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How to find any naked-eye object

  1. Jul 6, 2007 #1
    Hi all,

    We just started a free naked-eye astronomy search engine at http://ezipsky.com. The way it works is that you can enter your zip code and an object in the night sky (e.g. 'mars') to get instructions for where to look to find it in the night sky from your location (if the object is currently visible), calculated in real time.

    The really cool thing is that you can also use it for free with cell phone text messaging, by texting 'ezipsky <your zip code> <object>' to 368266 (DOTCOM). The SkyEngine supports pretty much everything we can think of: the planets, constellations, the brightest 150 stars, the brightest 120 satellites, the International Space Station, the hubble, and other stuff.

    The sky engine is in beta right now, so any feedback from astronomers would be greatly appreciated (especially for objects we're missing!)

    Thanks!

    -Peter
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 6, 2007 #2

    ranger

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    Interesting. I'll test it out tonight. Assuming its a clear night and light pollution doesn't ruin it (as it usually does).
     
  4. Jul 6, 2007 #3

    tony873004

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    I tried my zip code + "satellite" hoping to get a list of which of the 120 brightest satellites I could see tonight, but it did not work. It told me to type "help satellite" but the help page was for a more general topic.

    Do I need to type in the satellite name or designation? It would be nice if I didn't.
     
  5. Jul 6, 2007 #4
    The "help satellite" command was broken, but is now fixed. Our help page is out of date and will be updated by this evening, tomorrow at the latest. I just tested the service with my zipcode + satellite, and it returned to me the next visible satellite:
    For specific satellites, yes you need the individual name or norad number. I believe many of the major satellites will be added to a keyword list in the help topic tonight.
     
  6. Jul 8, 2007 #5
    So this is only for people in USA? Disappointing.
     
  7. Jul 8, 2007 #6

    mgb_phys

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    Most countries charge for their postal database (to map zip/postal codes into Lat/Long) but there are lots of skymap programs/ websites / screensavers that will work from either a city or your lat/long.
     
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