Sunday, November 27, 2016

Automated Astronomical Object Feature Measurer

Want to know the size (in kilometers or miles) of a sunspot, lunar crater, festoon on Jupiter, etc. that you see in a photographic image?  My latest software creation called Automated Astronomical Object Feature Measurer (or AAOFM for short) can quickly and accurately tell you the answer.  The app is offered free for download.

Designed to run on Windows, Linux and Mac computers.  Note: This is a beta version and I need feedback concerning any bugs that may exist in the app.  I have installed and run the software successfully on Windows and Linux computers; therefore, input from Mac users would be especially appreciated.
Click the image below to go to my website and choose the menu option to the left labeled  Automated Astronomical Object Feature Measurer to go to the appropriate download area.

Saturday, November 5, 2016


You may already have a computerized object locator and not know it! That is, if you have the right kind of tablet or smartphone. It must have an e-compass in it as well as GPS capability and use the Android operating system.

For over a year, I have been using the free astronomy app SkyEye in my outdoor public outreach astronomy presentations. Last night, I finally got around to using one feature in the app that few people have heard of. I just laid my Asus tablet on a Dobsonian telescope (sticking it on with Velcro) belonging to my friend Jesse Willard. I then told the app when the scope was pointed at each of two calibration stars. From that point on, when I wanted to go to a deep sky object, the tablet would tell me how to turn the telescope to get to the object. Sure, enough when the tablet said I had reached the Coat Hanger cluster, there it was in the eyepiece. Next, M27 the Dumbbell Nebula -- again in the eyepiece's field of view. I stopped at that point because I had forgotten to bring my jacket and was getting too cold.

Go here to download the app (image from SkyEye download page)A display from SkyEye: