GSoC Update – 2

Ha, its been really long since I updated my blog on the progress in SoC.
This post is about two major changes that I’ve created in the Observing List UI.

1. The WishList + Session View:

The WishList view contains a list of objects that you’d wish to observe sometime, somewhere. This is like a super set of all objects that you’ll observe in all sessions. And you can add objects from anywhere in KStars, and even better it is auto saved.
The Session View contains the list of the objects you’d want to observe in a specific session. This is a specific list of objects from the WishList that is planned for observation. In this view, you can even set the time at which you want to observe the objects, which is defaulted to the transit time to make it user friendly. The advantages of this time setting is that it provides the Altitude and Azimuth coordinates for ease of observation. More features to come are displaying the telescope’s current coordinates if any telescope is connected and is active. The session list can be saved and loaded(which loads all parameters including the Date, Location, Time, etc.). And as mentioned in the previous post you can view the Altitude vs Time graph, plus now, you can now set the date and time and this will compute the RA and Dec coordinates with recomputing them including precession and nutation considerations.

2. The DSS image tool:

One nice feature integrated in the Observing List now is the DSS image preview. For any selected object, the user can get the DSS image by a single click, and it auto saves the images, with the option of discarding them on exit in case you want to save hard disk space. And if any image exists, this detects it and loads it instead of loading the image from the web. This is useful as, you’ll almost never have an active Internet connection in the observation area. Again, another new feature to come is the SDSS image tool, which is available for one quarter of the sky the main advantage of SDSS images is that they are not gray-scale images! So it’ll make the Observing List even cooler.

Thats it for the updates now, for a quick look of the changes, the Observing List which used to be:


Now has become:


See, its getting cooler and cooler. And if the logs are worked upon to be compatible with the OAL, our observing planner will beat lots of existant commercial software left right and center.

Cheers and happy Kontibuting. Until the next post, signing off.

  1. Kool!! Keep up 🙂
    I’m compiling kdeedu just now and will check it out.

    • Prakash Mohan
    • June 8th, 2009

    Thanks 🙂
    BTW, its not there in the main trunk.. its there in branches/kstars/summer/ if you want to look into it. I’m waiting for the hard freeze to get over so that I can merge the changes into the trunk.

    • Anon
    • June 8th, 2009

    Wow – I know nothing about astronomy alas, but I do know cool stuff when I see it 🙂 Nice work!

      • Prakash Mohan
      • June 8th, 2009

      🙂 Thanks.

  2. Yes, I just noticed 🙂 May try to have a look at summer branch.
    I just created an observing list anyway [objects brighter than 8.0], and noticed that comets have really weird magnitudes. About -600 to -150 (!?) What gives?

      • Prakash Mohan
      • June 8th, 2009

      Oh, comets magnitude is a long pending issue to be sorted out. Its kinda smudged in the new one, the mag will be “–” 😀

  3. Cool work Prakash. Keep it up.

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