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iPhone/iPod Touch Astronomy Software

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#51 timmbottoni

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 03:19 PM

Thanks to all for this very informative thread!

I am planning on getting an Ipod Touch and this has given me a lot of information

Timm

#52 timmbottoni

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 04:34 PM

I don't think any of the existing software supports controlling a scope. Part of the problem is that iPhone/iTouch doesn't have bluetooth or a serial port. To control a scope you would need to use the wireless internet functionality to talk to a computer that was itself connected to the scope. Then the iPhone is basically acting as a remote and you would still need a real computer present.


It looks like the ability to do this will now be available with the new iPhone/iPod touch 3.0 software that will be available this summer. It will be a simple free upgrade for all iPhone users. There is support for communicating via blue-tooth through third-party hardware in the 3.0 firmware update.


http://www.engadget....ub/iphone-os-30

Link for more info on this feature and others - looks promising!

Timm

#53 FoxTrot

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 04:30 AM

I don't want to sound like an "Apple Fanboy"... aw... what the heck, I admit I am! With full Bluetooth and Starmap Pro, I hope there is real potential here to combine the two. Thank you Apple, we live in fast moving times... Fox!

PS: given full B/T and Starmap Pro, is it possible to control the LXD75 with the iPhone 3G? What additional hardware would I need...? Fox.

#54 timmbottoni

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 09:19 PM

Welcome, Dave! Great first post!

The Star Map program looks good. The web site has a good run through, slide show of its major features. The designer has taken good advantage of the iPhone basics... it just looks right. Now, alas, he only has a very limited set of DSOs... but he is working on bringing the NGC and IC to it.

I hope he'll also have a way for people to upload additional databases--and even a conversion from databases for other programs.

I'd also like to see Planetarium and Astromist for the Palm get ported over!


I love Astromist for the Palm - I asked the question on the Astromist Yahoo group but it doesn't sound like it is in the works.

Of the ones I have looked at online, StarMap Pro seems to be the one that would best suit my needs.

Timm

#55 Brian Gibson

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 09:32 PM

Hello guys, this is my first post in this thread.

I created the ClearSkyClock sidebar gadget for Windows Vista and having recently upgraded to the iPhone decided to replicate the functionality (which is different from what iCSC provides) by creating a SkyCharts web app. I have submitted a review article to Cloudy Nights for consideration but the application is available today and you are welcome to give it a try. The URL is http://www.apple.com.../skycharts.html

Brian Gibson

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#56 timmbottoni

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Posted 26 March 2009 - 04:08 PM

Cool stuff!

THANKS

Timm

#57 CarterB

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Posted 29 March 2009 - 09:04 PM

Star Map Pro came out today for $19. I'm downloading it now (100+MB) and will post back. I'll probably write my first app store review as well because at this price people will want to know.

====

Some time later:

I've played with Star Map Pro for about 15 minutes now. Pretty solid program (no crashes). Lots of customization and everything advertised in the movie seems to be there. Gotchas so far: as you use your finger to glide along the sky, at the zenith your finger flicks have unexpected direction changes (flick up and it rotates to the right). Sorta like controlling a Dob at the zenith. Other thing that has bothered me a bit is the lack of searching. I wanted to see how easy it would be to find M81/82 so I went to galaxies. From there I had to chose the constellation (which have their "translated" names like Great Bear, Little Dog) and from there a list of galaxies common names (Cigar, etc). Ok, I've now learned there is a universal search (Catalog) so you can type in M81 and it gives you a list of the objects, you click the one you want and are taken to it.

Anyway despite the nitpicks, program looks really good so far. Nightvision mode is good (though the apple stuff at the top like time stays white), I've easily added my telescope and eyepieces, telrad, etc. More and more fainter DSO are added as you zoom in. I love the "tonight" mode telling me when various objects rise, sorta like having that S&T sky map in your pocket. Saturn's ring seem to be properly defined (edge on now, tilted in 2013).

More to come...

#58 FoxTrot

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 06:25 AM

Hi CarterB! Awesome news, I'm downloading it now. The app is 57.2MB, where did your figure of 100MB come from? Cheers, Fox.

PS: You can set the Constellation names to familiar standard names via Settings, Stars, Constellation names. You can also hide the Apple status bar via Settings, Navigation, Status bar. :waytogo:
Fox

#59 timmbottoni

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 09:16 AM

Thanks for the updates Carter and Fox!

Sounds great - now all I need is an IPod Touch - which I hope to be buying by May

Timm

#60 Myles

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 02:37 PM

Excellant.
I can't wait.
Can't download now because my iPhone firmware needs to be upgraded to 2.2.1 and I am on vacation in Zion NP without my laptop.
Oh well.
Myles

#61 Myles

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 02:37 PM

Excellant.
I can't wait.
Can't download now because my iPhone firmware needs to be upgraded to 2.2.1 and I am on vacation in Zion NP without my laptop.
Oh well.
Myles

#62 Brian Gibson

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 03:00 PM

Thanks for the heads-up guys. I bought Starmap Pro today too and based on my first look it seems like a great addition to my iPhone astronomy apps. I am impressed with the size of the database and the number of user controlled settings. I have been using Star Walk on my iPhone and I must say that at $4.99 it is a nice little planetarium app too. It doesn't have a large database but it is very responsive when zooming around and the views it presents are quite impressive. I enjoy using it.

