xephem is planetarium software. The home page is http://www.clearskyinstitute.com/xephem/

Before using it, do this:

mkdir .xephem
echo 'XEphem.ShareDir: /usr/local/xephem' > ~/.xephem/XEphem
this adds the line
XEphem.ShareDir: /usr/local/xephem
to the file ~/.xephem/XEphem which tells xephem where to find star catalogues. If you already have a ~/.xephem/XEphem file, then edit that file to make the XEphem.ShareDir line the first line. Start the program by typing
You should also set up the help system to use firefox. Click help, then configure help, then set up an entry for firefox. The command line would be
firefox '%s'

Using Xephem for an Observatory

To see the sky for Siding Springs, do this:

Click on the 'local' menu and in the popup menu, type 'Siding' to find Siding Springs observatory, then click 'set' and 'close'. Click update on the bottom of the main window, and check that Local is now Siding Springs.

In the view menu, select 'sky view' and up will pop a view of the Southern sky above Siding Springs.

If you click on the top button on the right hand side of the sky view window, you will activate a live coordinate display that will display your coordinates in galactic and equatorial coordinates as you move your mouse around the sky.

Finally, on the bottom right window of the main xephem window, click step and choose 1 hour, 1:00:00 and use +1 or -1 to move the sky to the UTC time (which is simiar to GMT) of your observation time.

Rhys Morris
Last modified: Thu Nov 25 11:45:10 GMT 2014