Thursday, August 04, 2022

testing Our Galaxy

I've been playing around with the Our Galaxy application, app, tool, software thingee...

This is the current incarnation of Where Is M13?

The old astronomy software application (for computers only) was a neat tool that showed a top-down (plan) and side (elevation) view of our galaxy and where selected objects were. As you viewed the two panels, you gained a sense of where the object was in three dimensions. Was it above the plane of the galaxy or below? Was it ahead or behind (from a galactic coordination perspective)? Was it near or far?

I wrote a review of Where Is M13? back in 2016 for my Binary Universe column in the February RASC Journal.

Over the years, I used the tool often for educational purposes (see example 1 and example 2).

Some time ago, I noted some chatter on Cloudy Nights. The author had a new version available.

I downloaded it a couple of days ago. And it's great.

Some of the big improvements are that is offers a true three-dimensional interactive view that may be panned. This further heightens the feeling of flying around in space. Also, it now runs on mobile devices. I tested in on both the Windows 10 (64-bit) and Android. The interface is quite different so that's taking a little while to get used to. Oooh. Red light mode is now available!

I sent a bunch of questions and comments to the developer.

I think I'll do a full proper new review of Our Galaxy in JRASC as it is quite different...

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