Taurus Taurus is among the oldest constellations, and is a member of the zodiac. It contains two very interesting open clusters, the Pleiades and the Hyades, as well as the Crab Nebula, the remains of a supernova seen by the Chinese in 1054. This consists of a nebula with a pulsar in the center. Telescopium Telescopium is a La Caille creation, with no star brighter than about magnitude 3.5. Triangulum Australe Triangulum Australe, the Southern Triangle, was formed by Keyzer in the late 1500s. Triangulum Triangulum, the Triangle, despite its faintness, is an ancient constellation. Its most significant object is probably M-33, the Triangulum Galaxy, which people with very good eyesight might spot under good conditions with the unaided eye. Tucana Tucana, the Toucan, is a Keyzer constellation, originally published in Bayer's 1603 atlas as Toucan, but since been Latinized into Tucana. It contains the Small Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy orbiting our own, and 47 Tucanae, a bright globular cluster. Ursa Major Ursa Major, the Large Bear, contains the seven stars known as the Plough, the Wain, or the Big Dipper. It is probably the best known constellation, both because of the easily remembered shape of the Dipper and the fact that people in the northern hemisphere can almost always see it. Also, the two stars at the front of the Dipper portion point toward the North Star in Ursa Minor. It consists of both the commonly-known seven Big Dipper stars and a collection of fainter stars making up the head and feet of the bear. Aside from pointing toward Polaris, the Dipper's handle end can be followed in an arc toward Arcturus in Bootes. If the two stars pointing toward Polaris are run through the opposite direction, they point toward Regulus in Leo. Ursa Minor Ursa Minor, the Small Bear, is best known for Polaris, the current North Star. Aside from Polaris and the two stars at the far end of the dipper (Beta and Gamma), the constellation is fairly dim. Polaris is often found by first locating the Big Dipper in Ursa Major, then following the direction of the two stars in the front of the Dipper. Vela Vela, the Sail, was once part of the unmanageably large constellation Argo Navis, along with Carina (the Keel) and Puppis (the Stern). Its most notable object is Gamma Velorum, an intensely blue-hot star. Virgo Virgo, the Virgin, is one of the groups in the zodiac. It is second only to Hydra in area covered. Because Virgo is far from the plane of our own Galaxy, it is easy to find many external galaxies here. Volans Volans, the Flying Fish, is best located as an adjunct to Carina. It has no star as bright as magnitude 3. Vulpecula Vulpecula, the Little Fox, is a 1690 creation of Hevelius. It lies across the Milky Way and contains the Dumbbell Nebula (M-27). "Fast" nova A "fast" nova is a nova that climbs up in brightness very quickly, but drops by three magnitudes within 100 days. An example is GK Per. "Real slow" nova A "real slow" nova is a nova that takes a longer than usual time to climb in brightness, then stays bright for up to a decade, then slowly declines. This is not, by the way, very typical nova behavior; most of them are quite transient objects. Before an outburst these objects may show long-period light changes of up to 1 to 2 magnitudes. These objects may be planetary nebulae in the process of formation. "Slow" nova A "slow" nova is a nova that takes more than 150 days to fade by three magnitudes from its peak brightness. & Go to Alt/Az The Go To Alt/Az option can be reached from the Go to coordinate submenu, inside the Go To menu; or by clicking on the alt/az displayed in the legend, or by hitting the & hotkey. In any of these cases, you get a small dialog box asking you to enter a position in altitude/azimuth coordinates. Do so, and Guide will then recenter on that point. 3K background One of the predictions made by the Big Bang theory was that, no matter in what direction one looks, one should see emissions from a 3-degree Kelvin "background". This would appear as a faint microwave emission coming from all directions, and indeed, this emission was detected in the 1960s. One can measure the velocity of a galaxy relative to this background, and it's one reference frame used in expressing galaxy RVs in some galaxy catalogs. < By default, Guide shows the current position of the mouse in the legend, and continually updates this as the mouse is moved. (When the mouse is in the menu area, it switches to showing the position of the chart's center.) This is generally a good thing, but on slower computers, one may want to toggle the continuous updating. One can do so by hitting the < hotkey. Use this dialog box to enter a new screen center in altitude and azimuth. Enter these values in degrees, click "OK", and Guide will recenter the chart at that position. You can reach this dialog box by hitting F6, or by clicking on the alt/az shown in the legend. When printing to a serial (COM) port, Guide needs to know the printer's baud rate, the rate at which it can accept data. If you don't know the printer's baud rate, try a low rate first, then work your