Release notes: Eye&Telescope 3.3

Running E&T on Windows 10


E&T 3.3 can be used with Windows 10. Due to the User Access Control security features, please note the following to make sure that E&T will runs smoothly:

  • Please run the setup program from the DVD or an update (SETUP.EXE) with administrator rights. Otherwise E&T might not work properly.

  • If the setup program fails to launch properly, please turn of your virus protection software during the installation.

  • When you launch E&T without adminstrator rights, Windows prompts you to enter an administrator password.

  • Windows asks whether the application is trusted to be safe. You can agree without hesitation here.

  • Users reported E&T hanging when they tried to enter text in the form fields of an observation or session record. Should you encounter this problem, just delete or rename the file comctl32.dll in the E&T installation directory. This file comes from an earlier version of the software that is no longer compatible with current Windows versions.

  • If you'd like to use the "remote control" feature for other planetarium type software, please make sure to deactivate the User Access Control.
    Background: Windows only allows an application to send Windows messages to other software, if it's signed with an expensive digital certificate (that had to be re-issued every year). To keep the retail price of E&T low, we do without code signing.

 

Changes in Version 3.3

New functions:

The license code is no longer needed to install or run E&T

  • With version 3.3 the serial number is all you need to unlock the software. There is no need to ask for the license code at the publisher

  • Please make sure to provide a proper user name for the logbook.

 

Automatic installation and usage of a night vision design

  • Current versions of Windows no longer support the "classic" design formerly used to implement the night vision mode

  • E&T 3.3 therefore brings it's own design that is installed when you switch to the night vision mode for the first time.

  • To be able to restore the Windows design active before entering the night vision mode, it is recommended to save your current design. You can do this by pressing <Windows> Settings > Designs

 

In planning documents and star maps, the chart numbers of the interstellarum Deep Sky Atlas are displayed. The name of this atlas is abbreviated with 'is DSA' in the position display of a star map. The chart numbers of Sky Atlas 2000 are no longer displayed.

 

In the "Ephemeris data" dialog the longitude of Jupiter's Great Red Spot (GRS) is displayed taking historical data into account.

  • The historical and more recent longitudes are stored in the grs_longitudes.txt text file.

  • The data structure used here is the same as the planetarium software Guide 9.1 uses. One row of the file holds the year, month, day and the corresponding GRS longitude. A source reference can be given, but it is optional.

  • The current GRS longitude can be taken from the  JUPOS website.

 

The star map and The Visible Sky now optionally show the galactic equator.

  • The display can be toggled with the <Q> key.

  • Alternatively the display can be toggle in the "View" menu of the star map.

  • The Visible Sky has a new checkbox to toggle the display of the galactic equator.

  • The galactic equator has it's own color setting that is accessible in the star map's "View > Colors..." menu.

 

The context menu of the Visible Sky now offers two options to open a star map:

  • Map (North up) has the same function as in earlier versions. The command has been renamed to distinguish clearly from the new option.

  • Map (Zenith up) opens the star map with the direction to the zenith pointing upwards. With this command you do not need to rotate the map manually to make it match the current look of the constellations.

  • Both commands take into account the most recently used orientations (upright, mirror reverse, inverted) of the map and the orientation settings for the map level, however. Depending on the settings, this might result in a map with north or the zenith not pointing upwards.

 

Usability improvement:

The planetarium program Guide 9.1 is now supported.

 

Bug fixes:

The image browser window position could be off screen. This has been fixed.  

When the object filter displayed several warnings, the dialog positions were "jumping around". This has been fixed. 

The list of most recently used documents now is updated to resemble files that were deleted by the user.

When launching the "Darkness" window from the Epheris data window, the time set in the ephemeris is now correctly taken over to the darkness window.

Saving a workspace did not work while the image browser was open. This has been fixed.

The context menu of "The Visible Sky" is not displayed any longer when clicking on a map position devoid of an object.

An error in rendering an object's diurnal arc in "The Visible Sky" has been fixed.

When batch printing star maps, the constellation names were incompletely rendered from the second page on. This has been fixed.

The copy command <Ctrl>+C for a star map now properly works.

When exporting log entries from your logbook, the option to copy images to the output directory is now properly taken into account.

