Occultation Prediction Software
New in Occult v4.2.0
Time Installation Instructions and Notes
WHAT'S NEW IN OCCULT v4.2.0
This Occult 4.2.0 is based on a number of incremental
additions or changes, as well as numerous bug fixes. The following is a summary
of notable changes introduced into Occult 4.2.0 since version 4.1.1
- Revision of how Occult uses the JPL-DE ephemerides, including allowing the
user to download versions from JPL and convert them to binary for use. This
includes the JPL-DE431 ephemeris which covers 30,000 years.
- Flagging of stars that are being observed in the Kepler2 mission,
to encourage people to obtain occultation light curves of those stars.
- Light curves - added tools to faciltate reporting occultation light curves,
and for viewing light curves of stars - including flagging in lunar occultation
predictions of those stars where one or more light curves are available.
- 'Recording Timer' - a tool which can automatically control the start and end of video
recording when using either Limovie or VirtualDub as the video capture software
- Improved plotting of solar eclipses. Improved handling of deltaT issues
for distant periods in the past and future
- Improvements in the predictions of mutual eclipses and occultations of
Jupiter's satellites, including using the IMCCE L1.2 theory for the Galilean
- Expanded DAMIT capability to access the full range of models
- Capability to handle rings around asteroids
- Incorporation of predictions of TNO objects generated by the 'RIO
- 'Strong signing' of the distributed program files (a security issue).
- Updated GoogleMaps generation as a result of changes with GoogleMaps
- Incorporated a check, if the user has installed the UCAC catalogue, of
whether the catalogue has been corrected for known errors - and if not, to
make the corrections.
- Lunar eclipse predictions - updated to use the results of a recent
analysis of lunar eclipse crater timings using an elliptic shadow.
- Routine to reduce lunar eclipse crater timings included.
A full list of the program changes is provided in Occult
under the menu item Program updates - List version changes
FIRST TIME INSTALLATION INSTRUCTIONS AND
Occult v4 has been written in the language C#, and runs in
the .NET framework V2.0. To run Occult you must have the .NET Framework V2
installed on your computer. If you have been running OccultWatcher, the .NET V2 framework is present on
Recent versions of Windows [such as Windows7,
Windows8 and Windows10] are distributed with a later version of the .Net framework.
If your computer does not have V2 of the .Net framework, you will
get a Windows message about this when you run Occult. Do not be concerned. Simply follow the link provided in
that message to install the .Net framework V3.5 (which includes V2).
You need to download and save (use right click on your
mouse and select "Save target as"):
When you first run Occult (see below) Occult will download two zip files to complete the installation. If you plan on installing
Occult on a computer that does not have internet access, you can separately download and save the following two data files [but do not unzip them].
However it is easier if you let Occult handle the downloading...
To install Occult:
- Create a directory where you want to install Occult. [You might call it 'Occult 4']. This directory can be located anywhere
- Unzip the 9 files in occultinstaller.zip into that folder
- Create a desktop shortcut to the Occult.exe file
- If you have created the Occult directory in the Program Files or Program Files (x86) directory -
right-click on the shortcut; select Properties; select the tab 'Shortcut'; click 'Advanced'; check 'Run as administrator'
- [OPTIONAL - if you have downloaded installresources.zip and installsites.zip]. Copy or move those files into that same directory but do not unzip them
Now run Occult. Occult will complete the installation by creating a number of subdirectories, downloading the two data files (unless you have already downloaded them and placed them in the Occult directory), and unzip
them into the relevant directories. Occult will then take you to a page
that displays a range of default settings. You can change the settings here at
any time after Occult has been installed. However at this stage you should do
- insert your site details in the box Site details low precision;
- insert your email address for the FTP anonymous password in the box FTP
- insert the details of your email SMTP server. This is required to allow
observations to be emailed from within Occult
- indicate whether GoogleEarth is installed on your computer, in the
You will then be taken to the download page, where you can
download the latest versions of a number of data files - including some large
catalog files. The files that need to be downloaded will be tagged with a
chevron. However you do not need to download them immediately.
Finally you will be taken to the main form of Occult, where
you can use its functionality.
To assist you in learning how to use the program, the Help
file system includes a number of first time
user topics. You should work through
these examples - to become familiar with how the program works,
and the functions that are available.
HOW TO UPDATE OCCULT
When you run Occult, the existence of updates will appear at the bottom-left
of the main form. To update, simply click the update text. The frequency at
which Occult will check for updates is set in the User Settings, which are
accessed from the Maintenance tab of Occult. You can manually check for updates
using the Menu item Program updates...
If for some reason you need to do a manual update of the program files:
- download Occult
- unzip this file into the directory where you have
installed Occult, replacing the files of the same name.
[You might want to make a backup of your existing version of these files,
just in case something goes wrong....]. The files are:
Occult relies heavily on data that is freely available. Items
such as various star catalogues and the planetary ephemerides have been
developed by government funded agencies or grants. Occultation and graze
observations have been contributed mainly by the efforts of amateur astronomers
(or as I prefer to call them, unpaid astronomers) from around the world. This
contribution needs to be recognized and acknowledged.
The philosophy behind my writing and maintaining Occult is to
encourage useful observations of occultation phenomena, thereby increasing our
knowledge of the world around us. Accordingly:
- Users of Occult are free to disseminate predictions or results generated
by Occult in a non-commercial manner, provided it is in a context of
encouraging (directly or indirectly) observations of occultation phenomena.
All I ask is that wherever possible there is an acknowledgement that the data
was generated by Occult.
- In circumstances where there is a desire to include Occult predictions or
results in a commercial publication, you may do so provided (i) it is in a
context of encouraging (directly or indirectly) observations of occultation
phenomena, and (ii) it is a minor part of that publication (eg a one or two
page column in a 50-page monthly magazine). The fact that the predictions or
results were generated by Occult4 should be acknowledged.
- Where the success of a commercial publication is likely to be dependent
upon the output from OCCULT, you do not have automatic permission to include
Occult outputs in that publication. You will need to contact the author and
seek written permission.
- Where the output of Occult is displayed on GoogleEarth, GoogleSky or
GoogleMaps, you will also need to comply with any copyright issues associated
with those products.
For the record, I reserve all rights to the Source code and
any decompilation thereof - but with IOTA being able to continue to
maintain/improve the program on the same basis as above, when I am no longer in
a position to do so. Dave Herald
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