way up. (A higher rate means a faster printout.) If you decide you don't want to reset the baud rate after all, you can hit Cancel. Select one of the Bayer (Greek-letter) or Flamsteed-numbered stars in the list, and Guide will recenter the chart on that star. CCD Frame dialog This dialog provides control over the display of a CCD frame on the chart. One can reset the focal length and identity of the CCD, or spin it left or right. Also, one can toggle the frame to be "locked to center". If the frame is "locked to center", then it will stay in the center of the chart, no matter where you zoom or pan to. This is sometimes useful, but it is usually preferable to place the frame over a target area and leave it there. Also, you can move your cursor to a place on the chart and hit Ctrl-F8. Guide will automatically recenter the CCD frame on that location. Click on one of the colored buttons to choose a new color for the overlay object on which you just clicked. Click on one of the colored buttons to choose a new color. Set Colors menu This dialog provides control over the colors used for assorted objects displayed in Guide. Click on one of the colored boxes shown, and you'll be given a list of the colors available for the object. If you select one, that object will be redrawn in that color. Colors Menu F9 The Colors Menu allows you to choose the colors in which various objects and markings are drawn in Guide. When you choose an entry in this menu, you are provided with a list of colors. Choose one, and that entry will subsequently be drawn in the color you have chosen. You can reach this menu at any point with the F9 hotkey. This dialog provides the angular distance and position angle between the two points on which you clicked. Enter a new value for the year here, or hit Cancel. Enter a new value for the hour here, or hit Cancel. It is sometimes useful to know that one can change just the hour here, or the hour and minute, or the hour, minute and second; for example, 12 resets the hour to 12; 12:22 resets the hour and minute; 12:22:57 resets the hour, minute and second. Enter a new value for the minute here, or hit Cancel. It is sometimes useful to know that one can change just the minute here, or the minute and second; for example, 23 resets the minute; 23:44 resets the minute and second. Enter a new value for the second here, or hit Cancel. Enter here the number of steps you want to use to add a trail or for making an ephemeris. Enter the text to be added to the overlay; or hit Cancel if you decide you don't really want to add some text. create new overlay Use this menu option to create and edit a new overlay. When you click here, you'll be prompted to enter the name of the new overlay. This can be up to 20 characters long. If you type this and hit "enter", a new overlay by that name will be created, will become the current overlay (the one listed at the top of the overlay menu), and can be edited. You can adjust the zoom levels at which an overlay is shown by clicking on these two lines. Usually, you will not want an overlay to appear at all levels; using this feature, you can constrain it to appear only within a range of fields of view. When you click on either the "High Range" or "Low Range" options, you'll be prompted to enter a new value in degrees. (You can add a ' to the value to indicate arcminutes, or a " to indicate arcseconds.) The currently selected overlay (the one listed at the top of the overlay menu) will then only be shown between those levels. Click on one of the planets (or satellites, or the Sun) listed shown in this dialog box, and Guide will recenter the chart on that object. Data setting dialog The Data Setting dialog provides controls for setting the way in which a particular class of object is displayed. The class of object can be shown as "on" (_all_ objects are shown, no matter what their magnitude); or as "auto", in which case objects dimmer than the limiting magnitude are not shown. Also, you can use this dialog to turn labels for the class of objects on or off. For asteroids, this dialog box also provides controls to set how the labelling is done (by number, name, or preliminary designation). For clusters of galaxies, the dialog box lets you determine if objects are drawn from the Abell catalog, Zwicky catalog, or both. home planet dialog home planet Set Home Planet CTRL-H By default, this program shows you the sky as it would look from Earth. However, it is always possible that you may wish to see the sky as it looks from, say, Pluto. To do this, you would reset your home planet in the Set Location dialog. Because they are so far away, the stars will look about as they do from Earth, but the Solar System objects will be in totally different places. Alternatively, you can use the home planet dialog, available by hitting either Ctrl-H, or Backspace. This dialog shows the Solar System objects that this program knows about. Click on one, and it will be adopted as your new home planet. Horizon dialog Go to Horizon Alt-W You can use the controls provided by the Horizon dialog box to find points along the horizon, or to find the zenith or