A printscreen of the UI. It uses night mode.

While posting my pictures, and describing the photographed objects, I noticed they are already deeper than most of the shallow catalogs and softwares go. Stellarium has its strengths but also its weaknesses. Astrometry.net’s plate solver also has its limits. The database behind Simbad and the Aladin viewer their website has embedded is great in many ways – on the desktop edition I can point with the mouse, and the pointer’s coordinates get resolved into an object, but no such feature in the web version (I added it, see below). A weakness is that both the web version and the desktop edition are slow to render the sky, I wonder whether they have any caching or the tiles are morphed real time. Anyway,  I wanted something more personal, integrated into my website.

So I made csillagtura.ro/dso. I think I am bad at naming my programs :P. I found this database on github, with more than 200k objects. This database should cover my deeper photographs for a long time. I converted the CSV into an SQL, and extended it with popular names for objects mainly in English, many in Hungarian and some in Romanian. I also added functionalities like search by virtually any aspect of an object, and, very important: cone search around each result, or just a cone search around some coordinates. I also added some virtual sky features: based on UTC time and the visitor’s gps coordinates retrieved from the browser, my program also calculates the objects’ alt-az coordinates.

Something simple to begin with: Messier objects in Andromeda,Triangulum, Ursa Maior and Canes Venatici:

[dsosearch: api not found]

So, for example, listing all the nebulous Messier and Caldwell objects from my vantage point, above 8 magnitudes, is a simple query, like below.

[dsosearch: api not found]

Or planetary nebulae, geographically accessible, above 9m:

[dsosearch: api not found]

Or just list the context of Bode’s and the Cigar’s, above 17m:

[dsosearch: api not found]

In order to be able to point on the Aladin viewer’s map and locate the object under the mouse, I wrote this small tampermonkey userscript. See it on my github.

// ==UserScript==
// @name         Aladin rightclickfinder
// @namespace    //csillagtura.ro
// @version      0.1
// @description  adds "identify object by right click" functionality to the aladin map
// @author       You
// @match        http://simbad.u-strasbg.fr/simbad/*
// @grant        none
// ==/UserScript==

(function() {
    'use strict';
    var root = document.getElementById("aladin-lite-div");
    root.addEventListener('contextmenu', function(ev) {
        var loc = root.getElementsByClassName("aladin-location-text")[0];
        var koord = loc.innerHTML.trim();
        document.location = "/simbad/sim-coo?Coord="+encodeURIComponent(koord)+"&CooFrame=FK5&CooEpoch=2000&CooEqui=2000&CooDefinedFrames=none&Radius=2&Radius.unit=arcmin&submit=submit+query&CoordList=";
        return false;
    }, false);