StarStrider v2.5 : What's New
- We've managed to optimise the star database even further, especially for relativistic effects. This means that the program now both loads and runs faster - though perhaps mostly noticeable when you have a very large database (see below).
- We have created an optional 'ASCC database add on' - containing a whopping 1,462,812 stars in 3D plus a further 572,733 distant stars, i.e. 2,035,545 stars in total. They are mostly taken from the 'All-Sky Compiled Catalogue'. Compare this with the 118,218 stars of our (default) Hipparcos database.
Note that for the vast majority of these stars, no distance measurements are available. Instead the distances has been derived based on know data for the stars (star class, luminosity et c) and current theories about stellar evolution and classification.
Comparison with stars of known distances gives a statistical mean error of 35% for this method. Still, having 2 million stars can be fun :-)
This is a an *optional* add-on - and by its very nature it's quite a large download (about 32MB).
- Updated the database with refined positions of 1022 stars based on recent astronomical research. Among them are the stars of the Pleiades and the Hyades star clusters. In addition, we have applied statistical methods to tweak parallaxes of known cluster stars to make the clusters appear more isotropic.
- For most stars, planets and satellites there's now a 'More info on the web...' selection in the info dialog (right click on an object to bring up the info dialog).
Selecting it takes you to a web site with more info about that object (e.g. the 'SIMBAD Astronomical Database' or the 'Nine Planets web site').
You can also add your own links for any object in StarStrider by adding a line with an http: address in the 'annotation file' for that object (see 'How to annotate objects' in the program help file).
- In window mode, you now have a standard Windows-style program menu in addition our custom 'Tab to open' menu. It enabled on by default, but if you want a cleaner window, you can disable it by unchecking 'Use standard menu in window mode' under the File menu.
- Introducing StarLua! StarLua is a programming environment based on the 'Lua 5 (alpha)' language (see www.lua.org). It can be used to write custom extensions as well as to construct more advanced scripts and other kinds of 'programs' that runs inside StarStrider. The 'StarScript' language introduced in v2.0 is still supported (and even extended with several new options in this version). Choose which one you want to use, depending on the situation - StarScript is much simpler to learn while StarLua (being a 'real' programming language with variables, functions et c) is much more powerful but necessarily also takes more effort to learn how to use.
- Added the possibility to load and save .StarPreset files - containing the current star type, size and coloration, as well as field of view, magnitude limit and saturation magnitude.
- Pressing numeric '0' and strafing when in orbit now changes orbit radius. Pressing numeric '0' and changing
velocity while orbiting changes orbit velocity.
- 'Shift-F11' now re-centers a view in 'travel' or 'orbit' mode, if it previously has been altered (by making use of numeric '0' for instance).
- Added optional display of planet and satellite orbits.
- Added optional display of constellation borders, i.e. the borders between the areas of the sky belonging to different constellations. Only displayed when you are near the Solar system.
- Added options to display 'Bayer star names' and 'Flamsteed star names'.
- It is now possible to search for Bayer and Flamsteed star names in the Object finder (e.g. Alpha Leonis).
- Added 'Tutorial 5 - Space Travel' as well as updated the other tutorials.
- All object name display options are now moved to their own sub-menu 'Names & lines'.
- Added support for Microsoft Direct Draw Surface (.dds) texture files.
- Added an option 'Show names of selected' that forces rendering of the names (if any) of a selected object.
- Added an option to display the coordinates of the 'viewing direction'.
- Added a 'Hide names & lines' option (with 'Caps Lock' as short-cut key). Used together with with 'Hide all info' (with 'Scroll Lock' as short-cut key) it will give you a completely 'clean' sky view. Also, if you enable 'Show names of selected' but disable constellations, and then select a constellation (using the object finder) then this will draw the selected constellation (only).
- 'Hide all info' now also hides selection markers.
- Added selections for 4:3 ('rotated monitor') and 16:10 aspect ration (used by some up-coming note-books).
- Corrected satellite rotations/orbits (should now turn the correct face towards the planet).
- Replaced the Tellus cloud cover texture with a new one (in the 'large texture pack' it is now in higher resolution than before).
- Windows 95 is no longer supported, sorry...
- Numerous minor improvements, optimizations, and a few bug-fixes...
What was new in v2.0.