nadir. Click on any of those buttons, and Guide will recenter the chart accordingly. You can reach this dialog box with the Alt-W hotkey. legend dialog The legend dialog provides control over what is shown in Guide's legend area (the lower left corner of the chart). By default, the RA and declination; epoch; time; latitude and longitude; and field of view and zoom level are all shown. Also, a "compass" symbol shows the current chart orientation; a magnitude key shows the relationship between dot size and stellar magnitude; and an object key tells you what the various chart symbols mean. Using this dialog, you can toggle these, as well as the display of the current altitude/azimuth; Uranometria page; Sky Atlas 2000 page; and the display of a caption. Once you have turned the caption on, you can add lines of text to it, or clear it. Go to Comet Alt-K This dialog box lists the comets that are currently bright enough to show up on the charts. Click on one, and Guide will recenter on it. Keep in mind that if the display of comets is shut off, then the comet won't show up, even after Guide recenters on it. Also, the number of comets shown depends on the current limiting magnitude you have set for comets. You can reach this dialog from the Go to Comet menu option in the Go To menu, or with the Alt-K hotkey. This dialog box lists the many catalogs used to list double stars. Click on one, and you'll be asked to enter the number of a star in that catalog; do so, and Guide will recenter the chart on that double star. This dialog box lists the many catalogs used to list open clusters. Click on one, and you'll be asked to enter the number of a cluster in that catalog; do so, and Guide will recenter the chart on that cluster. This dialog box lets one find a bright star using its Bayer (Greek-letter) designation, such as Beta Centauri or Zeta Herculi, or its Flamsteed number, such as 61 Cygni. First, it lists the 88 constellations; select one, and it will list the Bayer and Flamsteed objects in that constellation. Select one, and Guide will recenter the chart on that star. This option leads to a menu showing all the overlays Guide knows about. Click on one, and it will become the "current" overlay, and you can reset the levels at which it is shown, and you can add objects to it if desired. The current overlay is always listed as the top menu item in the overlay menu. This option is used to choose from _existing_ overlays. If, instead, you would like to create a _new_ overlay, use the create new overlay option instead. This option leads to a menu showing all the overlays Guide knows about. You can select an overlay that you wish to delete; Guide will prompt you to make sure of your choice, to avoid accidental deletions. measurements dialog Ctrl-T The measurements dialog box provides control over the display of ticks, grids, RA/declination "side labels", and hatches, as well as of the ecliptic, horizon, galactic equator, Telrad, aperture circle, a cross-hair at the center of the chart, and the border. When you turn any of the first four on, you'll be given the opportunity in the Spacing Dialog to reset the spacing interval for that marking. Normally, you won't want do this, but if you do, control is provided. The remaining items result in a standard data display dialog. You can reach this option with the Ctrl-T hotkey. This menu lists all 103 Messier objects, by number and, in some cases, by a commonly used name (like the Pleiades, the Wild Duck, and so on). Picking one will cause Guide to recenter on that object. Object Pick dialog When you click with the left mouse button on an object in Guide, the Object Pick dialog will appear. This box lists some basic data about the object, such as its name(s), catalog number(s), rise, set, and transit times, and altitude and azimuth. For most objects, a "More Info" button is provided. Click on this, and Guide will cross-reference available catalogs to show you everything it knows about that object. The "Next" button is intended to evade the problem of selecting objects in crowded fields. Click on it, and Guide will select the next-closest object. In really crowded areas, you may have to use "Next" several times before getting the object you really wanted. This dialog will almost always include a "Display" button, too. Clicking on it will lead to a data display dialog for that class of object. Enter the catalog number of an open cluster, and Guide will recenter the chart on it. Overlay Pick dialog When you click with the left mouse button on an overlay object in Guide, the Overlay Pick dialog will appear. This dialog will give you the opportunity to delete the object or select a new color for it. Alternatively, of course, you can simply click "OK" and not alter the object at all. parity When printing to a serial (COM) port, Guide needs to know the parity setting. This can be either N(one), (E)ven, or (O)dd. Usually, it's None, and if you aren't sure how to answer this question and can't find an answer in a manual, try None. If you decide you don't want to reset the parity after all, you can hit Cancel. The Enter RA/dec dialog box lets you