Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

Best astronomy apps for iphone and android?

This topic has been archived. This means that you cannot reply to this topic.
86 replies to this topic

#76 bensig

bensig

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 1
  • Joined: 15 Sep 2010

Posted 31 October 2011 - 02:13 AM

Here is a really cool astronomy-related app for android that allows you to see the current positions of the planets relative to the sun. Just like those devices that were used in olden times to calculate the positions of the planets by date:

https://market.andro...depraxis.orrery

#77 Jon Isaacs

Jon Isaacs

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 94,467
  • Joined: 16 Jun 2004

Posted 31 October 2011 - 09:49 AM

Here is a really cool astronomy-related app for android that allows you to see the current positions of the planets relative to the sun. Just like those devices that were used in olden times to calculate the positions of the planets by date:

https://market.andro...depraxis.orrery


Thanks for the heads up, I'll give it a look.

Jon

#78 Tom and Beth

Tom and Beth

    Skylab

  • -----
  • Posts: 4,181
  • Joined: 08 Jan 2007

Posted 01 November 2011 - 11:43 PM

I don't know if this has been addressed in this rather long thread, but just for grins I downloaded "Jupiter Guide" from the Apple store. It's freeware that shows the position of the Jovian moons and the GRS. Since I only played with it tonight and there were no special events I can't vouch yet for the accuracy, but it was very intuitive to use at the scope. One downside is that in the closeup view it does NOT show the moons nor shadow crossing the face, although it dos on the much smaller screen tap "Jupiter's Moons"

#79 lvv1227

lvv1227

    Vendor (DSO Planner)

  • -----
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 38
  • Joined: 17 Oct 2006

Posted 14 November 2011 - 02:46 AM

Try my port of Palm OS program for DSO observers to Android:
http://sourceforge.n...me/ProjectHead/


Deep Sky Objects observation planner/finder for the Android platform. Find, sort, and select DSOs from the local database, show them on the horizon star map, get info and images for the objects. Twilight, moon, and other tools.

#80 arpruss

arpruss

    Vendor: Omega Centauri Software

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 1,808
  • Joined: 23 May 2008

Posted 19 November 2011 - 11:48 AM

I've currently shelved my in-progress planetarium app, hoping that SkySafari will do most of what I want (though I am concerned about the lack of custom objects and custom catalogs), but instead I've been working on a moon map.

So far, the proof of concept is very simple: scroll and zoom (you can zoom with the zoom buttons, or with double-tap on a location, or with the volume buttons). That's all. Basically, you could get the same if you loaded one of my 5000x5000 jpeg moon maps into an image viewer (by the way, I am told that on an iPad, you can very nicely view my 5000x5000 maps right from the web), except that I couldn't find an Android image viewer that handled such large things comfortably. The download is linked from here, and it is probably better if bug reports get posted in the comments there.

Eventually, there will be a way to choose lunar features from a list, and there may be separate free and pro versions.

Attached Thumbnails

  • 4924197-LunarMap.jpg


#81 psonice

psonice

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1,113
  • Joined: 24 Jul 2009

Posted 19 November 2011 - 08:26 PM

That looks good, and a decent moon map is always useful. Some suggestions (you've probably got most of these down already, but just in case):

- Make the text for the smaller features disappear until you get zoomed in close, then put the text for the smallest feature at the front (so you don't lose the name of a crater under a giant 'MARE', and you don't lose the pole under some kind of white polar cap effect :)

- Show the terminator, and if possible use bump mapping to light the surface realistically. You're already using the height map, creating a normal map from that is quite easy, you could pre-render it (and store it as a 32bit png, as normal (RGB) + luminance). Bonus points if you manage shadows :)

- Add some info linked to the names. A simple wikipedia link should be fairly easy and adds a lot of value.

Good luck with it, looks like it'll be a good app :)

#82 arpruss

arpruss

    Vendor: Omega Centauri Software

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 1,808
  • Joined: 23 May 2008

Posted 19 November 2011 - 10:05 PM

Make the text for the smaller features disappear until you get zoomed in close, then put the text for the smallest feature at the front (so you don't lose the name of a crater under a giant 'MARE', and you don't lose the pole under some kind of white polar cap effect :)


I think the labeling algorithm works with labels ordered from largest to smallest. At least that's what the comments in the code indicate. I wrote the labeling code two years ago or so.

I use a desktop PerlMagick script to pre-render the maps with labels at four magnification levels, and it's easy to tweak that algorithm, and that's definitely something I want to explore.

Currently, the algorithm is supposed to remove small labels that overlap with with larger labels, when the small labels fall below a "discretionary size" threshold.

Show the terminator, and if possible use bump mapping to light the surface realistically. You're already using the height map, creating a normal map from that is quite easy, you could pre-render it (and store it as a 32bit png, as normal (RGB) + luminance). Bonus points if you manage shadows :)


I don't think you get much value out of realistic lighting for the effort put in.

