Recent Posts

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Bug Reports / Re: Blind plate solving
« Last post by Sander Berents on April 28, 2022, 04:31:39 PM » once again allows API requests over http, so blind plate solving with Observatory is working again.

Observatory will be updated soon to use https for this.
Bug Reports / Blind plate solving
« Last post by Leo2019Triplet on April 28, 2022, 02:29:58 PM »
I understand that has changed their interface, so blind matching no longer works.
Can we get a fix for this without waiting for a regular release of Observatory?
General Discussion / Re: URL change
« Last post by Sander Berents on April 28, 2022, 04:28:51 AM »
An update to Observatory will be released as soon as we've confirmed that it works with the updated URL. Right now is having some problems.
General Discussion / URL change
« Last post by safinsd on April 28, 2022, 03:09:43 AM »
Anyone know how to change the astrometry URL under Observatory Preferences-Accounts?

I can no longer plate solve in Observatory because has changed their URL from

In Observatory under Preferences-Accounts, where my API key is entered, I see the old URL, but no way to change to the new URL.
General Discussion / Newbie
« Last post by AstroPat1 on April 15, 2022, 05:53:53 AM »
Hi just got this as aid to sorting and finding my Astro images.
I process in Pixinsight so not using the processing features. Plate solve seems good…not yet sure if it automatically does this for all images…… would be nice if smart files were there for messier,Nigc  and IC…also ability to change colour,font and size of overlays……..
Pat UK
General Discussion / Re: Virtual Observatory
« Last post by Sander Berents on March 19, 2022, 03:37:06 AM »
The information in the inspectors is for the currently selected image, or images. It will be empty if you didn't select any. The inspectors panel itself can be shown/hidden with the toolbar button at the far right.

The transparency of the overlays cannot be adjusted, but you can show/hide some or all using the options in the Overlay menu at the top.

Superimposing an image from the Virtual Observatory on a plate solved image is currently not possible.

The User Guide contains many more details about the Virtual Observatory image archives ("Using the Virtual Observatory" help article),  overlays ("Using the Editor" help article), explains the purpose of the color label button, and the meaning of the badges in the browser (Organizing section of the Image/Album Inspector articles, and the "Using the Browser" help article).

Please open the User Guide with the "Help > Observatory Help" menu item. There's also a 100 pages PDF version of it at
General Discussion / Re: Virtual Observatory
« Last post by safinsd on March 18, 2022, 08:51:07 PM »
Also, now the right window that contained the plate solution data is now empty. I did something.
General Discussion / Re: Virtual Observatory
« Last post by safinsd on March 18, 2022, 08:04:50 PM »
Thank you, Sander. If I may ask a few more questions...
Can I fade the plate solution to better see the objects in my image?
Is there a built-in way to superimpose a survey/catalog image over part of my plate-solved image?
Is there a guide to understand which surveys/catalogs are best used for certain objects? At this point I'm only seeing DSS and UMASS imagery. Was hoping to see WISE and others.
The label color buttons don't seem to have an effect. How are they used?
What are the 3 icons at the bottom of the images in the Inbox window? They look like a doc, pin and bracket. I've tried hovering and left and right clicks.
Sorry for all the questions.
General Discussion / Re: Virtual Observatory
« Last post by Sander Berents on March 18, 2022, 06:25:33 PM »
To use Virtual Observatory, in an existing or new library click the last button of the row of 4 in the toolbar. In the view that appears, select the archives you want to search at the top, adjust the search radius if necessary, and enter the object's name or coordinates. It will then show up a small list of possible candidates with their RA/Dec coordinates. Click the SIMBAD and NED buttons to use these services if your object is not listed. Then click the Search button.

Observatory will search the selected archives in parallel, and you can select or deselect them to extend or reduce the search. You can filter the search results using the search field at the bottom. Expand the Preview section in the Sidebar to see a thumbnail for any selection. Not all archives provide thumbnails. If you move your mouse cursor over the Preview area, you will see a Quick Look icon appear, which when clicked will display the full preview of the image. To download images, select them and click the Download button. If you have an album selected in the Sidebar and the "Add to Album" checkbox on, they will be downloaded in that album. Otherwise they will be downloaded to the Inbox.

A handy feature of Virtual Observatory is that if you have a plate solved image, by selecting it and holding the Option key while selecting the Virtual Observatory toolbar button, it will search the archives right away with the center coordinates of your image. A fast way to find matching images. I think that is what you are referring to in your question. Press the Option key.

Please see the article "Using the Virtual Observatory" in the user manual (menu Help > Observatory Help) for more details.
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