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mcgibbon
Vendor -VerticalTurtle


Reged: 04/05/12

New app Double Stars for scope and binocs
      #5159246 - 04/06/12 01:46 PM Attachment (30 downloads)

I am posting to inform you all of a new astronomy App called Double Stars. It is for iPhone and is found on the Apple AppStore here:

http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/double-stars/id515272752?mt=8

I made the app with a friend. We are not a company looking to make millions - we are amateur astronomers and we make apps in our spare time. We think we have a great observing tool we’d like to share.

The App provides a catalogue of hundreds of northern and southern hemisphere Double Stars that can be filtered by your location, date, time and your equipment - for both binoculars and telescopes. It even has naked eye doubles suitable for rural or urban observers. Rather than find Double Stars from a book or chart let the App create a unique list just for you based on what you can see.

Once you have filtered the catalogue to your location and equipment, Double Stars can be added to a Sky Tour. The conventional Double Star data is fully loaded (Magnitudes, Separation, Positive Angle etc).

The App also generates Smart Tours (think iTunes Smart playlists) for wide pairs, tight doubles, colour doubles etc - all based on what you can theoretically see tonight. The App helps you locate each Double Star with RA & Dec as well as interactive Alt Azimuth coordinates.

Furthermore, based on the information entered about your scope it will even suggest an eyepiece to give you the best chance of splitting each Double Star.

The Sky Tour is viewed using a variable red ‘night vision’ mode that we previous trialled successfully on one of our other apps (‘Night Notes’). A Location Assistant helps locate the star using its live position if you don’t have a computerised mount. Try strapping your iPhone to your scope (with an iPhone running armband) to create a low cost GoTo finder!

We carried out extensive testing over Winter some willing volunteers. Their input has been invaluable and the app is now greatly improved thanks to their help. We think this will be a great App for amateur Double Star fans to plan and execute successful observations.

Finally, if you like it, please leave a review on the AppStore and then tell your friends! Happy splitting!


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azure1961p
Postmaster
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Reged: 01/17/09

Loc: USA
Re: New app Double Stars for scope and binocs new [Re: mcgibbon]
      #5159904 - 04/06/12 10:08 PM

I was all set to think "yeah but I got Sky Safari so I dont need this..."

Im wrong. This is an excellent app. Well conceived and executed. Id prefer if the filter let me filter out all doubles beliw or above a given seperation but its dynamite regradless. Ya got my buck!

Pete


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azure1961p
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/17/09

Loc: USA
Re: New app Double Stars for scope and binocs new [Re: azure1961p]
      #5159926 - 04/06/12 10:24 PM

Folks - lol - this program rocks!!!! Apparently the app already siftes through wide and tight pairs for you. Enter in your scope info abd it recommends an ocular I kid you not. Do the tour thing and its got this nice red color of the fonts and such kinda matches my GOTO hand control glow. That every double is illustrated in accompanying diagram is wild. Worth far more than the buck they r charging. Ida payed $10.00.

This is THE doublestar observers app and NO Sky Safari isnt doing what this app does.

Lol please get it!

Pete

Edited by azure1961p (04/06/12 10:26 PM)


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Aleko
super member
*****

Reged: 08/01/10

Loc: Georgia
Re: New app Double Stars for scope and binocs new [Re: azure1961p]
      #5160893 - 04/07/12 02:53 PM

I used this app at the telescope last night. With the full moon out, it was the perfect night for doubles. I really like the information the app provides and how it is laid out. It would be nice though to have the colors (spectral classes) of the component stars.

I used this side by side with Sky Safari, since with SS I can go straight to a map to locate the star. And for many of the doubles, you can't beat SS having Jim Kaler's marvelous descriptions.

So I don't see this (yet) replacing Sky Safari, but it is an excellent complement to go along with it. The app is certainly a worthy addition to my collection of astronomy apps and worth more than the nominal charge.


