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Virtual Moon Atlas Version 7

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#1 Ch. Legrand

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Posted 26 June 2020 - 12:50 AM

Dear colleagues,

 

Maybe this announcement would have been better placed in the "software" forum. If yes, we thank in advance the moderation to do this operation.

 

We are pleased to announce the launch of the new version 7 of the Virtual Moon Atlas (VMA).

 

In 2002 appeared the first version of VMA and we gradually improved it.Since 2012, the launch date of the last version 6.0, we have been waiting for data coming from the recent Chandrayann 1 and GRAIL lunar probes as well as new, more precise data from the venerable Kaguya and LRO probes to be able to make them compatible with VMA.

Having meanwhile devoted 4 years of development to the first two versions of the "Virtual Planets Atlas / VPA" (http://www.ap-i.net/avp/fr/start), we had temporarily stopped developing the VMA.

But today, new data having been collected by new lunar probes and processed by several teams, we have enough "material" to release a new version. So we are happy to present to you now after three years of development the new version 7 of "Virtual Moon Atlas".

 

You will find below the detailed new features of this version 7. We invite you to download it free from our site and test it.

 

https://www.ap-i.net/avl/en/start

 

We hope that these new functionalities will be useful for your lunar observing sessions or surveys

 

Best regards,

 

Christian Legrand and Patrick Chevalley

---------------------------------------------------------- ----------------------------------------------

NEW MODULES:
Improvement of the "ATLUN" module ©:
The ATLUN module has been improved on five points:
- Modernization of the interface : Addition of buttons and sliders with more current appearance change
- Possibility to use the VMA on two separate monitors
- Possibility to move and delete the system of informative tabs
- Ability to use dark themes in Windows 10
- Improved database management
- Increased display of names
- Introduction of different translations of the VMA interface or of certain databases in German, Catalan, Czech, Spanish, Greek, Dutch, Hungarian, Italian, Lithuanian and Slovak, in addition to French and English.

 

NEW GENERAL TEXTURES:
We had retrieved the best digitized versions of new public domain lunar maps produced from recent probes data and then adapted them to the VMA display engine.

1) The level 6 "LRO / Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter" photographic texture:
Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, currently in lunar orbit, transmits images of the lunar surface reaching a resolution of 1 m. As full coverage at a given resolution progresses, Mark Robinson of Arizona State University and his LRO team publish new global maps of the Moon. The one we are introducing today in the VMA corresponds to the highest resolution available to date. It reaches a resolution of 59 m.

2) The reconstituted texture "LOLA-Kaguya-Shaded"
Mosaic of the original images of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (USA) and Kaguya (Japan) probes assembled from USGS data. This texture has a variable resolution reaching 60 m / pixel in the best places. It is a "texture with shaded relief". It is not a photograph because it was established by computer from the altimetric data collected by the two probes to create a DEM (Digital Elevation Model).

3) The "Clementine negative" texture:
It is a black and white albedo texture, but the gray levels are reversed as in a photo negative. This particularly highlights the ejecta from recent craters.
Thank you to the teams that produced these datas.

4) The texture "USGS Unified Geological 2020"
It is a color texture showing the different natures of lunar terrains established from the most recent results of several probes and produced by Corey M. Fortezzo (USGS), Paul D. Spudis (LPI), and Shannon L. Harrel (SD Mines) for the US Geologic Survey / Astrogeology Science Center in Flagstaff.

Thank you to the teams that produced these datas.

 

NEW SCIENTIFIC LAYERS:
We have treated 5 new "scientific" layers to study the lunar surface:
- GRAIL "Bouguer gravity" (Variation in lunar gravity according to the so-called "De Bouger" method) / 2 versions
- GRAIL "Free air gravity" (Lunar gravity variation according to the so-called "Free air" method)
- GRAIL "Crustal thickness" (Variation of the thickness of the lunar crust)
- Chandrayann "Water" (Detection of surface water by the Indian Chandrayann 1 probe).
Thank you to the teams that produced these datas.

