunar Observatory Australia
There is an
excellent Planetarium which you can set to your location to view most
of the events of interest to the Lunar Eclipse Observer web pages and
It is a professionally prepared planetarium known as Stellarium
screen shot of a very difficult Thin Lunar Crescent from my Observatory
location is shown below as an example.
This is taken from a
MacBook running OS X 10.4.10, but versions of
Stellarium are avalable for either Mac or Windows machines.
It is also possible to create your own horizon from stitched 360
degrees images taken from your observing
and inserted into the Stellarium horizons selection file
using Windows. I have created the Theodore Lunar Observatory horizon in
this next screen capture illustrating the Moon rise on 20070828 just
before the next Total Lunar Eclipse, below:
It is possible to control certain goto telescopes directly from
Stellarium. A driver is needed and this can be obtained from the
Stellarium Home page. One untested driver is available for OS X, by
Michael Heinz named xcodeproj.tgz. If using a MacBook or other OS X
computer you will also need to obtain a USB to Serial converter kit to
connect from the USB computer port to the telescope (in my case, a
Meade ETX-90EC) control or AutoStar.
Once installed these components provide direct control to objects
selected on the Stellarium screen for your location. My testing so far
is incomplete and I will update this page as progress is achieved.
Lunar Observatory Australia 2008 March 27.