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Main Screen Layout


Initial Setup

Eclipse Preparation

Script File Format

Camera Configuration



Shortcuts and Tips

Credits & Acknowledgments

Main Scren Window
The window can be resized for smaller screens.

First line (date & time):

  • Date
  • Time
  • Julian Date
  • GPS Pulse-Per-Second status
  • Clock error
  • Standard deviation of GPS time measurements in seconds (less than 0.1 second is good)

Second line (debugging information) :

  • Script name
  • Emergency script name

Third line (position information):

  • Latitude being used for displays and local circumstances calculations
  • Longitude being used for displays and local circumstances calculations
  • Altitude being used for displays and local circumstances calculations
  • Name of the observer’s location

Fourth line (GPS information):

  • GPS status (not connected, not available, Valid Norm Fix 2D, Valid Norm Fix 3D, Valid Diff Fix 2D or Valid Diff Fix 3D)
  • Satellites in use / viewable satellites
  • Estimate position error (2σ)
  • A caution sign may be displayed while a GPS is connected to indicate a problem
  • Timezone entered at the observer’s location.

Fifth and sixth line (centerline information):

  • Eclipse type at this location (Total, Annular, Partial, None) with possibly one sub-qualifier such as Pearled or Broken
  • Obscuration at this location
  • Penumbral duration at this location
  • Umbral (totality) or ant-umbral (annularity) duration at this location
  • Distance to eclipse center line computed at the observer’s elevation and without lunar limb correction or solar radius adjustments (not neccesarily the distance to the line of maximum duration computed with the true instantaneous lunar limb profile)
  • Bearing to the center line at the observer’s elevation, measured east of true north
  • Depth at this location
  • Duration at the nearest point on the center line at the observer’s elevation

Event information:

  • Event name
  • Countdown to the event
  • UTC date of the event or local date when local time mode is selected
  • UTC time of the event or local time when local time mode is selected (a star on the right will indicate that the value is read from the current script)
  • True altitude of center of the Sun at that event, or refracted apparent altitude when the atmospheric refraction and horizon dip corrections are activated (w.r.t. the astronomical horizon)
  • Azimuth of the Sun at that event (east of true North) or longitude of the subsolar point at the poles
  • Contact North position angle (P) at that event
  • Contact Zenith position angle (Z or V) at that event
  • Eclipse magnitude at that event
  • Moon/Sun size ratio at that event
  • Extinction factor at that event (1 = no extinction, 2 = you should double your exposure times, etc)
  • Lunar limb profile corrections in second for 2nd and 3rd contacts. If a file based limb correction was provided, a star will indicate it.

Current local circumstances:

  • Eclipse type now
  • (Ant-)umbral shadow velocity now (only available for total and annular eclipses)
  • True altitude of center of Sun now, or refracted apparent altitude when the atmospheric refraction and horizon dip corrections are activated
  • Azimuth of Sun now
  • Eclipse obscuration now
  • Eclipse magnitude now
  • Extinction factor now
There is also an indication of which corrections are made: R+L+H+M- means that atmospheric refraction (R), lunar limb profile (L) and apparent horizon (H) are accounted for. However the solar mesosphere isn’t used for correcting the contact times. When the plus sign (+) is replaced by a minus sign (-), then the corresponding correction is off. If a star (*) is shown it means that the correction is activated but not significant in the context. The solar diameter currently in use is also displayed: it can vary.

Next script action:

  • Camera that will be used
  • Action
  • Exposure time
  • Aperture (focal ratio)
  • ISO
  • File size/quality
  • Global exposure compensation

Reminder for solar filters

Upcoming script items (columns can be reordered):

  • Countdown until the item executes
  • UTC HH:MM:SS.S when it executes
  • Camera that will be used
  • Action
  • Exposure time
  • Aperture (focal ratio)
  • ISO
  • Q or EV (Exposure Value), depending on the data browser contextual menu setting
  • Mirror lock up wait time
  • Image size/quality
  • Incremental
  • Comment

Exposure compensation contextual menu
Automatic Exposure Compensation Contextual Menu
This contextual menu allows for automatic exposure compensation
on all the exposures loaded from the current script.

Upper right countdown display:

  • Displays countdown until next event in large letters, or the time since the previous event if no next event

Sun Image:

  • Zenith is up (view matches what you see through binoculars)
  • The red tick mark denotes celestial north direction, which equatorially mounted telescopes will track. Two light tick marks show the solar equator, along which a solar minimum corona will probably extend, and along which SOHO spacecraft images are aligned. The orange tick mark denotes the solar north. The ecliptic is displayed as a yellow dotted line. Note that the solar equator can be as much as 7.25° from the ecliptic plane. The green tick mark denotes lunar north direction.
  • The display is rather precise with the solar limb darkening and depicts rather accurately the contact times and Baily’s beads area. The effects of the atmospheric refraction and light scattering are used to display the flattening of the solar disk at sunrise and sunset and a few other things.

Eclipse map:

  • This map, made at sea level, can be used to determine where to move to increase your eclipse duration. The eclipse path at the observer’s elevation can also be overlaid onto the map using fuchsia dotted lines.
  • Your current location is in the middle of the image at the white cross. The point of greatest eclipse is displayed as a yellow dot when in view.
  • North is up.
  • The map scale is shown above the map.
  • The mouse-over geographic coordinates and eclipse duration info are shown in the upper-left side of the map. A contextual menu let you turn off/on this feature.
    A maximum eclipse diagram at the mouse-over location can also be displayed.
  • The eclipse umbral/antumbral path is shown in red. Locations with a longer umbral or antumbral duration than your location are shown in green. The area in dark red, usually an ellipse shape, is the umbra or antumbra at maximum eclipse from the observer’s location.
  • The umbral/antumbral shadow is animated. The frequency of the updates, or the deactivation of the animation, can be controlled by the contextual menu of the eclipse map (use a right click).
  • Centerline is shown in orange.
  • Locations with no totality/annularity, i.e. penumbral shadow, are shown in light blue.
  • Locations with no eclipse are shown in dark blue.
  • Zoom out far enough and locations not on Earth, i.e. space, are in black.
  • The map is fairly accurate, taking refraction and limb corrections into account when possible. Near sunrise or sunset at the ends of the eclipse track the map accuracy falls off, and it does not model well a sunrise or sunset during totality. The accuracy of the map is also limited at the transition point(s) of an hybrid eclipse.
    The eclipse curves are plotted, by convention, at sea level, using the center of the Sun and without atmospheric refraction.

Eclipse Map Coordinates Duration