StarChart

Talk about how to use and get the most out of Activities for the XO.

StarChart

Postby davewa » Fri Mar 21, 2008 2:06 pm

I've created a simple activity which provides a plot of the night sky as an aid to stargazers. Details are at http://wiki.laptop.org/go/StarChart and the activity can be downloaded from the Activity page.

The current version, which I'm calling "beta 3" has a few rough edges (it is, after all, my first Python program of any kind), but it is fully functional.

Features in the current version:

Produce a chart of the sky "right now" or for a specific time (if "right now", updates once a minute);

Specify what location the chart is for (as latitude and longitude);

Specify how dim the stars can be and still be plotted;

Show or hide the constellation stick-figures;

Control the chart color scheme and orientation.
davewa
 
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Re: StarChart

Postby metal.lunchbox » Tue May 06, 2008 5:12 pm

I love this activity you have made and have used it several times while star-gazing with the naked eye. I don't know if you are open to feature requests, but I would like to suggest the ability to find information about each star by clicking on it. I certainly appreciate how simple the activity is and I do not think it would be appropriate to make it a ton more complicated but being able to find info about the stars we are looking at would be so useful.
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Re: StarChart

Postby davewa » Wed May 07, 2008 1:20 pm

metal.lunchbox wrote:I love this activity you have made and have used it several times while star-gazing with the naked eye. I don't know if you are open to feature requests, but I would like to suggest the ability to find information about each star by clicking on it. I certainly appreciate how simple the activity is and I do not think it would be appropriate to make it a ton more complicated but being able to find info about the stars we are looking at would be so useful.

Object identification is in the works. My plan is to show the name of the star, constellation it's in, brightness (magnitude) and az-alt coordinates when you left-click. (The program will pick the brightest, nearest star to the pixel you click on.) But first, I need to retrofit internationalization into the existing code.
davewa
 
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Re: StarChart

Postby davewa » Fri Jul 18, 2008 10:08 am

StarChart version 0.40 (beta 4) is now available. This one plots the larger, brighter objects in the Messier catalog as well as stars and planets. It also has under-the-hood features for customization of catalogs and observer's position. (But these customizations require editing Python code files, though -- not for the faint-of-heart!)

Be sure to read the instructions at http://wiki.laptop.org/go/StarChart for useful hints. Enjoy!
davewa
 
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Re: StarChart

Postby davewa » Thu Sep 25, 2008 10:57 am

StarChart version 0.54 (beta 5) is now available. This one fixes the annoying bug with respect to color scheme setting, reports input errors via the Alert API instead of drawing text on the corner of the map display and has a few changes "under the hood" which make it conform to the guidelines for release 8.2.0. I've tested it in builds up to 711 and I've gotten one report that it works successfully in the 8.2.0 release candidate joyride.

See http://wiki.laptop.org/go/StarChart for instructions.
Download from http://wa1gsf.net/downloads/XO/StarChart-5.xo
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