Changes in Version 3.2

New functions:

General

With the "Magnifying glass" icon, you can now look up object information from any planning document or the logbook. 

Clicking this icon will always bring up the "Lookup object" dialog. The edit field for the object name now has a drop down field with the Sun, the Moon and the planets to look up these objects quickly. If an object for the given name is found, a new object info window is presented. 
To add objects to planning documents, please proceed as usual (in the project or map, use <F3> or "Edit.Search...", in an observing plan, type the name and click "Insert"). 

Individual horizon

You might create a horizon profile for all your observing sites now. E&T takes account for the horizon when calculating the visibility of objects. There is a comfortable editor to create and modify horizon profiles, built into the new "Visible Sky" display (see below).

The "preferred azimuth" therefore is a deprecated concept and has vanished from E&T.

 

All sky view for an observing site

The "Visible Sky" window displays the sky above a selected site in the style of a planisphere. This is handy for a quick overview and for orientation in the sky, but it offers some more advanced features:

  • Editor for the horizon profile
  • Shows the positions of the Sun, the Moon and the planets
  • Detailled visibility analysis for objects
  • Animation to manually look for conjunctions or other interesting events
  • Animation to visualize astronomical phenomena

The "Visible Sky" is accessible out of the context menus of planning documents. The settings for site and time are taken along.

Out of planning documents or the logbook, the "Visible Sky" window can be launched by clicking an icon in the toolbar.

 

Ephemeris

For the Sun, the Moon and the planets, there now is the "Ephemeris" window. Here the positions in various coordinates systems, the physical ephemerides and a realistic view of the body (including major planetary satellites) is presented. You might use animation as a simple tool to look for astronomical phenomena (maximum brightness, minimum distance, Galilean satellite events etc.).

Out of planning documents or the logbook, the "Ephemeris" window can be launched by clicking an icon in the toolbar.

 

Enhanced or improved functions

General

For an observing plan, the status bar displays some object and visibility data.

For a map, the status bar displays the date and site (used to display planetary positions).

For the "Visible Sky", the status bar displays the site, time and the altitudes of the Sun and the Moon for this settings.

E&T supports the latest version 2.1 of the log exchange format <OpenAstronomyLog>.

E&T does not require a standard printer any longer. When launched without a printer, the printing functions are not available.

In the user data for optics, the offset for the limiting magnitudes of deep sky objects has been removed. To fine tune the CAT results for your personal visual acuity, please use the observer's Faintest star offset.

Object lists from planning documents can be exported as custom object lists for the SkySafari 3.0.5 iOS app (versions "plus" and "pro" only).

Guide 9 is now supported as a planetarium program.

 

Object filter

The "Best time" is now calculated using the site's horizon profile. For speed reasons, this is optional.

For major solar system objects (the Sun, the Moon and major planets) the positions, apparent diameter and magnitude are displayed if the "Time and site" filter category is active. Via the context menu, ephemeris data can be displayed immediately.

For all objects with known position, the context menu now offers to launch the "Visible Sky" window. The current setting for time and site are taken along.

For the solar system objects, the context menu now offers to launch the "Ephemeris" window.

The "Visible Sky" and "Ephemeris" windows can be opened by clicking new icons in the toolbar.

The minimum size given on the "Objects" tab now compares against the large object diameter (previously the small diameter was considered).

The functions "File.Create observing project..." and "File.Create observing plan..." now can be launched by clicking the new icons in the toolbar.

Object list column layout (order, width) is persistent now. To change the width of a column, drag the vertical in the column header. To rearrange column order, drag the entire column header to the new position.

 

Observing project

The "Best time" is now calculated using the site's horizon profile. For speed reasons, this is optional.

For all objects with known position, the context menu now offers to launch the "Visible Sky" window. The current setting for time and site are taken along.

For the solar system objects, the context menu now offers to launch the "Ephemeris" window.

The new "Visible Sky" and "Ephemeris" windows can be opened by clicking icons in the toolbar.

The "File.Create observing plan..." function now can be launched by clicking a new icon in the toolbar.

Object list column layout (order, width) is persistent now. To change the width of a column, drag the vertical in the column header. To rearrange column order, drag the entire column header to the new position.

