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Sky Safari: All I Want For Christmas...

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#1 Astraforce Paul

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Posted 21 December 2012 - 08:34 AM

Dear Santa,

      I really like Sky Safari Plus, but there are 5 things that would increase my enjoyment of it immensely.

     I know I'm writing too late for you to get it ready in time and put it under the tree, yet maybe some time in the New Year, you could make my stargazing wishes come true. (There wouldn't be time now, in any case, as I understand that Tim Cook's elves have to inspect all your gifts.)


1. Please turn off the pulsing cross hairs.
It's a quiet, peaceful time of year. I'm a contemplative soul and those pulsing cross-hairs drive me to distraction. We're stargazers-- not video game players! How wonderful it would be if we could double tap a blank area and send them away.

Santa, think of it this way--it's the difference between being in those chaotic, noisy, bustling workshops of yours and sitting quietly reading in your easy chair in your own home. 2. Let us set the minimum and maximum magnitudes for DSOs.
Those - and + bars are great, but it'd be nice to set our own limits for wide and small fields of view. I was out observing the Virgo Cluster the other morning and ended up with a cluttered screen filled with scores of galaxies that I'll never, ever see from my light polluted skies.

Santa, I realize skies are dark there at the North Pole, and you probably can see all those galaxies, but down here in the midst of light-crazed civilization, they're invisible. Now, I know you're going to tell me to set mag 10 for small fovs to clear up that clutter, but then few DSOs are visible when looking at the constellations! Yet, it's helpful to see a big fov and know there are galaxies worth going after. If I could set Sky Safari to show mag 10-11 objects and no fainter in both wide constellation views and small fovs, all would be right with the world. 3. Tweak the size algorithm for the star display!
Others have noted they have to set the star size to 200% to render a realistic screen for star hopping (I use 140%) yet when you do that, 1st mag stars become enormous BLOBS!

Santa, we have enough trouble with our nascent cataracts creating halos around bright lights, we don't want to be reminded of them when using Sky Safari! :) 4. Resizable, reflowable text for the object descriptions.
The descriptive information is fantastic, but it's so tiny! And when we pinch-zoom, the text expands way off the page and we have to scroll back and forth, and back and forth. It'd be great for it to be resizable and have it reflow.

Santa, I know you can relate! Your eyes aren't what they used to be--I've seen you wearing those reading glasses. :cool: 5. Quick pop up photos.
One of Sky Safari's competitors (which I will not name as development seems to have ceased!) has an amazing feature-- a single tap on a DSO pops up an astrophoto of it, along with distance, magnitude, and size information.

Santa, you know that it is often said, "A picture is worth a thousand words."       Santa, I realize you are busy this time of year, but when you get the chance, please check your naughty and nice lists. You'll discover that I've mostly been nice. I'll try to do even better in the coming year.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!                                      Astraforce Paul


P.S. Please extend my thanks and appreciations to the developers of Sky Safari for such a wonderful app!

#2 btschumy

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Posted 21 December 2012 - 11:56 AM

Paul,

Got your list and we'll be checking it twice. Thanks for being not naughty, but nice.

Bill

#3 helpwanted

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Posted 21 December 2012 - 07:53 PM

Number 2, you can do

#4 Jeff Morgan

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Posted 21 December 2012 - 10:27 PM

6. Display dark nebula as some form of low contrast grayscale outline. Currently toggling on dark nebula dominates and obliterates things like constellation boundaries and RA/DEC gridlines. Defining dark nebula as a different display color should be rather simple.

#5 Tim D

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 10:46 AM

I love this app. For me, Christmas came early- I love the last update with the changes to the custom viewing list and Jupiter info!! Thank you so much and happy holidays!
Tim

#6 Arizona-Ken

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 12:30 PM

Yes, wunnerful app!

Works really well on both my CPC scope and a GT5 mount. A great aspect is that it allows you to pinch and zoom in an area of the sky and come up with ideas of what to look at next. Good for an in-depth exploration of a constellation and no RA/DEC to enter, just tap the screen and go there!

Many of the write-ups on binary stars are from work by James Kaler, professor at the University of Illinois. I smile at that as I took a couple of courses from him at Illinois in the early '70s. Great and enthusiastic guy.

Sky Safari is the reason I bought the iPad.

I have no "wish list" for now, as I am still getting used to the program, but I may have some wishes at a later time.

Arizona Ken

#7 helpwanted

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 02:39 PM

"Sky Safari is the reason I bought the iPad"

same here!!

#8 Spaced

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 03:18 AM

"Sky Safari is the reason I bought the iPad"
same here!!


Me too!

Excellent Sky Safari wish list.

#9 Lane

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 04:04 AM

This app is also why I bought my first iPad and it is still my favorite app today.

