The first thing to do when submitting an Advanced Request is choosing a deep-sky object to observe, specifying its name and coordinates.
Each object is located in the sky by a given set of coordinates known as the right ascension (RA) and declination (Dec).
When imaging deep-sky objects, you can use the "Search Coordinates" button to search the coordinates from the SIMBAD database of objects.
For instance, if you want to image the NGC 7293 (also known as the Helix Nebula), type "NGC 7293" in the Target name field and click "Search Coordinates". The coordinates of the object will be automatically retrieved.
Warning: Always remember to use the official catalogue name, rather than the popular name (in the example above, use NGC 7293 and not Helix Nebula). This is because official catalogues sometimes report the wrong name association to popular objects. For instance, if you search the coordinates for the "Sculptor Galaxy", you will end up with an image of the dwarf sculptor galaxy and not of the popular NGC 253!
The format allowed for RA and Dec is sexagesimal with spaces or colons as field separator:
|Sexagesimal format||RA 20 54 05 Dec +37 01 17.4|
|Sexagesimal with colons as field separator||RA 10:12:45.3 Dec -45:17:50|
Minor planets, comets and asteroids
Such small solar system objects do not have fixed RA an Dec coordinates as they move within the solar system, and their RA and Dec coordinates change in timescales of days or weeks.
If you wish to observe minor planets, comets or asteroids, you can specify the official name designation (as given by the Minor Planet Centre), and retrieve their ephemerides data.
Our system will automatically calculate the RA and Dec coordinates of your target, and you will even be able to use our Automated Scheduler!