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Today we published first release candidate to version 0.19.1 - please help us testing Stellarium!
List of changes between version 0.19.0 and master (0.19.0.16926/0.19.1RC1):
- Added allow to search an inactive meteor showers in Search Tool/Lists tool
- Added 'Azimuth vs. Time' graph into AstroCalc/Graphs tool
- Added feature to show tracks for latest several selected planets (GH: #539)
- Added calculation and showing the orbital period for artificial satellites
- Added revolutions per day info for artificial satellites
- Added tools for jumping to the next or previous time of rising, transit or setting for selected object (GH: #484)
- Added new behavoir for AstroCalc/Graphs when clicking within graph area now sets current time.
- Fixed issue in script 'Mercury Triple Sunrise and Sunset'
- Fixed crash of Stellarium for eyepieces with permanent crosshair
- Fixed Stellarium crash when Remote Control plugin is working
- Fixed computation of assume radius for minor planets.
- Fixed the issue of the scrolling not working properly on Mac (GH: #393)
- Fixed crash in Scripting Engine (Hide artificial satellites through StelProperties in core.clear() method to avoid crash if plugin was didn't loaded)
- Fixed planetarium crash in HiPS (network manager delete problem)
- Fixed position problems on the Poles (GH: #391)
- Fixed scaling Telrad sign on HighDPI monitors
- Fixed surface occlusion bug even with landscape turned off in scripting engine (GH: #680)
- Fixed building with cmake -DBUILD_SHARED_LIBS=ON (GH: #683)
- Fixed error in constellation file format (Babylonian)
- Fixed Europe/Volgograd time zone settings (GH: #686)
- Fixed HiPS handling of allsky download (GH: #671)
- Fixed progress bar rendering (GH: #671)
- Fixed positive declinations issue in AstroCalc tool when option 'Use decimal degrees' is enabled (GH: #690)
- Fixed file names inconsistency
- Fixed constellation line in "Japanese Moon Stations" skyculture
- Fixed file name for constellation boundaries in Stellarium User Guide
- Fixed the user interface problems in Oculars plug-in (GH: #580)
- Fixed getting the wrong values in objects/info method for selected object for different formats (Remote Control plugin)
- Fixed refresh plots when AstroCalc dialog becomes visible again (AstroCalc/Graphs tool)
- Fixed jquery vulnerability (GH: #694)
- Fixed date and time dialog behaviour: Hour/Minute/Second spinners now correctly trigger signals dateChanged(), dateChangedByYear and dateChangedForMonth() when days, months or years are affected by it.
- Fixed update graphs in AstroCalc/Graphs tool when days change
- Updated planetary nomenclature
- Updated common names of stars and DSO's
- Updated cmake rules for Windows deployment
- Updated DSO textures
- Updated behaviour of HiPS survey if Stellarium started without network (GH: #681)
- Updated GUI for ArchaeoLines plugin (GH: #689, #682)
- Updated default pulsars catalog (v1.60)
- Updated list of asterisms
- Excluded Armintxe skyculture and landscape from default package
Download link: https://github.com/Stellarium/stellarium-data/releases/tag/beta
By Cosmic Geoff
On 25th March I tried some live stacking with Sharpcap and a 102mm f5 Startravel achromat & ASI120MC camera.
Mount was Celestron SLT on custom tripod. Image size: 1280x960.
With this setup it is possible to dial in an object to the GoTo and be confident that it will appear on the laptop screen.
These images may not look too exciting but they do mimic the FOV and general appearance as seen in a 203mm SCT with 25mm EP. Check the image for M87. When I checked the field in Stellarium I found that two faint non-star smudges matched with NGC4478 and NGC4476, which are 11th and 12th mag galaxies. I am gob-smacked that I managed to image these with such modest equipment from an urban site. There is no way I would be able to see these visually even with a C8 from here.
I gave a demonstration/workshop at my local Astro Group* about a simple way of removing light pollution from an Astro Photo.
The description I gave was deliberately for beginners, using a wide angle tripod shot photo and using one of the easiest packages to get to grips with (Paint.net).
The attached pdf covers the basic technique.
I'd appreciate any feedback on it.
* The Mid Cheshire Astronomical Group - all welcome, we meet on the last Friday of the Month.
After a fistful of stars from the other night here's a few stars more from last night . Transparency was poor, though and I had to give up in the end. As well as fitting the Lightwave 0.8x to my 80 mm F6, I've also transferred the scope to the Heq5. Although I think Sharpcap is great for live stacking it won't always detect enough stars to auto align which means I have to use guiding. I can see plenty of stars on the screen but Sharpcap refuses to share my view! I've tried noise reduction and boosted digital gain etc. I think I'll try the v3.2 beta. I might try without the uhc in future as it probably cuts out too much light when combined with the IDAS D1. All live stacked with darks and flats. Some were guided.
M35 - 20 x 30s with IDAS D1 and UHC:
NGC 2420 aka the Twinkling Comet Cluster, 30x30s:
Jellyfish Neb, 40x30s:
You can just see the edge of it with some stretching!
More apparent with overstretch but - yuk!
I'm new to astronomy, I got my first telescope in November (StarMax 90mm f/13), I was really happy with the view of the moon and double stars, but disappointed I could see but barely make out nebula (initially the ring nebula). I also tried to take a photo of the moon with my phone but trying to get a stable shot was too difficult, even with a basic smartphone adapter.
I did a bit of research, found about about Video Astronomy/Electronically Assisted Astronomy (EAA) and decided I needed a better mount and took the opportunity to get a faster telescope (StarTravel 102 f5/). I really like the Sky-Watcher -102 AZ GTe with the ZWO ASI 224MC. I've only used it for 4 nights as there is so much cloud about but it's allowed me to take images of things my eyeball wouldn't see. Although my setup is below the minimum specification most would consider for imaging and entry level for visual observations I think I've found a setup that seems to work for me. I like that with SharpCap I can get instant results and the day after when it's back to cloudy I can get a bit more out of the images with Deep Sky Stacker and Gimp. I have tried looking through the eyepiece at the Pleiades, that was a pleasure as well. I can see how observing with a big Dobsonian and amazing eyepieces would be great, but many objects seem better with a camera than eyeballs. The Horsehead nebula wasn't found until astrophotography came into being.
The photo above was taken on my first night with the setup. The January 2019 issue of Sky at Night Magazine has a review of the Sky-Watcher StarTravel-102 AZ GTe and they give it 4.5 / 5. Combining it with an Explore Scientific UHC filter seems to reduce most of the chromatic aberration and increases contrast relative to the stars, and light pollution.
Video Astronomy/EAA seems to offer a great window into both the visual and imaging worlds of astronomy. As First Light Optics say "Your first telescope is arguably the most important because if the views do not amaze and delight, your interest in astronomy will crash and burn on the runway!" I understand cost could be an issue, but if the beginner had a suitable camera Video Astronomy could be as accessible as a Go-To visual setup, and seems more likely to amaze (especially in the skies of a typical house).
My question is why is video astronomy not the first suggestion for beginners interested in both visual and imaging?