I would like to say thanks to Southern Stars for the "highlight objects" switch. Not sure when that was added but I found and used it on my last viewing session and loved it, what a great idea.

I would still like to see some other improvements to the custom observing lists, like some sorting capabilities for instance. Or the ability to just reorder a list manually by dragging and dropping.

#10 Garry

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 10:55 AM

Lane,

The ability to reorder Custom Observing Lists is already a feature.
To reorder list use the Edit button and then drag usiing the List icon
at the right side. The same can be done for Objects within a List.

Garry

#11 Lane

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 11:19 PM

WOW! Thanks Gary, did not see that one either. That is exactly what I have been wanting. I wonder how long that has been in the product? I have been waiting a long time for something like that. Are there any detailed release notes out there anywhere? Maybe there are other features I have missed.

#12 Arizona-Ken

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Posted 25 December 2012 - 09:53 AM

Lane,

The ability to reorder Custom Observing Lists is already a feature.
To reorder list use the Edit button and then drag usiing the List icon
at the right side. The same can be done for Objects within a List.

Garry


Moving the last Object in a list or moving an Object to the last position in the list causes the program to reset on my iPad with release 3.7

Arizona Ken

#13 pjglad

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Posted 25 December 2012 - 10:06 AM

You need to upgrade to 3.7.1

#14 btschumy

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Posted 25 December 2012 - 06:26 PM

Are there any detailed release notes out there anywhere? Maybe there are other features I have missed


Lane,
There are release notes at:
http://www.southerns.../whats_new.html

However, this is all documented in the built-in Help. You might do well to peruse it. There are several features that might not be immediately obvious.

#15 Lane

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 11:14 PM

Thanks guys, guess I need to read a bit more. These all appear to be recent additions to the product so that is my excuse.

The ability to move objects up or down on the list appears to be missing from the built-in help. This is a great feature, it should be clearly pointed out.

#16 Astraforce Paul

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 12:41 PM

Bill, appreciate the nice response.

A follow-up to a comment by helpwanted.

Number 2, you can do


helpwanted, alas, AFAIK, you actually CANNOT do #2 !

2. Let us set the minimum and maximum magnitudes for DSOs.

Right now, you can set only one magnitude for DSOs, for the particular fov you are currently using. Sky Safari then uses an algorithm to determining how faint it will go in other fovs.

What that means in practice is that if you set the mag for a wide fov, e.g., to show DSOs to mag 10 when looking at quadrant of the sky or a couple of constellations (very useful for seeing what's up and worth going after), you'll end up at mag 16-17 for a 1 degree fov, which is well beyond what many of us want or can even observe. The Virgo Galaxy Cluster gets cluttered beyond belief.

OTOH, set it for mag 10 for the smallish fov, you'll end up with a DSO mag limit of only 2.8 in the 90 degree fov. And that means virtually no DSOs show.

Ideally, the observer should be able to set their preferred magnitude limits for different fields of view-- or simply pick one that applies to all.


helpwanted, if you've discovered how to do this, please let us know! I may have overlooked a command or setting somewhere.

#17 Lane

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 04:13 PM

Generally I like the way it changes the magnitude limits as you zoom, but there are times when I would like to set it to a single value and have that value stay there no matter what the zoom is doing. This would be a nice enhancement.

#18 weezy

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 08:56 AM

How do you get rid of the sounds? I have Plus and can't find anything in settings. I hate having anything making noises at me.

#19 btschumy

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 10:35 AM

It is in the Appearance settings. Yes, it is not really an "appearance" but there was not a better category.

#20 Jeff Morgan

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 03:05 PM

There is a check box option in the DSO menu labeled "Show in Wide Field" which may help you.

But hard limits (bypassing the algorithm) would be a nice option.

#21 Astraforce Paul

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 08:55 AM

Jeff, "Show in Wide Field" is fantastic and is one of the reasons I use Sky Safari far more than Starmap Pro. However, the DSO mag issue I'm describing happens with it set! In fact, if you don't have it set, you won't see many DSOs at all in a wide fov even with a mag 10 setting!

OTOH, SMP doesn't show many of the Messiers in a wide field of view regardless of settings! For example, if you didn't already know where the Virgo cluster of galaxies was, you would never find it in SMP. Well, not unless you drilled down to less than 20 degrees, when suddenly gobs of galaxies jump at you-- much as if you just left hyper space! :)

There are many other Messiers and bright NGCs that are essentially invisible in Starmap.

It's sad really... Starmap Pro has so much else going for it-- one-tap pop up of info and photo in a mini window; one-tap scrolling photo bar of what's up; excellent optics/eyepiece views; etc. OTOH, it's often difficult or impossible to tap a DSO, wide fovs are limited in size, etc.






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