Occultation Prediction Software
by David Herald
WHAT'S NEW IN OCCULT v4.1.1
- What's New in Occult v4.1.1
- How to Obtain Occult v4.1.1
- First Time Installation Instructions and Notes
- Updating Occult
- Copyright Issues
This Occult 4.1.1 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 18.104.22.168 since version 22.214.171.124.
- 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.
- AOTA - Asteroidal Occultation Time Analyser, to analyse light curves of asteroidal occultations. This includes interoperative communication with Tangra and OccultWatcher
- 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
- Expanded DAMIT capability to access the full range of models available
- Capability to handle rings around asteroids
- Incorporation of predictions of TNO objects generated by the 'RIO group'.
- '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 (in publication) using an elliptic shadow.
- Routine to reduce lunar eclipse crater timigs included.
A full list of the program changes is provided in Occult under the
menu item Program updates - List version changes
HOW TO OBTAIN OCCULT v4.1.1
Download the files shown below by right clicking on the filename and doing a "save as". Then 'run' occult4 installer.msi (or Setup.exe for old versions of Windows).
FIRST TIME INSTALLATION INSTRUCTIONS AND NOTES
Occult v4 has been written in the language C#, and runs in the .NET framework. To run Occult you must have the .NET Framework V2 or later installed
on your computer. The .NET framework is included with Vista, Windows7 and Windows8. If you are using an older version of Windows you may need to download the .NET framework from the
Microsoft Download center here. Or do a Google Search for Net Framework V2 to get the download site from Microsoft.
If you have been running OccultWatcher, you have the .NET framework installed.
The files you need to download are (use right click on your mouse and do a "save as"):
- Setup.exe - 336k - [26 Jul 2010 release] Not needed for Windows XP, Vista, Windows7 or Windows8
- occult4 installer.msi - v4.1.1 - 27.4mb - [June 2014 release]
These files install a functional version of Occult 4 (limited only
by the absence of certain data files, some of which are large). Either run occult4
installer.msi, or put these two files in the same directory and run Setup.
The default installation path is \Occult 4. Vista, Windows7 and Windows8 Users
should avoid installing the program in the Program Files directory - to avoid
issues with the User Account Control security system in Windows.
When you first run the program, you will be taken 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 the following:
- insert your site details in the box Site details low precision;
- insert your email address for the FTP anonymous password in the box FTP URL;
- insert the details of you 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 GoogleEarth box;
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 4.1.1 update [June 2014]
- simply unzip this file into the directory where you have previously
installed Occult (usually \Occult 4), 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.
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