Changes Between V3.1 and V3.2A of "The Earth Centered Universe"
Below is the list of changes resulting in ECU V3.2A:
- Added multiple (10 level) undo capability. This feature can also be disabled to avoid allocating the necessary memory used for these feature - this is useful to improve performance on computers with limited memory).
- The "Fields of View" feature has been completely revamped and is now called "Field Targets".
- You can now place up to 25 Field Targets on the sky display in arbitrary location.
- Targets are placed on the sky display based on the current "default" Field Target.
- Each Field Target now consists of up to 3 circles and two rectangles. The rectangles can now be rotated to any arbitrary angle.
- The maximum size of Field Targets has been increased to 90 degrees.
- Buttons are provided to quickly set the Field target to the popular Telrad and Quikfinder fields of view.
- Field Targets can now be turned off in the "Lines" dialog box.
- Added toolbar buttons for Horizontal and Vertical Flip, and Sky Display Mode.
- The field flip status was removed from the status line (it is now shown on the toolbar).
- Field flips now have their own sub-menu ("Flip" in the "Field" menu).
- The Zoom items in the "Field" menu are a sub-menu.
- The SAC database is only searched if Deep Sky objects are enabled (allowing for better control of what is searched).
- 'PK' (planetary nebulae) button was added to the "Database Search" dialog box.
- Clicking the right mouse button over the local time entry on the status line now displays the "Julian Date/Local Sidereal Time" dialog box.
- Clicking "zoom-in" toolbar button with the right mouse button causes a "Zoom-in Full" (0.5 degrees).
- Clicking "zoom-out" toolbar button with the right mouse button causes a "Zoom-Out Full" (180 degrees).
- Clicking "Telescope" toolbar button with the right mouse button displays the "General Settings" dialog box.
- Clicking "Database Search" tool bar button with the right mouse displays the "Object List" dialog box.
- The "Identify Object" dialog box is more compact when the telescope interface isn't enabled (scope and sync buttons removed). More descriptive text is used on the buttons in boths modes of the dialog box.
- You can now separately set the toolbar and status line to "night vision mode." This feature was added so that ECU can operate better with other programs that have a night vision mode.
- More Named Deep Sky Objects have been added.
- Many more common star names have been added.
- In the "Labels" dialog box, "Bright Stars" are now called "Common Names".
- User objects can now use the "Notes" button in the "Identify Object" dialog box.
- The Principle Galaxy Catalog (PGC), containing 81,330 galaxies, is now included. The fields in the database include (if known): the location, magnitude, up to five names, the size, position angle, class, and the radial velocity. The distance implied by the radial velocity is also calculated (H0=75).
- The General Catalog of Variable Stars (GCVS), containing 28,332 variable stars, is now included. The fields in the database include (if known): the object name, the maximum and minumum magnitudes, the type of variablility, the period, the julian date of a previous maximum, the spectral type, and the magnitude rise time (%). The date/time of the next predicted maximum (based on the period and the date of a previous maximum is calculated.
- The Washington Visual Double Star Catalog (WVDS), containing 78,100 pairs of double stars, is now included. The fields in the database include (if known): the discoverery code, its DM catalog designation, the magnitudes of the components, the combined magnitude of the system, the separation and position angles at up to two dates, and the spectral type.
- Added the "Telescope Goto Limits" dialog box for goto-type scopes - this allows you to specify declination and/or altitude limits that the scope will move to. This will help avoid such things as "breaking" your CCD camera if the scope tries to move too far North in declination in a SCT-type telescope.
- Added the "Auto Track Telescope" feature to improve the intellegence of the "Track Telescope" feature. It helps avoid the "Track Telescope" feature from immediately re-centering the Sky Display back where the telescope is pointed after you centre on a object outside the current field. If enabled, the Track Telescope feature is disabled after a successful object search (Center on Database Search, Center on Named Deep Sky Object, etc.) and re-enabled when the telescope is instructed to "goto" an object.
- The telescope location pointer now uses the new default "Field Target" (see above).
- The baud rate used to communicate with the telescope can now be selected in the "General Settings" dialog box.
- When selecting a telescope type (in the "General Settings" dialog box) a suitable baud rate is automatically set.
- A new faster update rate of 0.05 seconds has been added.
- When selecting a telescope type (in the "General Settings" dialog box) a suitable update rate is automatically set.
- Better support added for Meade Autostar-based telescopes.
- Added support for the Autostar II-based Meade LX200GPS series of telescopes.
- Added specific support for the Micro-Guider 5.
- Added support for the Losmandy Gemini GOTO telescope mount (this telescope is listed as experimental until I receive feedback from more Gemini owners).
- Added support for the Starmaster SkyTracker GOTO telescopes (this telescope is listed as experimental until I receive feedback from more SkyTracker owners).
- Added support for the Celestron NexStar telescopes (the GT series are listed as experimental until I receive feedback from more GT owners).
- Fixed bug where-by very fast computers were sending the resolution data to the Micro-Guider 3 encoder interface faster than it could handle it.
- Fixed bug in "Set Telescope Geog. Location" for eastern longitudes.
- Fixed bug in "Set Telescope Time" - it now properly handles the time if the computer's clock is set to UTC.
- Minor planet elements have been updated (there are now over 150,000 of them!).
- Planets and the Sun now display their distance from the Earth in millions or billions of km and in the time it would take light to travel that same distance.
- Asteroids/Comets now display their distance from the Earth and the Sun in millions of km.
- Loading new orbit files no longer disables the telescope interface, which may have previously requiring a re-alignment.
- Fixed the transit calculation bug that occasionally reported erroneous transits for high declination objects.
- Fixed the Saturn magnitude calculation so that it now matches the Astronomical Almanac.
- Fixed the Moon Phase bug - it was not updating in the "Sun and Moon Data" dialog when the date was changed.
- Configuration files from V3.0 and V3.1 of ECU are automatically read and converted to V3.2 format. This operation is totally transparent. Remember, however, that files written by V3.2 cannot be read by earlier versions.
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Last Updated: November 9, 2002 by Webmaster, Nova