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Spurious Asteroids
#1
I'm using SkyTools Version 3.2i Pro on a Windows 7 laptop.

When I display an Interactive Atlas for an asteroid and set it to the Supplemental database, a number of odd asteroids appear.
 
For example, looking at (4) Vesta at 5:45 am EST on 15-November-2017, there are four other asteroids nearby that are in the 3.7 to 3.8 magnitude range. The object information indicates they are all 1900 to 5900 km diameter and 1.5 to 1.6 au from the sun. I've attached a screen clip of the area near Vesta with them. There are a few other similar objects scattered on a current 30° wide x 15° Vesta chart, and similar objects (always 2010 something) appear whenever I look at asteroids on a wider field chart and the Supplemental box is checked.

They are clearly spurious, but they're annoying on-screen and confusing on a finder chart printout. I presume they're a database fault rather than a SkyTools fault. Regardless, is there a way to get rid of them?

Joe Stieber

P.S. -- I hope this is the correct section for posting this thread -- just learning the ropes here!


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Joe Stieber
http://sjastro.org/
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#2
Hi Joe,

One of the fun things about having mature software is that when people report a problem it often leaves me going, "What the $@%#!" This is one of those. You did say that you had the minor planets from the supplemental database turned on, which is the right thing to do. But do you possibly have the minor planets from the "primary" database turned on as well? If so, see what happens when you turn it off. One thing to beware of is that if you target a minor planet from the old and obsoleted "primary" database it will turn on the primary database on the chart. So even if you had it off, it is worth checking to see if it is still off.

If that isn't the problem, then it looks like your supplemental database is corrupted or has somehow had some spurious entries added to it. If so, there are some things we can do to clean things up.
Clear skies,
Greg

SkyTools Developer
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#3
Hi Joe,

Disregard my previous reply. I found the same problem in the supplemental minor planets database for SkyTools on one of my computers. From what I can tell, there must have been a problem with the format of one of the "Unusual and ... Minor Planets" downloads from the MPC at one time. We both must have downloaded this file at some point. Here is how to fix your database:

1. In the Nightly Planner select the "Auto Generated Lists" group and then open the "NEO and Unusual" observing list. Delete this list via the Observing List menu.

2. Open the Supplemental Data tab of the Data Manager.

3. Select Minor Planets

4. Right-click on any non-bold minor planet and select "Delete all objects." Don't worry, it won't delete any of the minor planets you are currently using in things like logs or observing lists.

As a result, you will have deleted many of the minor planets in your database. If you regularly observe faint minor planets, I suggest downloading the latest ASTORB data to replenish your database.

Clear skies,
Greg
Clear skies,
Greg

SkyTools Developer
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#4
Thanks Greg!

The weird, spurious 2010 asteroids are now gone.

Joe
Joe Stieber
http://sjastro.org/
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