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Author Topic: Techniques for predicting moon and sun positions?  (Read 1207 times)
sansbury
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« on: November 17, 2012, 02:07:42 PM »
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So, I am taking "landscapes" of my city of Boston, Mass. (USA) around sunrise/sunset and also night scenes with the moon.

What I am interested in specifically is being able to plot/predict the moon's position in the sky, to determine optimal times and locations. Being in a city it gets a little complicated as you have tall buildings to contend with.

What I've been experimenting with so far is using Stellarium to show the position of the moon over time at a given location and then going to Google Earth and trying to reconstruct the view there. Google Earth has very good models of buildings, but I haven't figured out how to set view direction and angle precisely. This process is also very laborious since I have to go back and forth multiple times between two programs just to figure out one day. Since I live here, I'd really like to plot out the possibilities for, say, the next 3 months.

Does anyone have any suggestions for software (web-based or Mac-compatible), books, tools, or other techniques for understanding motion of celestial bodies for photographic purposes? Thanks in advance for any suggestions!

Obligatory Photo: along the Charles River Esplanade shortly after sunset
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Paul Sumi
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« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2012, 02:42:20 PM »
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I'm using The Photographer's Ephemeris:

http://photoephemeris.com/

The Windows and Mac desktop browser versions are free (you need to install Adobe Air).  The iOS and Android versions are paid apps.

Paul

 
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sansbury
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« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2012, 03:08:00 PM »
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Ah! That's pretty good. Thanks!
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BartvanderWolf
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« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2012, 03:40:23 PM »
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Does anyone have any suggestions for software (web-based or Mac-compatible), books, tools, or other techniques for understanding motion of celestial bodies for photographic purposes? Thanks in advance for any suggestions!

Hi,

In addition to the TPE and Stellarium, I use an app on my Android Smartphone called Sun Surveyor, and it offers an 'augmented reality' feature which plots the Sun/Moon position and trajectory over what your built-in camera is looking at. It recently has also been released for iPhones.

For the understanding and calulation of positions and trajectories you could check out:
Astronomical-Algorithms by Jean-Meeus.

Cheers,
Bart
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leuallen
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« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2012, 08:10:59 PM »
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I use TPE on the desktop and Sun Seeker on my IPhone. 

Larry

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francois
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« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2012, 03:26:17 AM »
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Sun Scout might also do the trick!
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Francois
Larry Heath
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« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2012, 07:25:27 PM »
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I must say a large thank you to those here for these suggestions. In two days of use TPE has saved me at least 4 hours of wasted time. Thanks once again.

Larry Heath
« Last Edit: November 24, 2012, 07:31:17 PM by Larry Heath » Logged
AJMorris
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« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2012, 12:36:12 AM »
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One of the apps i like for anything celestial is Sky Safari. Its pretty awesome. you can use it to see how the skies are going to look at any time in the future really. you can change time by year day hour and minute. anyway without getting too long winded its pretty awesome for anyone who is interested in any celestial bodies and ive uses it  many times for planning photography.
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"Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the Earth are never alone or weary of life" - Rachel Carson
www.NaturesLightandMagic.com
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