How do you Display your Own Images?

C2A allows you to display your own images and observations and to associate these with specific objects on the map displayed on the screen. The types of images with which your images can be associated are as follows:

Supported image formats are FITS, PIC, JPEG, GIF and BMP.

To associate an image with an object, do as follows:

1 – Define in the Paths tab of the options dialogue box  the path to the directory containing the user images (User images field) and user observations (User observations field). This action needs to be done only once. Once the paths have been defined, all user images and observations must be located in these directories or they will not be found by the program. The default directories suggested by C2A are C:\Users\<user name>\My Documents\C2A\User Images and C:\Users\<user name>\My Documents\C2A\User Observations.

2 – Rename the file containing the image using syntax of the form <name>_<x>.<extension>  where <name> is the name of the objects as it appears in the field Name in the object information window, <x> is an index number which must start with 1, and <extension> is the extension corresponding to the type of image (fit, fts, fits, pic, jpg, gif and bmp are the only valid extensions). It is very important that the root <name> of the image file name matches exactly the name displayed in the object identification window (for example, an image associated with IC 1396 in the RNGCIC catalogue will have the name IC 1396_1.jpg – take care to the space between IC and 1396). The only exceptions apply to objects in the SAO, UCAC1, UCAC2, UCAC3, UCAC4, Hipparcos, Tycho-2, GCVS, Gliese and WDS catalogues, in which case just put the name of the catalogue at the beginning of the file name. For example, you would name an object from the UCAC2 catalogue: "UCAC2 266785_1.jpg". Similarly, an image associated with the star SAO 159918 would be named SAO 159918_2.fts. It is possible to associate several images with the same object. To do this simply increment the counter <x> in the file name. The only exception to this naming convention is the Messier objects: in this case, you can use the Messier name rather than the NGC or IC name. For example, for the object Messier 1 (which is aslo called NGC 1952), you would create an image M 1_1.jpg rather than NGC 1952_1.jpg.

3 – Put the image file in the directory of user images or in the user observations directory (see point 1 above).

There are two ways of displaying an image associated with an object:

a) Double-click an object on the map to identify it. In the object information window, click the  Image button. If no image is associated with this object, the Image button is disabled. Once the Image button has been clicked, the image processing window, containing the user image, appears on the screen.

b) Right-click an object on the map and select the command Image… or Observations… in the contextual menu which appears.  If no image is associated with this object, the Image… and Observations... commands are disabled. Once one of these commands has been selected, the image processing window, containing the user image, appears on the screen. Note that this is the method to use if the Control Panel is displayed in the main screen since in that case the Object Information window is not displayed (information on the identified object is directly displayed in the Control Panel).

If several images are associated with an object, the two arrow buttons in the image processing window let you move from one to the other.

You can associate text with any image (for instance, the place and time of capture). To do this, just create a file in the same directory as that in which the user image or observation is to be found (see point 1 above) and give the extension .txt (the body of the file name must be the same as that of the image). The information contained in the text file is displayed in the image information window which is accessed with the image information button at the top of the image processing window.

Example: Suppose that you have three images of the diffuse nebula IC 4605 in JPEG format. These three images should be named "IC 4605_1.jpg", "IC 4605_2.jpg" and "IC 4605_3.jpg" respectively. Furthermore, they should be located in the directory of user images (see th Paths tab of the options dialogue box). If you want to associate text with these three images, just create three files "IC 4605_1.txt", "IC 4605_2.txt" and "IC 4605_3.txt" in the same directory.

Once the images and observations have been located in the directories correctly declared in C2A, you can also access a list of objects found by using the command User images and observations… in the Images menu. An image and observations management window is then displayed on the screen (see the User images and observations section).

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