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Tristy
member
*****

Reged: 06/25/10

Loc: SoCal
Re: New app Double Stars for scope and binocs new [Re: Aleko]
      #5160977 - 04/07/12 03:53 PM

I have to be out of iTunes cash right now....

Can't wait to try this out when the opportunity arrives!


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mcgibbon
Vendor -VerticalTurtle


Reged: 04/05/12

Re: New app Double Stars for scope and binocs new [Re: Tristy]
      #5160984 - 04/07/12 03:58 PM

Aw shucks you guys. I'm blushing.
I so pleased you all love the app. We took a lot of time and effort, and Richard (who does the programming) put his heart into it.
I'd be massively greatful if you can leave a review on the AppStore.
Keep on splitting!


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PGW Steve
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/03/06

Loc: Winnipeg, Canada
Re: New app Double Stars for scope and binocs new [Re: mcgibbon]
      #5161065 - 04/07/12 04:59 PM

Downloaded it, can't wait to try it!

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Denimsky
professor emeritus


Reged: 01/21/07

Loc: BC, Canada
Re: New app Double Stars for scope and binocs new [Re: mcgibbon]
      #5161136 - 04/07/12 05:47 PM

It seems a great App.
I'm glad that many great astronomy Apps are coming out recently!
I will give it a try for the next observing session.


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Denimsky
professor emeritus


Reged: 01/21/07

Loc: BC, Canada
Re: New app Double Stars for scope and binocs new [Re: Denimsky]
      #5161196 - 04/07/12 06:30 PM

I just downloaded the App and this is exactly what I've been looking for.

Because this App can't slew the telescope, it would be nice to have someway to connect with SkySafari. How about a feature to generate an observing list for SkySafari? If it is not easy, how about a button to copy the name of the star to the clipboard so that we can paste the name to the search forms in other apps?
And I cannot find some names of binaries used by double stars in SkySafari such as Nu A-B Sco. I'm not sure but is there more common name for such a star?

At last iPad version would be a welcome addition.

Thank you for the great App.


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7331Peg
Sirius Observer
*****

Reged: 09/01/08

Loc: North coast of Oregon
Re: New app Double Stars for scope and binocs new [Re: mcgibbon]
      #5161560 - 04/08/12 12:31 AM

I downloaded the app to an Ipad and have a couple of questions:

1. When I press the star on the right side of a catalog entry above "colour", it turns orange, but nothing else happens. Am I missing something there?

2. Why is "multiple" shown below "colour" -- it looks like every star in the catalog shows that, but pressing it does absolutely nothing.

And one more: what does the oval to the left of the binocular icon signify? I've seen that lit up to orange on a couple of the entries for no apparent reason.


John


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Denimsky
professor emeritus


Reged: 01/21/07

Loc: BC, Canada
Re: New app Double Stars for scope and binocs new [Re: 7331Peg]
      #5161587 - 04/08/12 12:55 AM

Quote:

I downloaded the app to an Ipad and have a couple of questions:

1. When I press the star on the right side of a catalog entry above "colour", it turns orange, but nothing else happens. Am I missing something there?

2. Why is "multiple" shown below "colour" -- it looks like every star in the catalog shows that, but pressing it does absolutely nothing.

And one more: what does the oval to the left of the binocular icon signify? I've seen that lit up to orange on a couple of the entries for no apparent reason.


John




I think that the binary will be added to favorites in the smart tours when you click the star icon.

If the binary is known for colour contrast, the text 'colour' shows in orange colour. Otherwise, the text is grey.

If the binary is multiple system (like double double), the text 'multiple' is shown in orange. Otherwise it is just grey.

I guess the oval is for naked eye doubles.

I just love this App. It is very simple and useful. The approach is very different from traditional desktop app and feels very fresh.

Edited by Denimsky (04/08/12 01:22 AM)


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azure1961p
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/17/09

Loc: USA
Re: New app Double Stars for scope and binocs new [Re: Denimsky]
      #5161612 - 04/08/12 01:32 AM

Safari is superb. These programs work fine in tandem though. I would agre about the spectral color suggestion. Im enamored.

