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# Transcribing written notes to Excel

9 replies to this topic

### #1 The Ardent

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Posted 05 August 2020 - 11:30 PM

Recently started typing all my observations into Excel for organizing. For RA and Dec I’m typing the numbers as decimal.

for example entering RA 03.20 for 3hrs 20mins. Is there a better format ? The actual coordinates aren’t critical, just wondering if there is a better way? For organizing mostly.

I follow the tradition of Burnham’s and NSOG by separating all observations by constellation.

### #2 kevindt

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Posted 06 August 2020 - 01:05 AM

If you're never going to use it in a calculation or share it, it doesn't matter what convention you use.  However, to many of us 03.20 means decimal degrees (03.20 degrees = 3 degrees 12 minutes).

I'd either use separate cells for the degrees, minutes and seconds (easiest for calculations) or use a different separator like a letter (03d:20m:00s).

### #3 starblue

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Posted 06 August 2020 - 03:44 AM

RA 3.20 to me means 3 hours + 0.2 hours. 0.2 = 1/5, and 60/5 = 12, so RA 3.20 = 3h12m = 3:12. Which do you mean: 3.2 hr in decimal units or 3:12 in time units? The colon notation is just as concise as decimal, and it's clearer that you mean time, and hms notation makes it explicit. Of course you can make up your own notation if you like, but if you stray from existing practice you'll only confuse yourself when you reread your notes in the future and wonder what you really meant.

### #4 scottmm2012

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Posted 06 August 2020 - 05:48 AM

Found this interesting tidbit.  But with the customization properties of excel, there has to be a way to customize the text in the cell to make it look like ##h ##' ##" for RA and ###° ##' ##" for DEC

Edited by scottmm2012, 06 August 2020 - 06:18 AM.

### #5 Feidb

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Posted 06 August 2020 - 08:24 AM

I use Access myself. It's a database I created when I was doing my Master's Degree back in the early 90's.

### #6 Starman1

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Posted 07 August 2020 - 11:53 AM

I typically just use a space:

RA 00 13 00

DEC +30 55

In Excel, you can type a special symbol like a + or - by typing in a ' in front of it.

Now if you simply format the cell (or column) as "text", you can type in anything you want.

That entry could have read:

00h13m00s

+30°55'00"

And you can still sort and organize with text-formatted fields.

Edited by Starman1, 07 August 2020 - 11:53 AM.

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### #7 The Ardent

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Posted 07 August 2020 - 04:36 PM

Don
After playing around with it that’s what I’ve ended up doing. It’s good to know someone else is too.

Another issue I noticed while observing, the coordinates in Sky Safari are different from Uranometria 2nd edition, so it seems like typing then in are pointless. It’s quite the lesson in precession.

I typically just use a space:
RA 00 13 00
DEC +30 55

### #8 Starman1

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Posted 07 August 2020 - 04:53 PM

Don
After playing around with it that’s what I’ve ended up doing. It’s good to know someone else is too.

Another issue I noticed while observing, the coordinates in Sky Safari are different from Uranometria 2nd edition, so it seems like typing then in are pointless. It’s quite the lesson in precession.

Things haven't moved that much since 2000.  If you type in a location that's 1-2' off, it certainly won't prevent you from finding the object.

I've even entered 1950.0 coordinates (e.g. Burnham's) in my DSC when those are the only coordinates I had, and I still found the object.

Edited by Starman1, 07 August 2020 - 04:54 PM.

### #9 Michael Covington

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Posted 07 August 2020 - 06:00 PM

Here is a precession-calculating Excel spreadsheet that I made a few years ago.  It is intended to be a notebook (of object descriptions or observing plans) that also calculates precession.  Use it and enjoy.
http://www.covington...405/DeepSky.zip

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Posted 07 August 2020 - 06:12 PM

Don't forget to take into account the nutation of the Earth!    What's a few arcseconds between friends.

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