The point of the app is to help you find and identify features at the eyepiece, and a terminator display would help with that, but the realistic lighting would do very little to that end. It would just make things pretty.

In any case, if one did the terminator, wouldn't one also want realistically 3D rendered libration, and hence one would have to do all of the rendering on the device?

Add some info linked to the names. A simple wikipedia link should be fairly easy and adds a lot of value.


Good idea, though it's likely to be hard to select in a crowded area.

#83 psonice

psonice

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1,113
  • Joined: 24 Jul 2009

Posted 21 November 2011 - 05:40 AM

I think the labeling algorithm works with labels ordered from largest to smallest. At least that's what the comments in the code indicate. I wrote the labeling code two years ago or so.

I use a desktop PerlMagick script to pre-render the maps with labels at four magnification levels, and it's easy to tweak that algorithm, and that's definitely something I want to explore.

Currently, the algorithm is supposed to remove small labels that overlap with with larger labels, when the small labels fall below a "discretionary size" threshold.


If you just store the maps without labels, and render the labels on the device later (this should be very fast and pretty easy) you'll have a lot more control. It's very useful to have a slider that controls how many labels are displayed (higher = smaller features), and you can adjust the number of labels on the fly depending on zoom level.

I don't think you get much value out of realistic lighting for the effort put in.

The point of the app is to help you find and identify features at the eyepiece, and a terminator display would help with that, but the realistic lighting would do very little to that end. It would just make things pretty.

In any case, if one did the terminator, wouldn't one also want realistically 3D rendered libration, and hence one would have to do all of the rendering on the device?


Ideally, yes - in fact it's best to render it in 3d with realistic lighting and time controls (so you can spin it around or see when will be best to photograph a particular feature). See 'moon globe' on iOS for a good example, it's both fun and very useful.

And I think you'd get HUGE value from adding this, because the app becomes not just a map, but a useful planning tool and most importantly a good education app. It would be much more popular than a standard map, meaning lots more people learn more about the moon and you get higher sales of the pro version because more people find out about it, everyone wins :)

Good idea, though it's likely to be hard to select in a crowded area.


Lucky dip? :) If you're doing labels on the device you could detect multiple hits and show a popup selection.

#84 arpruss

arpruss

    Vendor: Omega Centauri Software

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 1,808
  • Joined: 23 May 2008

Posted 21 November 2011 - 08:23 AM

Moon Globe looks great, but I don't really need it for supporting moon observations. These days, I make apps like I make telescopes: mostly for myself, and sometimes for a friend (but if a few dollars shows up from the apps, that's nice). A full 3D simulation would be about five times the effort of a simple pre-rendered 2D map, and would only be 20% more useful to me, since if I want to plan observations, I can use a desktop app. The point for me is simply not to have to take a hardcopy map and flashlight out when observing.

I agree that something like Moon Globe would be very useful, and it would be great if someone did it. But I don't have the time for it, sorry. Instead, I should put the time into something I really do need, like improving the APV PDF viewer, where I am behind on responding to some suggestions.

#85 lvv1227

lvv1227

    Vendor (DSO Planner)

  • -----
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 38
  • Joined: 17 Oct 2006

Posted 02 February 2012 - 03:31 PM

Open source project DSO Planner (for Android) significantly upgraded. It combines both the function of an observation planner (one could serach NGCIC database based on the number of criteria, create observation list, add notes to the objects observed) and planetarium (sky chart, including auto alignment, DSS pictures download, starts to 12m and much more). There is a thourough English description. As I like Planetarium a lot (PALM OS), some of its features and screens were replicated in this program.

http://sourceforge.n...nner/wiki/Home/

#86 Jon Isaacs

Jon Isaacs

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 94,467
  • Joined: 16 Jun 2004

Posted 03 February 2012 - 06:34 AM

Open source project DSO Planner (for Android) significantly upgraded. It combines both the function of an observation planner (one could serach NGCIC database based on the number of criteria, create observation list, add notes to the objects observed) and planetarium (sky chart, including auto alignment, DSS pictures download, starts to 12m and much more). There is a thourough English description. As I like Planetarium a lot (PALM OS), some of its features and screens were replicated in this program.

http://sourceforge.n...nner/wiki/Home/


I will have to give it a look. I used Plantarium for several years as my charts... Still use it because it is so easy to navigate and look at what will be happening in a week, a month or a year...

Jon

#87 lvv1227

lvv1227

    Vendor (DSO Planner)

  • -----
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 38
  • Joined: 17 Oct 2006

Posted 03 February 2012 - 11:09 AM

Planetarium was my favourite program as well. I even wrote an addendum to it which allows to look for DSOs to be observed and export them to Planetarium (a working likn below)

http://dsoastro.narod.ru/index.html

This program became the basis of the one for Android. Unfortunately, my Palm no longer works and I fully switched to Android



CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics