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Virtual Moon Atlas - Beginner's Tutorial

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#1 asaint



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Posted 03 December 2005 - 07:50 AM

Virtual Moon Atlas - Beginner's Tutorial

#2 Ron B[ee]

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Posted 03 December 2005 - 10:56 AM

Virtual Moon Atlas - Beginner's Tutorial

That is a mighty fine tutorial, Erika :waytogo::waytogo:. I sure wished I had this tutorial when I first found out about the VMA - would have made it a lot easier to used the program back then ;).

It is my fondest wish that you'll expand your tutorial to the "Intermmediate Tutorial" :bow:. The VMA has now become features rich and there are lots of features that the "graduated" Beginners may not even be aware of or what they do. I look forward to see it ;).

Ron B[ee]

#3 LivingNDixie


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Posted 03 December 2005 - 12:48 PM

Awesome write up Erika!

#4 desertstars



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Posted 03 December 2005 - 12:54 PM

Nice work, Erika!

All you would-be lunatics out there, commence downloading!

#5 basel10


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Posted 03 December 2005 - 01:12 PM

It is a very good tutorial and the Moon is saddly one of the most ignored objects we observe even though it is the most obvious.
I do think the system requirements are not correct. I can run the latest pro on a P3 800 with 32meg geforce 2 graphics card. Yes it is OpenGL but no where near as resource hungry as even an opengl game 4 that is years old.

#6 Erix


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Posted 03 December 2005 - 02:00 PM

Thank you everyone. Ron, your fondest wish will be granted...how can I resist? :grin: I will upgrade my machine to the newest Expert addition to write the next tutorial before upgrading to the Pro version. As it is, I didn't include all the features in the beginner's tutorial as there is so much available on it to assist us in our adventure of learning the Moon. Christian Legrand has stated that he will monitor our discussion so that he or Patrick could answer our questions should the need arise.

The system requirements came from the VMA site for the Pro Version and I believe it was brought to that standard so that we can use all the functions without delay and for smoothness. You will not need all that for the Beginner's version. Photonovore, one of our lunartics in the Lunar Observation forum, is able to run the most recent VMA Pro version on a 1ghz windows computer with 256mb ram. It was a little bit slow in loading, but other than that, had no problems running it. Mardi (Photonovore) has since then added more RAM, which speeded things up a bit. I would suggest adding more ram if needed to adjust for this...which I have recently done myself.

For anyone wishing to look further into a discussion we are having regarding this tutorial, please visit Beginner's tutorial on VMA in the Lunar Observation Forum .

#7 microbes



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Posted 04 December 2005 - 04:00 PM

Thanks for this review. I just downloaded and installed the "pro" version. It runs fine on 1.8 Ghz machine with 256 megs of ram. It is a HUGE download, something like 360 megs. On a fast cable connection it took about 15 or 20 minutes, on a dial up connection it would take forever and a day. But it's most certainly worth the download.

I've been playing with it a little, and the only flaw I can find is their estimate of the "minimum instrument required" to find and examine some of the features on the moon. I think they over estimate the size scope that is needed on at least some of the features. One of the first things I ever did with a 60mm scope was to sit with a moon map and ID the features around Plato one night, and it certainly doesn't take a 100mm refractor to see and identify Pico Mons, even for someone with hardly any time at the eye piece.

#8 CarlD


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Posted 05 December 2005 - 10:13 AM

Thank you Erika.... for this excellent start in Lunar study.... I am fairly new to CN and have not taken the time to view our Moon. This "beginners" forum will now give me more incentive and understanding for certain.... again Thank you....


#9 Jim Carpenter

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Posted 05 December 2005 - 10:47 AM

Excellent article, Erika. Have you considered publishing as a PDF that can be easily downloaded?


#10 ArizonaScott


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Posted 05 December 2005 - 01:16 PM

Gulp! That is one fine article Erika! :waytogo: Dare I say it, but even a deep-sky junkie like me wanted to take a long hard look at VMA after reading your article with enthusiasm. Thanks for your service :applause:

#11 Erix


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Posted 05 December 2005 - 02:39 PM

Microbes, I've also noticed that their minimum equipment needed is a little on the safe side. I'm not sure why that is, but I'd say it is a nice surprise to find and observe a feature when you weren't expecting to be able to find it with the scope or binoculars you're using. It just goes to show you that it certainly doesn't hurt to have a look anyway just in case...

Carl, I'm excited that you still have your first lunar observation in store. All areas of astronomy fascinate me, but I do have to admit that our Moon gives me the most enjoyment. Especially as it seems ever changing and there's much at hand to learn about it. Good luck and I wish you wonderful views....and don't forget to check in with the Lunar Observation forum to assist or for you to share your observations. We're always thrilled to hear of the moon through other's eyes.

Jim, I didn't consider making a PDF. Thank you for the idea.

Scott, let me entice you with the wonders of Lady Luna! She's always happy for a visit.

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