I would like to see the ability to download current visible comets from the web in future updates.

Brian

#63 antilles72

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 01:41 PM

Hmmm. I need to check StarMap out. Looks like a cool app.

#64 ilovecomets

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 08:03 PM

I wish there was a way to upgrade from Starmap to Starmap Pro. I did get a good year of use out of it, so I guess it's time to try out the new one. I do like the realtime position of the moons feature. Other cool apps to check out:
GoSkySat <- My favorite
GoSkyWatch
Moon Atlas
Mars Atlas
CSC

Sean

#65 Brian Gibson

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 10:17 PM

The appstore enhancements that are being released with iPhone OS 3.0 this summer will allow developers to sell upgrades from within their existing applications. It will also provide a means to sell subscriptions for apps.

Brian

#66 ilovecomets

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 08:00 AM

Yeah I can't wait for 3.0 (running the dev copy on mine right now). So Starmap Pro is well worth the price. Incredible piece of software. I cut a piece of rubylinth for the iPhone and it's perfect for the field. When I do the iPhone shuffle with the new version this June I'll be dedicating my current one for full time night use. Between the apps I mentioned above and iEphemeris this will be a great companion at the eyepiece.

Sean

#67 Astraforce Paul

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Posted 07 April 2009 - 05:33 PM

Sean, would like to hear more about the apps you listed!

"GoSkySat <- My favorite
GoSkyWatch
Moon Atlas
Mars Atlas
CSC"

I hadn't realized there was a Mars Atlas out. CSC must be Clear Sky Clock; is it the same as iCSC?

Does GoSkyWatch provide you with anything that SMP doesn't?

I have Moon Map Lite (cheapskate so far here, I am), so I should check out the Moon Atlas.

I couldn't find GoSkySat on the App Store! Is it a desktop/laptop program?

#68 Brian Gibson

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Posted 07 April 2009 - 07:51 PM

I think Sean's reference to CSC was to the iCSC native app in the appStore but you may want to try my SkyCharts web app version of Clear Sky Charts which I mentioned in a previous post and is available directly from http://www.apple.com.../skycharts.html

Brian

#69 ilovecomets

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 09:01 AM

Yes CSC is actually iCSC. Works great. Mars Atlas and Moon Atlas are incredible. Real time view of each object and you can zoom in for quite a lot of detail. Moon Atlas works well because you can zoom right on on the terminator and be able to identify what you're looking at. Mars Atlas will be really handy the next opposition since you can match up what you're seeing in the eyepiece for features.

GoSatWatch is my favorite. Real time positioning of satellites as well as upcoming tracks. It's Heavens-Above in your pocket. With the release of StarMap Pro I think it's the best astro program out there. Well worth the price. With a red rubylinth film it's perfect for in the field use. I don't see the need of a star atlas at this point. Check them out.


I just submitted the first of a few articles on iPhone Astronomy apps. First are GoSatWatch and GoSkyWatch which hopefully will be posted soon. Next up is a review of the two Atlas programs which I find very handy. Keep an eye out for them.

Sean
Sean

#70 Astraforce Paul

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 05:05 PM

I must have mistyped GoSatWatch when I first tried to find it because it didn't show up in the app store. But now I see it and will read the reviews. Thanks for the positive feedback about it!

One of the planetarium apps should fold in the satellite tracking...

#71 KimB

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 01:07 PM

I tried out Starmap Pro in the field yesterday. Works well, but is there any way to stop the bright unlock screen from being displayed every time I wake up my iPod touch?

#72 Brian Gibson

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 02:22 PM

Did you try turning off Auto Brightness and lowering the Brightness slider in Settings? Changing your wallpaper to a darker picture or simple black background might help too.

Brian

#73 KimB

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 12:58 PM

Thanks, I'll try changing the wallpaper.
Kim

#74 CarterB

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Posted 27 April 2009 - 07:35 AM

You can also turn off your auto-lock. This certainly can cause battery drain but at least you are assured of not blinding yourself. Richard Solo has nice backup iphone/ipod battery currently on sale for $35. I don't have this model (with the flashlight) but a very similar one and it works well.

http://richardsolo.c...PROD&ProdID=325

#75 timmbottoni

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Posted 27 April 2009 - 09:06 PM

I tried out Starmap Pro in the field yesterday. Works well, but is there any way to stop the bright unlock screen from being displayed every time I wake up my iPod touch?


Me too - I just got an IPod Touch 16GB and downloaded StarMap Pro - it's AWESOME!

Timm


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