enter a new screen center in RA and declination. You can also change the epoch from the default of J2000; if you do, that new epoch will become the new default throughout Guide. You can reach this dialog box either by clicking on the RA and declination shown in the legend; or by using the menu items "Go to" and "Enter RA/Dec". By default, the RA is shown in hours, minutes, and decimal seconds; the declination, in degrees, minutes, and seconds. If you enter a value in a different format (such as hours and decimal minutes, or decimal degrees), that format will become the new default throughout Guide. scope control dialog scope control ALT-F12 F4 The scope control dialog box provides all control needed to set up an LX-200, Sky Commander, or similar telescope system. The first step is to identify the communications port (COM1 through COM4) to which the scope is attached. If you don't select one, then Guide will assume that no scope is attached, and the scope system controls will be grayed out. For encoders of the JMI/MG-III type, you'll also have to specify the encoder resolution. Once you have selected a port and scope system and clicked on "OK", then suitable commands will be added to the menu bar. Almost always, this means that the Scope Pad command will appear. You can reach this menu at any time with the F4 hotkey. Ctrl-K orbital elements dialog Click on an object in this list, and Guide will show its orbital elements. You can then change them, along with its name and magnitude parameters. You'll notice that this list includes "(new asteroid)" and "(new comet)" options. Usually, elements for comets are given in a slightly different form than those for asteroids. Also, of course, comets are displayed differently in Guide. You can reach this option with the Ctrl-K hotkey; or by right-clicking on an asteroid or comet, selecting "Display", then clicking on "Options". If you've clicked on an overlay object and clicked on the "color" button in the overlay pick dialog, you will be presented with this dialog box of possible colors for that overlay object. By default, any overlay object you add (lines, text, circles) will be drawn in white. ) Click on any of the buttons to reset your current zoom level. You can reach this dialog box by clicking on the zoom level and field size shown in the legend. You can also reset your zoom level by hitting the numbers 1 through 9 (to get levels 1-9); 0 (to get level 10); and Alt-1 through 9 (levels 11-19). You can access this option at any time with the ) key. spacing dialog The Spacing Dialog contains controls for setting the RA and declination intervals for grids, hatches, side labels, and ticks. The top item, "Automatic Spacing", is usually left on. If it is, then Guide will automatically readjust the spacing used as you zoom in and out to keep it as close as possible to what you already have set. So if you select a dense spacing of perhaps ten grid lines across the chart, Guide will always select a spacing resulting in about ten grid lines, no matter what field of view you choose. If you want to fix the spacing, then click on the assorted spacings shown to set the RA and declination spacings separately. When you do this, "Automatic Spacing" will be turned off. Also, one can reset the epoch used for the marking. This can be useful if you want to show, for example, J2000 grids along with B1950 ticks, as is done on some charts. star display dialog # You can control the sizes, labelling, and magnitude limits of stars with the star display dialog. The top two items toggle the coloring of stars by spectral type and the outlining of stars (to ensure that dim stars can be seen on top of brighter stars). The next three lines allow one considerable control over the sizes used to draw stars. One can set the maximum and minimum radius of a star, and can also set the "mag range". This value defaults to 10, meaning that if the dimmest stars shown are of magnitude 14.7, then stars of magnitude 4.7 or brighter will be shown at the maximum star size. Following this is a series of switches controlling how stars are labelled. By default, Guide will label stars with Greek-letter (Bayer) and numerical Flamsteed designations most of the time, and does not label stars by SAO, PPM, Yale, HIP (Hipparcos), HD, or GSC numbers, or by their common names. The next item, "Mag labels", allows one to have stars labelled by their magnitude, down to any desired limit. By default, this is zero (no labels are shown); enter a value of, for example, 9.5, and all stars brighter than that limit will be labelled with their magnitude. The "PM vector (years)" option was inspired by a feature in the Millennium Star Atlas. In that atlas, stars with high proper motion have an arrow attached to them, indicating the distance and direction of their movement over 1000 years. That length is not always suitable in Guide, so the length in years can be set in the edit box. It defaults to 0 (no arrows at all). The final item toggles the display of non-stars from the GSC. You can reach this by clicking on the star sizes shown in the legend; or by hitting '#'; or through the display menu.