Pete


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7331Peg
Sirius Observer
*****

Reged: 09/01/08

Loc: North coast of Oregon
Re: New app Double Stars for scope and binocs new [Re: Denimsky]
      #5161631 - 04/08/12 01:52 AM

Quote:

Quote:

I downloaded the app to an Ipad and have a couple of questions:

1. When I press the star on the right side of a catalog entry above "colour", it turns orange, but nothing else happens. Am I missing something there?

2. Why is "multiple" shown below "colour" -- it looks like every star in the catalog shows that, but pressing it does absolutely nothing.

And one more: what does the oval to the left of the binocular icon signify? I've seen that lit up to orange on a couple of the entries for no apparent reason.


John




I think that the binary will be added to favorites in the smart tours when you click the star icon.

If the binary is known for colour contrast, the text 'colour' shows in orange colour. Otherwise, the text is grey.

If the binary is multiple system (like double double), the text 'multiple' is shown in orange. Otherwise it is just grey.

I guess the oval is for naked eye doubles.

I just love this App. It is very simple and useful. The approach is very different from traditional desktop app and feels very fresh.




Thanks, Denimsky. I just played around with it some more, and all of that checks out perfectly.

Hope you're getting better cooperation from the weather than we've had down this way the past several months.


John


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mcgibbon
Vendor -VerticalTurtle


Reged: 04/05/12

Re: New app Double Stars for scope and binocs new [Re: 7331Peg]
      #5161709 - 04/08/12 04:41 AM

Denimsky - you're 100% correct. The icons in the catalogue screen signify the stars properties, either colour or part of a multiple system. Orange for Yes, grey for No. These indeed relate the the Smart Tours. The three other symbols- eye, binoc, scope relate to the filters you have entered.

Have you noticed that the symbol for PA is generated for each star based in its magnitudes and positive angle? Richard was VERY happy with that one!


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mcgibbon
Vendor -VerticalTurtle


Reged: 04/05/12

Re: New app Double Stars for scope and binocs new [Re: mcgibbon]
      #5161741 - 04/08/12 06:44 AM

In terms of naming, stars like Nu A-B Sco is simply Nu Sco but specifically for the A-B components of that multiple system. I expect all the entries for Nu Sco have the same RA and Dec.

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Denimsky
professor emeritus


Reged: 01/21/07

Loc: BC, Canada
Re: New app Double Stars for scope and binocs new [Re: mcgibbon]
      #5162040 - 04/08/12 11:54 AM

Quote:


Have you noticed that the symbol for PA is generated for each star based in its magnitudes and positive angle? Richard was VERY happy with that one!




Does the angle change depending on the type of the telescope that you use in the filter?


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gmartin02
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 04/11/05

Loc: Santa Clarita, CA
Re: New app Double Stars for scope and binocs new [Re: mcgibbon]
      #5162122 - 04/08/12 12:38 PM

Any chance of porting this app to the Android OS? It sounds really useful, but I do not have an iPhone.

Note: The Android platform now has over 50% of the US market share and climbing fast. The iOS platform is leveling off at about 30% of the US market share.

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/04/03/comscore-android-ios-us-mobile-report/

Greg


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mcgibbon
Vendor -VerticalTurtle


Reged: 04/05/12

Re: New app Double Stars for scope and binocs new [Re: gmartin02]
      #5162335 - 04/08/12 03:12 PM

Deminsky - no, the angle doesn't change.

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mcgibbon
Vendor -VerticalTurtle


Reged: 04/05/12

Re: New app Double Stars for scope and binocs new [Re: mcgibbon]
      #5162339 - 04/08/12 03:12 PM

Sorry Greg, no plans for android.

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btschumy
Vendor - Simulation Curriculum
*****

Reged: 04/13/04

Loc: Longmont, CO, USA
Re: New app Double Stars for scope and binocs new [Re: gmartin02]
      #5162382 - 04/08/12 03:53 PM

At least for me, the Smart Tour for "Wide Easy Pairs" is the same as for "Tough Split Pairs". That doesn't seem right.

I'm on a Gen 3 iPad running iOS 5.1


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Ain Soph Aur
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 08/11/11

Loc: West Tennessee
Re: New app Double Stars for scope and binocs new [Re: btschumy]
      #5162464 - 04/08/12 05:04 PM

Very nice application! It my my second favorite iOS app after SkySafari Pro. I would like to see a HD version, and if the AL Double Star and Binocular Double Star Club lists could be added as smart tours, well that would be awesome. Thanks!

Edited by Ain Soph Aur (04/08/12 07:57 PM)


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mcgibbon
Vendor -VerticalTurtle


Reged: 04/05/12

Re: New app Double Stars for scope and binocs new [Re: btschumy]
      #5162514 - 04/08/12 05:51 PM

Quote:

At least for me, the Smart Tour for "Wide Easy Pairs" is the same as for "Tough Split Pairs". That doesn't seem right.

I'm on a Gen 3 iPad running iOS 5.1




That doesn't seem right. All I can think is that the filters you have entered have returned a very small set of results so the tours are the same??
Have you entered your filter values correctly?

Have a play. You can always send a screen shot (hold down home and lock buttons) to the feedback email on the app.


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Chucky
sage
*****

Reged: 04/16/10

Loc: Dublin, Ohio
Re: New app Double Stars for scope and binocs new [Re: mcgibbon]
      #5163190 - 04/09/12 08:04 AM

Seems very nice. Unfortunately since I have a 2nd gen Touch, I can't use the program. Man I'd like to see Sky Safari enhanced to have some of these features....especially the ability to input one's scope parameters to filter doubles able to be split with a given telescope.

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Jim Curry
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 10/29/07

Loc: STL
Re: New app Double Stars for scope and binocs new [Re: Chucky]
      #5164283 - 04/09/12 10:10 PM

Sounds like a great app. How about a Blackberry app?

Jim


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mcgibbon
Vendor -VerticalTurtle


Reged: 04/05/12

Re: New app Double Stars for scope and binocs new [Re: Jim Curry]
      #5165490 - 04/10/12 04:20 PM

Again, sorry Jim, no plans for Blackberry - we'd never get time to observe!

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germana1
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 05/14/09

Loc: New Jersey
Re: New app Double Stars for scope and binocs new [Re: mcgibbon]
      #5170601 - 04/13/12 03:28 PM

Any chance to make the screen rotate when You tilt the I pad?
love the app by the way. Pete


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mcgibbon
Vendor -VerticalTurtle


Reged: 04/05/12

Re: New app Double Stars for scope and binocs new [Re: germana1]
      #5171481 - 04/14/12 03:13 AM

Thanks Germana1 - i'll speak to my technical man about that.
If you haven't already, please could you leave a review on the AppStore?
Keep on splitting!


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mcgibbon
Vendor -VerticalTurtle


Reged: 04/05/12

Re: New app Double Stars for scope and binocs new [Re: mcgibbon]
      #5176411 - 04/17/12 03:12 AM

Quote:

Quote:

At least for me, the Smart Tour for "Wide Easy Pairs" is the same as for "Tough Split Pairs". That doesn't seem right.

I'm on a Gen 3 iPad running iOS 5.1




That doesn't seem right. All I can think is that the filters you have entered have returned a very small set of results so the tours are the same??
Have you entered your filter values correctly?

Have a play. You can always send a screen shot (hold down home and lock buttons) to the feedback email on the app.





Glad we got this issue resolved for you - no pun intended


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johnpd
sage


Reged: 04/13/08

Re: New app Double Stars for scope and binocs new [Re: mcgibbon]
      #5176414 - 04/17/12 03:15 AM

I notice a few issues on my iPad:

1. The eyepiece suggestions seem to be a little out of whack at times. It often suggests a much lower power eyepiece than would be optimal (such as a 40mm for separations between 15" and 30"). I have set up my C-8 telescope (2000mm F/L, 200mm aperture) in the filter.

