General Questions

How do I sign up?

You can sign up to participate by filling out the form on the Registration page.

How do I get Astrometrica?

Please visit the Astrometrica page to download the latest IASC version of Astrometrica. This version of Astrometrica has been tailored to IASC and is not the same as versions found on other sites. You should also download the Quick Start Guide, as it has instructions on how to set up Astrometrica correctly.

Does Astrometrica run on Mac operating sytems?

No, Astrometrica will only work on Windows or Linux systems.

Participation Questions

Our team has been registered for a campaign. What do we do now?

You should download Astrometrica and the Practice Image Sets. Practice before your campaign begins. A week before the start of the campaign, IASC will email you with further information.

We want to change our team name. How should we do this?

If your campaign has not yet begun, email IASC with your current team name and let the staff know what you would like to change. Once the campaign begins, you may no longer change your team name.

We made a mistake when submitted a report during the campaign. What should we do?

Email IASC with the complete image set name, your team name, and when the report was submitted. Let the staff know if you would like the report removed completely, or just need the image set changed.

Astrometrica Questions

Astrometrica encounters a Runtime Error when opening. How do I fix this?

In Windows go to Start, then Run, and type (or copy/paste) %LOCALAPPDATA% (including the percent signs!) and click OK.

Run command image

That should open the current user AppData\Local folder. Astrometrica requires that 'Astrometrica' folder is present here. If not, just create a new folder named "Astrometrica".

How do I open the PS1.cfg file? My version of Astrometrica says “Astrometrica.cfg” at the bottom right of the program.

To change the configuration file, follow these steps. When inside Astrometrica:

  1. Click the Settings button (blue wrench) on the Astrometrica toolbar.
  2. In the pop-up window, select the "Open" option at the bottom left.
  3. Navigate to the Settings folder and select the file "PS1.cfg".
  4. Remember to click "Save".
  5. See how "PS1.cfg" is now displayed in the status bar at the bottom right of Astrometrica.

Astrometrica is not using the PPMXL star catalog. How do I change this?

You can check to see which Star Catalog is loaded by looking at the status bar at the bottom right of Astrometrica. The Star Catalog is the first entry in the status bar. To change the star catalog, click the Settings button (blue wrench) on the toolbar. Click the Program tab. At the top right of the window, there is a drop-down menu for Star Catalog. Select PPMXL, and click OK.

When I click Data Reduction (green crosshairs button), a pop-up window opens. What should I do?

This window means that the images were not able to align easily. Choose option 2, “Automatic Reference Star Match”, and click OK. Option 2 should solve most issues.

When I measure an object and check the Object Designation table, there are no entries. How do I fix this?

If the Object Designation table is empty, that means the MPCORB Database did not download when you started Astrometrica. Close Astrometrica, and open it again using the desktop icon. A black window will open and download the MPCORB. When Astrometrica opens, try to analyze the image set again.

I cannot see what known objects are in this image. How do I see the known objects?

The Known Object Overlay must be applied to every image set before blinking the images. On the Astrometrica toolbar, click the black button with red circles (just to the left of the Zoom controls). When the process completes, all already known objects in this image set will be marked with red boxes.

When I try to measure an object, a Floating Point Error pops up. What is this?

A Floating Point error occurs when you click on the gray areas in an image set. If you cannot see a moving object, do not try to measure it.

I found a moving object that does not appear on all four images of the image set. In one of the images, it moves behind one of the grid lines. What do I do?

If you cannot see the moving object, do not try to guess at the correct location. Only measure the object when you can see it. Three measurements are still good enough to report.
Guessing where an object might be in an image will provide a bad measurement and could result in your observations being invalidated.