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Project Objectives

     The list below is the current list of objectives for the program. It is reasonable to assume that these will change at least somewhat as the project moves forward. It is also expected that not all of them will be implemented at once, but that each implementation of the project will add features. This list is also not necessarily in order of importance.

Sky Observer's Almanac will be expected to:
  • Display rise, transit, and set times for the sun, moon, and planets, as well as beginning and ending times for twilight. Provide this information for one day or a specified series of days (week, month, etc).
  • Display current lunar information, such as phase, illumination, libration, dates of apogee and perigee, etc. Provide this information for one day or a specified series of days.
  • Display current data for the planets (however many you think we have), such as current position, dates of greatest elongation, conjunction, opposition, apparent magnitude, visible phase, etc.
  • Provide information necessary for observing recurring solar system phenomena, such as comets and meteor showers.
  • Display rise, transit, and set times for deep space objects and other non-solar astronomical phenomena, such as variable stars, and display basic information about these objects.
  • Provide information on satellite passes, spacecraft passes (International Space Station, Space shuttle, etc), Iridium flares, and other human produced space objects.
  • Provide the ability for an observer to select two or more objects to observe on a particular date and at a specified location and calculate the optimal times for observing these objects based on criteria supplied by the user. This criteria could include, but is not limited to, integration with satellite/spacecraft/ISS passes so that photographs would not be affected; integration with Clear Sky Charts data so that predictions of sky conditions will be taken into account.
  • Provide the ability for a user to log observational data in either formats required for various organizations (ALPO, AAVSO, etc) or in some form of custom format.
  • Generate observing charts for the user specified date/time and location (NOTE: Because there are plenty of other programs that do a good job of generating observing charts,  this item is expected to be the last objective to be implemented).
  • Make all of this information available via different PC operating systems (Windows, Linux, MacOS) and other devices such as smart phones, and via different methods (internet. local PC, network, etc)..
     Much of the code necessary to implement these objectives is freely availaibe from various locations on the web. So implementing these objectives should not prove too difficult. The difficulty will be in integrating all of the code and features together. This aspect is dsicussed in the design and implementation section of the next page.

Project Introduction                         Design and Implementation

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