 

NEW "HISTORICAL TEXTURES":
We have converted new public domain historical maps to make them usable by the VMA. You can now compare the work of these other pioneers of lunar exploration with current data. These maps show of course only the visible face of the Moon and there are sometimes significant differences in the position of the formations although these are more and more reduced with the last two proposed:
- Rheita / 1645 (B & W version)
- Divini / 1649 (B & W version)
- Riccioli / 1651 (B & W version)
- Beer & Mädler / 1845 (B & W version)
- Fauth / 1936 (Color Version)

 

NEW DATABASES:
Three new databases have been converted to VMA format:
- Integration of the new version of the anonymous crater database LU 78487 by Gordan Salamuniccar and his team (78,000 craters described)
- Integration of the new anonymous crater database "Global lunar craters database" by Stuart Robbins of the Southwest Research Institute (1,300,000 craters identified and measured)
- Integration of the NELIOTA database produced by the National Observatory of Athens which identifies contemporary meteoritic impacts on behalf of ESA.
Thank you to these authors for their authorization to use their work in VMA.

 

NEW IMAGE LIBRARY:
"Best of Cathala" image library:
Luc Cathala produces gorgeous lunar pictures using a 625 mm diameter Dobsonian. With a QHYSIII178M camera, he takes pictures sometimes reaching a resolution of 300 m. He gave us permission to build a “Best of Cathala” image library with his production, which becomes the largest of the VMA amateur image libraries containing 679 formations images in different lightings. Another big thank to Luc for sharing his remarkable work.

 

NEW DOCUMENTATION:
The general documentation of VMA 7.0:
The illustrated documentation of VMA. has been updated with screenshots and photos in situation showing the new possibilities offered by this new version 7. We have also produced a PDF version of 200 pages which includes the manuals of the different modules and the tutorial.

 

NEW DISTRIBUTION:
To make this new version available for those who do not have a high-speed Internet connection to download it (More than 8 GB with modules, textures, scientific layers, image libraries), or for those who wish to support our action , we are now editing a distribution SD card installing the entire VMA version 7.0 (Command Center, ATLUN, PHOTLUN, DATLUN, WEBLUN modules, databases, “low resolution” and “high resolution” textures, dynamic shadows, scientific layers and public domain image libraries). This card is then reusable by the owner.


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#2 dcornelis

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Posted 26 June 2020 - 03:08 AM

Yesterday evening I was using version 6 and decided to check if there was an update, you can imagine my surprise at seeing v7 had been published 2 hours before! For me this software is totally unique in its form, it is the Aladin sky atlas equivalent for the moon.



#3 PEterW

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Posted 26 June 2020 - 07:23 AM

See the recently stitched Apollo LAC/LM charts just posted to CN, be good to include? Can’t wait to download soon and find out what new features you’ve added. Once again, thanks for all your tireless effort!
PEter

#4 RazvanUnderStars

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Posted 26 June 2020 - 09:10 PM

Christian and Patrick, thank you very much for all the work you've done; I've been using and recommending VMA for years. 



#5 frank5817

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Posted 26 June 2020 - 11:58 PM

Christian,

 

I put a link to this thread in the Astronomy Software & Computers Forum.

 

Frank



#6 zanxion72

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Posted 27 June 2020 - 12:08 AM

Very good news, but it almost does not run on my computer. While with the older version I had about 40 fps, with this on I get 2-3 fps and it gets to the point of unusable.

Is it possible to get the older version again?


Edited by zanxion72, 27 June 2020 - 12:09 AM.


#7 catalogman

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Posted 27 June 2020 - 08:19 AM

<snip>

 

Is it possible to get the older version again?

 

Older versions are still hosted on Sourceforge:

 

https://sourceforge....1- virtualmoon/

 

-- catalogman



#8 Diomedes

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Posted 27 June 2020 - 09:45 AM

wow this software is awesome ! thank you !!! 


Edited by Diomedes, 27 June 2020 - 11:12 AM.


#9 Steve Cox

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Posted 27 June 2020 - 10:56 AM

Christian and Patrick, thank you both very much, am downloading now.

 

On another note, and not to change the subject, but are you intending to update your Virtual Planet Atlas too, or at least include additional planets?



#10 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 27 June 2020 - 01:31 PM

Merci beaucoup!



#11 Swamp Fox

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Posted 27 June 2020 - 07:25 PM

Thank you, thank you, thank you! I've used VMA for years....indispensable!!

 

Mark



#12 lphilpot

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Posted 28 June 2020 - 10:40 AM

Is there no longer a native Linux version? The only reference to Linux I found requires WINE.



#13 catalogman

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Posted 28 June 2020 - 12:12 PM

Is there no longer a native Linux version? The only reference to Linux I found requires WINE.