 

Observing plan

The edit field for the object name now has a drop down field with the Sun, the Moon and the planets to look up these objects quickly.

The simulated eyepiece view show a realistic display of the Sun, the Moon and the planets. Major satellites of the planets are rendered, too. In the enlarge eyepiece view window, you might identify big lunar craters by pointing with the mouse.

In the "Catalog data" tab, a button to open the "Ephemeris" window is available for objects of the solar system.

For all objects with known position, the context menu now offers to launch the "Visible Sky" window. The current settings for time and site are taken along.

For the solar system objects, the context menu now offers to launch the "Ephemeris" window. The current settings for time and site are taken along.

The new "Visible Sky" and "Ephemeris" windows can be opened by clicking icons in the toolbar.

In the Night vision mode, an improved color scheme makes it easy to distinguish objects already observed and objects not yet observed. The selected object is highlighted with a bold and italic font.

The status bar displays information on the selected object: name, type, magnitude, diameter and perceptibility. When the window is wide enough, the current alt/az coordinates (using the system time) are displayed if the date of the observing plan is set to the current night.

The planned observing time for an object is explicitly indicated with date and time below the tabs. This makes it more obvious whether the object shall be observed before or after midnight. This moment in time will be used when another window is opened that needs time data ("Visible Sky", "Ephemeris)". After midnight, it might cause confusion that the dates displayed in the observing plan and the other window differ by one day! The new display of the planned observing date/time should make this more clear than before.

Object list column layout (order, width) is persistent now. To change the width of a column, drag the vertical in the column header. To rearrange column order, drag the entire column header to the new position.

 

Star map

The map now "knows" of site and time and displays the positions of the Sun, the Moon and the planets. Animation is possible. Lunar occultations, solar and lunar eclipses and transits are rendered with sufficient accuracy. Optionally, the ecliptic can be displayed.

The map can be centered onto a solar system object. The setting for this is to be found in the "Solar System" menu of the star map.

The status bar shows site and the moment in time for the positions of the Sun, the Moon and the planets.

For objects already observed, a brief log summary is (optionally) displayed when you point onto them. You can turn this feature on or off using the "Logbook.Tooltips with most recent own observation" command in the map menu.

For all objects with known position, the context menu now offers to launch the "Visible Sky" window. The current settings for time and site are taken along.

For the solar system objects, the context menu now offers to launch the "Ephemeris" window. The current settings for time and site are taken along.

 

Logbook

For all objects with known position, the context menu now offers to launch the "Visible Sky" window. With this, the situation at the observation's moment in time can be reproduced.

For the solar system objects, the context menu now offers to launch the "Ephemeris" window. The observation's time and site are taken along.

Observation list column layout (order, width) is persistent now. To change the width of a column, drag the vertical in the column header. To rearrange column order, drag the entire column header to the new position.

Sessions now can have Links to files (just like observations).

In the sessions list, you can open the "Visible Sky" for the beginning or end of a session via the context menu.

Session list column layout (order, width) is persistent now. To change the width of a column, drag the vertical in the column header. To rearrange column order, drag the entire column header to the new position.

 

Darkness

From the diagram (launched with "Tools.Darkness..."), the "Visible Sky" window can be opened via the context menu. The settings for site and time are taken along (the time corresponds to the point in the diagram when the right mouse button was clicked).

 

Usability improvements:

In the session edit dialog, the descriptive texts and the new link section are now presented on four separate tabs. This gives more room the edit or read the text.

A new option allows for dialog boxes to be opened close to the mouse position (instead of at the center of the screen).

In objects lists, E&T highlights every 5th row to improve readability. Now this behaviour can be disabled with a new option.

Some users found it inconvenient that E&T prompts for saving modified documents before closing a window. A new option allows to turn this prompt off. Use it at your own risk ;-)

 

Bug fixes:

General

A bug in the "User data.Restore userdata" function has been fixed. The bug could cause new, self registered objects (like comtes, for example) to be unretrievable by name.

Observing project

The order of the objects in the list could be wrong when the project was opened.

Star map

The "Edit.Find best objects..." function now takes the given minimum size into account for the object types to render without the perceptibility check.