Planning your Observations with the ESA-Haystack Telescope
Joachim Köppen Strasbourg 2011, Kiel 2020
Some brief explanations
- This utility shows for a number of places at what times the Sun, Moon, and positions
in Galactic Coordinates are above the horizon and thus can be observed. The option
"Enter --->" permits entry of any other place, by specifying its
- The time may be chosen between UT or LST = Local Sideral Time. The date needs to
be specified for UT, Sun, and Moon.
- Apart from Sun and Moon, celestial sources can be specified by their galactic coordinates
or by the equatorial coordinates Right Ascension (in degrees or decimal hours) and
- The telescope's maneuvering or viewing limits in azimuth and elevation should be
specified. A telescope which is mounted so that it cannot cross the northern meridian
(az=0) has a permitted azimuth range of e.g. 1..359, while one that does not cross the
direction due south (az=180) is specified by 185..175 (note that the left value is
larger than the right one). The elevation limits are marked in the diagram as
lines in magenta.
- Beginning with the start time a day is divided into intervals of
length step time, which could be the duration of an observing session,
marked by green vertical lines.
The curve displayed for a source then shows in which time intervals the source
is within the allowed elevation range. Furthermore, black dots mark when the source
is outside the permitted range in azimuth. Thus one may find the time intervals
during which observations of the desired duration can be conducted.
- After making numerical entries, hit the Enter key to update the diagram.
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last update: Nov.2020 J.Köppen