Science Operations

Targets Tab


This is the top right panel of the PIT, when Targets is selected from the “Observation/Targets” options shown below the panel. The target list may be sorted by clicking on any of the column names in the table.

Entering targets individually:

(1) Entering the target name in the “Lookup:” box at the bottom of the window and pressing Return will cause the PIT to do a name query of the catalogs (SIMBAD, NED or HORIZONS) chosen from the Menu Bar. If the object is found then the coordinates and magnitudes will be downloaded and displayed.

(2) Pressing the “+” button at the bottom of the window will bring up the Edit Target Window (see below). You can either enter its name and click “Lookup…” and have the software lookup the coordinates and brightness via the selected catalogs, or you can enter the coordinates, proper motions (if significant), and brightness manually. The catalog selections for the automatic lookup can be changed by clicking the “Catalogs…” button from the Menu Bar.

Target brightnesses for sidereal targets are entered by selecting the “Magnitudes” tab (above right).  Select the bandpass and then enter the brightness and the system. The default system is Vega magnitudes, the other options are AB magnitudes and Jansky.

Coordinates for non-sidereal targets are entered in an ephemeris (below left). Selecting “Non-Sidereal” from the Type menu shows an ephemeris table with columns for RA, Dec, UTC, and magnitude.  Add a new entry by clicking on the green “+”. Delete an entry by selecting it and then clicking on the red “X”. Double click on a line in the table to choose the UT date and enter the RA, Dec, and magnitude (below right). For manual entry the information must be for 0hr UT on the date selected in the calendar. A non-sidereal target input file (see below) can be used to enter arbitrary UTC times.

Loading a target list:

Click the “Import targets…” button in the lower-right corner of the Target Tab or select “Import targets” from the File menu. Select the file to load. The software will check to make sure the file is one of the acceptable formats and will warn you if it is not. Acceptable formats are csv, FITS table, and tst (tab separated text). Click “Next” to review the list of targets found in the file, and then “Finish” to load the objects into the target list.

Examples of sidereal and non-sidereal target import files are available here. There are both required and optional columns. For sidereal targets the required columns are Name, RAJ2000, DecJ2000. Optional columns indicate proper motion, brightness and photometric system. For non-sidereal targets, ID, Name, UTC, RAJ2000, DecJ2000 are required. Brightness is optional. A single non-sidereal target in a Horizons ephemeris file can also be entered.

Saving a target list:

Click the “Export targets…” button in the lower-right corner of this pane or select “Export targets” from the File menu. A popup of export preferences then appears. If the target list includes a mixture of sidereal and non-sidereal targets, then select which kind to export. Also, select the export format (csv, tst, FITS) and click OK. Then select the directory, enter a file name and click Save.