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CalSky will be shut down

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#1 astrofan80

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Posted 07 October 2020 - 12:35 PM

One of the most important websites for amateur astronomers will be shut down in the next few days. frown.gif

 

CalSky.com

 

 

The operation of the website CalSky.com is unfortunately no longer financially viable and will therefore be shut down in a few days.
Well, the contact with you has been a lot of pleasure over the years, your feedback has always motivated us to go ahead. We wish you many more impressive observations!
If you have made a donation in the past few weeks and would like to have some of it refunded, please write an e-mail with the relevant details.
The stored user data will be deleted in a few weeks.
If you would like to say thank you financially for the past 20 years: www.calsky.com/?Sponsor= - thank you very much!

 

 


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#2 Swamp Fox

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Posted 07 October 2020 - 12:47 PM

A great site....hate to see it go.

 

Mark



#3 Cathal

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Posted 07 October 2020 - 02:03 PM

This is a real pity to see, but perfectly understandable too. I found out with an email from Paypal that the regular payment was being terminated. I've been a subscriber since forever (just checked, since June 2011), and I will seriously miss some of the services.

 

I love getting the Meteogram in the mornings, definitely help me plan my week ahead, even outside of the stargazing side of things.

 

My heart goes out to those running the site, coming to this decision has to have been a very difficult if patently obvious one.

 

I can only wish those that run the site all the best in the future endeavours.


Edited by Cathal, 07 October 2020 - 02:04 PM.

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#4 JohnOwens

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Posted 08 October 2020 - 07:23 AM

I had just finally started donating to them last week, and sent along a note thanking them for the years of free usage I've had thanks to them and their sponsors before me. So when I got the cancellation notification from PayPal this morning, I assumed it was some kind of complication or glitch with getting it set up.

 

Obviously, I'll be sorry to see them go. Is there anywhere else besides Heavens Above at all comparable? What I've always rather wished for in the past is software I can run locally on my computer, something more like XEphem, Stellarium, Cartes du Ciel, etc., but that has the kind of power CalSky had for notifications of passes, transits, supernovæ, etc. If anyone knows of such, please share!



#5 RyanSem

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Posted 08 October 2020 - 07:28 AM

Wow... that's a huge loss. I can't imagine there are many other sites out there are coalesce so much important data under one URL. Will be following this topic to see if others can recommend some alternatives now. Looks like I'll be making some massive changes to my bookmarks. 


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#6 Tom Polakis

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Posted 09 October 2020 - 12:23 PM

Terrible news, but that's the nature of free stuff.

 

1) Even though this belongs in this forum, I wonder if it's also appropriate to let people know in the Solar System Imaging or other forums.  I know cross-posting isn't encouraged, but this forum has little traffic, and this is pretty big news.

 

2) I use CalSky only for finding out when the ISS will pass in front of the sun or moon.  Is there another site that serves that purpose?  If it's not answered here, I'll just post it in the Solar System Imaging forum.

 

Tom


Edited by Tom Polakis, 09 October 2020 - 12:24 PM.


#7 PXR-5

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Posted 09 October 2020 - 02:31 PM

This is sad :(

Heavens above is still active, but who knows for how long.
It cost money to operate sites, not just print stuff.

#8 jfgout

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Posted 09 October 2020 - 06:43 PM

Terrible news, but that's the nature of free stuff.

 

1) Even though this belongs in this forum, I wonder if it's also appropriate to let people know in the Solar System Imaging or other forums.  I know cross-posting isn't encouraged, but this forum has little traffic, and this is pretty big news.

 

2) I use CalSky only for finding out when the ISS will pass in front of the sun or moon.  Is there another site that serves that purpose?  If it's not answered here, I'll just post it in the Solar System Imaging forum.

 

Tom

Hi Tom,

 

I know of two sites that can be used for this: https://www.heavens-above.com/ and https://transit-finder.com/

None of them is as good as calsky IMO (not as many options, ...)

 

I regret not giving them more money for my extensive use of their service. It's a big loss for the community.

 

jf


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#9 Aleko

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Posted 09 October 2020 - 08:41 PM

Thanks for the links, jf. 
 

I seem to be overlooking it. Where on Heavens-Above can you find predictions for the ISS transiting the sun?
 

Thanks!



