OnStep is a full featured telescope controller firmware that was created and maintained by Howard Dutton.
As of late 2021, it runs on several types of boards with a variety of microcontrollers, including the Teensy, ST's STM32F103, STM32F303, STM32F446 and Esspressif's ESP32.
In order to convert a mount to OnStep, one needs to fill out a spreadsheet created by Howard that accounts for various parameters, such as one or two stages of gear reduction, microstepping, an motor shaft RPM.
I have been using the FYSETC S6 V1.2 3D printer board as my telescope controller for a few years.
This is a feature rich board that has the following advantages:
- Already soldered and ready to go
- Supports all features of OnStep (limit switch, PEC, ...)
- Supports built-in dew heater functionality
Both version 1.2 and 2.0 work well with OnStep.
The new moon for the month of Shawwal 1441 AH has only been sighted in several countries in Africa.
For example, Mauritania claimed that declaring the end of Ramadan, and the start of Eid Al Fitr was based on multiple confirmed sighting, also claiming that the number of witnesses exceeds 40 people, in various places in the country.
The same thing happened in Senegal, Mali, Cote d'Ivoire, Niger, and Somalia.
Just like Ramadan 2019 Moon Sighting was fraught with false claims of sighting the crescent, which the courts in Saudi Arabia took at face value without basic confirmation against astronomy.
It seems that Ramadan 2020 is also set to suffer from the same faults.
If you look at this screen capture from Stellarium, a free astronomical planetarium program, you will see sunset on Wednesday the 22nd of April 2020, near Kitchener, Ontario, Canada.
Here is a time lapse sequence of Comet C/2018 N2 (ASSASN).
This comet was discovered by the All-Sky Automated Survey For Supernovae (ASSASN) using software to analyze the images from one night to the next, and detect anything that is not a star.
The sequence was made on October 8th, 2019, between 1:35 am and 2:11 am while the comet was near the Triangulum constellation, and the M33 galaxy.
This allows a lot of use cases, for example, testing certain scenarios, or automating certain tasks.
Several examples are provided as starting points on how to write your own programs.
Patches for features, and fixes are welcome.
For this year's Eid Al-Fitr 1440 A.H. (2019 C.E.), the Muslim world had some countries, as well as some masjids in the West, ending the Ramadan fast on Tuesday. In Kitchener/Waterloo, we had the Kitchener mosque, following astronomical calculations, end the fast on Monday, while the Waterloo Masjid, following sighting, ended it on Tuesday.
Seeing the Unseeable
The problem here is that it was astronomically impossible to sight the new moon on Monday, since it is not illuminated at all.