2. I have set up filters for Location, Time, and Telescope, but the Smart Tours gives me stars below the horizon as well as visible stars. For instance at midnight, the tour is starting with stars in Pisces (where the Sun is). I have the proper time and location entered in the filters. The visible stars appearing in the tour seem to have correct positions which would reflect my filter values.

3. One star I ran across (Kappa Hercules) has incorrect R.A. and Dec.

JohnD


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mcgibbon
Vendor -VerticalTurtle


Reged: 04/05/12

Re: New app Double Stars for scope and binocs new [Re: johnpd]
      #5177010 - 04/17/12 01:33 PM

Hi John

Thanks for these comments.
1. I'll look into this. There is a generic calculation based on an optimum magnification which generates an EP suggestion based on focal length.
This should work for all scopes buts it's not impossible that certain configurations produce a larger error than others. As a rule 40mm is max and 3mm is minimum.
2. Again I'll check on this point.
3. Noted, thanks we'll correct this.


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mcgibbon
Vendor -VerticalTurtle


Reged: 04/05/12

Re: New app Double Stars for scope and binocs new [Re: mcgibbon]
      #5177141 - 04/17/12 02:57 PM

John,

Re point 1 - I've checked this and stand by our generic calc. As I say, it's only a guide and clearly your site and seeing will also play a role. Not to mention you experience...

Re point 2. The Smart Tour will generate a tour based on 'tonight' which could extend into the wee hours. This is why the Tour screen (red screen) also gives a rise / set time. You're correct that stars in Pisces are in the tour and will be visible from 4am - if you're that way inclined! Some hardy Double Star observers might just be getting started...

Re point three - yes blame my fat fingers. Should be 16hrs not 01hrs

Cheers


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johnpd
sage


Reged: 04/13/08

Re: New app Double Stars for scope and binocs new [Re: mcgibbon]
      #5177958 - 04/18/12 05:07 AM

Thanks MC,

Have you considered having a filter that displays just the doubles that are currently visible, maybe above a certain altitude? Else one has to browse through the Smart Tours list to find the ones that are currently up and viewable.

JohnD


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mcgibbon
Vendor -VerticalTurtle


Reged: 04/05/12

Re: New app Double Stars for scope and binocs new [Re: johnpd]
      #5178934 - 04/18/12 05:16 PM

Yeah good idea.
I'll chat with 'technical' about that.

Of course is will only show you what is visible but in a time window based on NOW until x hrs in the future so they may not have risen yet, but will. It shouldn't show you any that are actually impossible.

I'm getting observation withdrawal symptoms. Too many busy days and dozy evenings. Weather dipped recently too. Looking forward to my next DS session.


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Sarkikos
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/18/07

Loc: Suburban Maryland, USA
Re: New app Double Stars for scope and binocs new [Re: btschumy]
      #5180218 - 04/19/12 12:41 PM

I second the motion for an Android port. I don't do Apple.

Mike


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mcgibbon
Vendor -VerticalTurtle


Reged: 04/05/12

Re: New app Double Stars for scope and binocs new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5180608 - 04/19/12 05:17 PM

Mike - shame. Looks from your signature like you do everything else!

Seriously tho' it's unlikely. Although we are classed as vendors this is our hobby not our jobs.


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Sarkikos
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/18/07

Loc: Suburban Maryland, USA
Re: New app Double Stars for scope and binocs new [Re: mcgibbon]
      #5180752 - 04/19/12 07:44 PM

I must draw the line somewhere ...


Mike


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Buxvivo
newbie


Reged: 03/30/12

Re: New app Double Stars for scope and binocs new [Re: mcgibbon]
      #5352010 - 08/04/12 05:32 PM

Is there any likelihood that it will be compatible with iPod Touch anytime soon?

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