#10 Tom Glenn

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Posted 09 October 2020 - 09:15 PM

This is very unwelcome news.  I happened upon this thread only after searching the CN forum for other news about Calsky, because I was surprised to learn it was closing up shop.  It's played an integral role in several of my images.  I can say that the Transit Finder website is excellent, and does a similarly good job for solar and lunar ISS transits as Calsky did, but the data set is limited to those events only (no planetary transits, no satellites other than ISS, and the search parameters are somewhat more restricted).  And Heaven's Above seems limited, particularly with its restricted ability to search for upcoming ISS transits further than 5km away.  Calsky had a wealth of available data for numerous satellites, asteroids, etc, with excellent search features and maps.  I know all of the orbital TLE data is publicly available, and there are no doubt other ways to interpret it, but much of what Calsky did will be difficult to replace.  


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#11 Kevin Thurman

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Posted 10 October 2020 - 01:12 AM

Terrible news, but that's the nature of free stuff.

 

1) Even though this belongs in this forum, I wonder if it's also appropriate to let people know in the Solar System Imaging or other forums.  I know cross-posting isn't encouraged, but this forum has little traffic, and this is pretty big news.

 

2) I use CalSky only for finding out when the ISS will pass in front of the sun or moon.  Is there another site that serves that purpose?  If it's not answered here, I'll just post it in the Solar System Imaging forum.

 

Tom

The clear outside website/app shows weather but also marks when ISS passes happen including direction and exact timing, much like what you see in CalSky. What it doesn't do is moon and sun ISS transits. It also doesn't predict other bright satellites or flares. I don't know of another site that handles that stuff. I use that app for that information and then I usually preview the pass in stellarium as well to get an idea of when it will come out from behind trees and houses and so on.



#12 PEterW

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Posted 10 October 2020 - 12:58 PM

Blast! Caught my first lunar ISS transit a few months back and keen to try again, maybe even a solar one. Hope others can pick up some of the stuff we’re losing.
Peter

#13 iam1ru12

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Posted 11 October 2020 - 02:57 PM

And it’s done...the site is now down.  Very sad news indeed.

 

-Mike


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#14 iCrop

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Posted 12 October 2020 - 01:26 PM

Sad news indeed.  A reasonable alternative seems to be https://telescopius.com/, a bit more graphically oriented, but perhaps as functional.



#15 HuonPine

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Posted 13 October 2020 - 09:44 PM

This is terrible news, CalSky has been a very valuable resource. Is there any chance of it's resurection? Surely now we know it is financially unviable with voluntary donations many would happily pay a small compulsory fee.



#16 dswtan

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Posted 14 October 2020 - 04:02 PM

Ugh, just found the site down today. So sorry to hear. Hope there is some backchannel communication to retain the code for possible refinancing/sponsorship. Would love to know what it costs to keep such things going...



#17 kkt

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Posted 15 October 2020 - 09:12 AM

frown.gif



#18 TomBot9000

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Posted 16 October 2020 - 05:31 PM

Does anyone know what will become of the software the website was using?  Was any of it open source?  Would hate to see all that work die.



#19 astro_1

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Posted 17 October 2020 - 09:26 PM

They will be missed!  frown.gif



#20 RyanSem

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Posted 18 October 2020 - 05:46 AM

Terrible news, but that's the nature of free stuff.

 

1) Even though this belongs in this forum, I wonder if it's also appropriate to let people know in the Solar System Imaging or other forums.  I know cross-posting isn't encouraged, but this forum has little traffic, and this is pretty big news.

 

2) I use CalSky only for finding out when the ISS will pass in front of the sun or moon.  Is there another site that serves that purpose?  If it's not answered here, I'll just post it in the Solar System Imaging forum.

 

Tom

 

 

Thanks for the links, jf. 
 

I seem to be overlooking it. Where on Heavens-Above can you find predictions for the ISS transiting the sun?
 

Thanks!

 

Tom and Alex, I use the site https://transit-finder.com/ to figure ISS transits within a 2-3 week time frame. 


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#21 lambermo

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Posted 22 October 2020 - 05:07 PM

Does anyone know what will become of the software the website was using?  Was any of it open source?  Would hate to see all that work die.

I was wondering exactly that ^

-- Hans




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