 

From the .pdf manual (verbatim):

 

Please note that we have abandoned the development of the MacOs version of VMA,
given the increasing complexity of adapting graphics cards to Apple computers ©. It
seems that VMA can be run under Wine, Paralells or Crossover emulators.

 

Also, we stop the Linux version development since we encouter technical difficulties
and that we know that the windows version runs well with Wine emulator on Linux.

 

-- catalogman



#14 dr.planet

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Posted 28 June 2020 - 01:13 PM

Hi Christian, as Peter noted above I'm working on a version of the pre-Apollo LAC maps that can be used in VMA.  There's a preliminary version posted in another thread on this forum.  When I get the final version done, I'd be happy to provide them for you to include with the latest VMA release.

 

Cheers,

 

   Dave



#15 lphilpot

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Posted 28 June 2020 - 01:13 PM

I wonder if CdC is next?

 

WINE is a great achievement, no doubt (and I've used it) but native binaries are always better. Looks like VMA 6 is the end of the road for me. WINE is borked on my Linux desktop and I've not explored how to fix it...

 

Thanks for the update.



#16 catalogman

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Posted 28 June 2020 - 02:48 PM

Here's more info about the lack of future Linux support for both Virtual Moon Atlas
and Virtual Planet Atlas: 

 

https://www.cloudyni...ux”/?p=10228142

 

https://www.cloudyni...ux”/?p=10228274

 

-- catalogman


Edited by catalogman, 28 June 2020 - 02:49 PM.

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#17 Bill Geertsen

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Posted 28 June 2020 - 02:51 PM

Can the 'zoom' be increased so as to study an individual crater floor?

 

BG



#18 Steve Cox

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Posted 28 June 2020 - 03:00 PM

Yep, same problems for Linux as for Mac, the program was pulled over the lack of OpenGL support.  As much grief as everyone gives MS, it seems they're the only ones willing to take the time to provide continued support for OpenGL and the applications built around it.


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#19 Patrick Chevalley

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Posted 29 June 2020 - 04:58 AM

Len,

Yes we have to stop to distribute the Linux version because of OpenGL incompatibilities.

There was issues with some Nvidia version since a few years but now the trick that allow to bypass the issue is no longer available. And worst the last version 20 of Mesa introduced this problem with more graphic card including Intel.

It is still possible to compile the code on Linux and the program can run, but it refuse to load any texture so this is useless.

 

Only the Atlas of the Moon and the Planets are affected, there is no risk for CdC or my other software because they not use OpenGL.

 

Bill,

To zoom more it is necessary to install the high resolution textures package and at least one of the very high resolution.

Then you can push the zoom to 200 (a relative scale) to make a crater like Archimedes or Arzachel to fill the screen.

 

Dave,

Thank you for this work on the LAC map!

This a very useful addition .


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#20 lphilpot

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Posted 29 June 2020 - 09:01 AM

Thanks for the clarification, Patrick.



#21 Verde

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Posted 29 June 2020 - 07:38 PM

Thank you for updating this software!  Version 6 was great, and very easy to use.  Very happy to see some higher res data packs in version 7 to help with identifying features seen in higher powers.



#22 Bill Geertsen

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Posted 01 July 2020 - 08:19 AM

Thank you for the tip about data, hi-res and ultra hi-res downloads. 

 

I have done so on two Win10 devices, one laptop and one MS-Surface. The packages show as downloaded and zipped but will not open and install with WinZip on the PC or the Surface. Zoom range remains the same, 1:1 as default.

 

Is there a step I am missing?

 

BG



#23 FeynmanFan

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Posted 01 July 2020 - 08:52 AM

Downloaded everything last night.  I'll install and configure today.  VMA has been my default for years.  Thank you gentlemen for all the work you've put into this over the years. 



#24 Bill Geertsen

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Posted 03 July 2020 - 06:55 PM

Thanks for the tips. I have it all working well, including the GoTo with the SiTech controller.

 

Is there a way to filter, list and search for specific features such as domes which may not be on the terminator?

 

BG



#25 sc285

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Posted 03 July 2020 - 07:17 PM

Patrick -

Downloaded the whole package. Been running 6 and 7 is just awesome.

I was wondering about the "dark mode" feature that is show in the documentation.

Running Win10 in dark mode, I have yet to find anything relating to how to get VMA 7 in dark mode as you show.

Any hints?




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