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How to add the ATV4 orbit data to Stellarium

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

(English version – see also French version)

ESA’s ATV-4 Albert Einstein was successfully launched yesterday and is now orbiting Earth for nine days prior to its automated rendez-vous with the International Space Station.

As for each satellite, it has TLE (Two-Line element) data publically available and it can be downloaded from celestrak.com for example : http://www.celestrak.com/NORAD/elements/tle-new.txt

To import it in Stellarium and be able to see when and how Albert Einstein will soar over your head, the procedure is a little bit unintuitive, so here it is:

Open Stellarium, and choose Configuration Window, Plugins.
1

Select the Satellites plugin, then click on Configure.

2

Select the Sources tab, then click on the last URL displayed, then on the Plus sign (the editable URL should be replaced with “[new source]”.

3

Paste in the http://www.celestrak.com/NORAD/elements/tle-new.txt URL, and validate with Enter.

4

Select back the Settings tab, and click the Update Now button.

5

This is the part I didn’t figure out at first: new satellites don’t get automatically displayed! You must now go the Satellites tab, and click on the Plus button on the lower right corner.

6

Search for ATV, select it and click Add.

7

Back in the list, click the Orbit checkbox so that its trajectory is easy to see.

8

You can now close all configuration windows, and enable Satellites view in the bottom toolbar.

9

Navigate to the time you want, and here it is!

10

You can find when the ATV-4 passes over you on heavens-above.com or NASA Spaceflight website.

Clear skies!

A week with little Paul

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

Since I’m out of a job, I’ve got some time these days, and I spent the last three days with Paul. It was nice !

On monday we went to my ex-job in order to help Lynette (the HR person) getting internet back, We went by bike with Paul in the Gobug trailer. I was afraid he would be cold, but in fact he was a bit too hot with all of the ski outfit… We went to the restaurant with Lynette and two other ex-colleagues, it was a nice moment and Paul has been very nice : after he ate his meal first, he spent time looking around, walking around, and he didn’t disturb us at all !

Paul is now walking all by himself, since about two weeks. He’s getting good now, and he doesn’t need help  or a piece of furniture anymore to stand up.

He’s trying to eat by himself too. This gets a little messy on the table.

Yesterday, we stayed at home, and played together when he wasn’t asleep. I’ve read his favourite book with him… a number of times… It’s “Tchou et ses amis”. It’s the story of how Postou the little post truck is sick and can’t deliver the parcels. Paul couldn’t care less about the story line, but he loves to point at the animals in the pictures, again and again, and I repeat their names again and again. That’s fun until the 20th time :-)

Today, we went to the local park to give old bread to ducks, to walk around a bit and let him play outside a bit. He loved that, especially when one duck let Paul chase her around !

Then we went back on the bike. I think Paul loves it about as much as me :)

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