Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Stellarium 11 tests

A week or so ago, I surfed into the Stellarium web site and noted that the new version was available. Ah. Not for Mac or Linux peeps, yet... Then, a few days later, I downloaded the latest version for Windows. Today I installed version 0.11.0. So to begin testing...

Discovered the Refraction / Extinction settings in the Sky and viewing options window on the Sky tab. Cool. You can specify the air barometric pressure and temperature.

Found two Equatorial grids, the current and J2000, in the Sky and viewing options window on the Markings tab. Was this added earlier? I have not noticed it before. Anyway, very handy. [ed: Was in the product during version 0.10.5...]

The frame rate still tanks when the constellation boundaries are enabled (on a Windows XP ASUS netbook).

Ooh. Big change in the Search window! It sports 2 tabs, now, Object and Position. The Object tab includes Greek letter buttons! Nice. The Position tab is obvious, being able to specify a location by RA and Dec. Well done.

Looks like there's a little new option affecting startup. You can tell Stellarium you want to start using today's date and time, a specific date and time, and—the new bit—that you can use the system date and use a specific time. [This appears on or before 10.5 to have been added.]

My favorite change? Nebula objects now appear with different icons! Dots: open cluster; cross: globular; open circle: nebula or galaxy; circle with bumps: planetary nebula.

Looks like there's a bit more info displayed now when you select an object. But, sadly, some other details are curiously absent.

Keeps on getting better.

No apparent changes to keyboard shortcuts... So my previous list, highlighting Windows and Macintosh shortcuts, stands.

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