12 December 2013

Astronomy Films

Knightware has made minor contributions to the making of two films in the recent past. One film has been released, the other will be released next summer. In each case, the filmmakers are providing some very impressive entertainment for amateur astronomers.

The first film is Ces Fous d'Astronomie (translated: "those crazy about astronomy"). It is a 60 minute film about astronomers, and it is available now on DVD from http://www.fousdastro.com/. Knightware contributed a copy of SQM Reader Pro in support of the project.

The film highlights several astronomers in their quest to view and image the night skies. Several well-known amateur and professional astronomers appear in the movie (Christian Buil, Thierry LeGault, Nicolas Outters, Hubert Reeves, André Brahic). You'll need to brush up your French for this one - it is in French with no subtitles and is beautifully produced. You can learn more and view a trailer at http://www.fousdastro.com/.

Used by permission of SV2 Studios
The second film is In Saturn's Rings. This is a unique production - taking over a million images produced by Hubble Space Telescope and various spacecraft, and processing them into an IMAX format film. The film will include a professionally written score performed by the Greensboro (NC) Symphony Orchestra, giving a real treat to eye and ear.

The film is due to be released in summer 2014, but snippets have been available for viewing over recent years. The snippets have been nothing less than stunning! You can learn more about the film and view a trailer at http://www.insaturnsrings.com/home/. The film also has a presence on Facebook, Google+, Twitter and YouTube.

Knightware (Phyllis) met the filmmaker a few years ago and was extremely impressed with his talent and vision.  Knightware made a financial contribution in support of this project.

Each of these films deserves the support of the amateur astronomy community. We hope you enjoy them!

09 December 2013

Free Meter Tools in the SQM Reader Pro Community

A new page has been published to the SQM Reader Pro 2 Licensed Users' Community. You can reach it by clicking Help | Community Page in SQM Reader Pro 2, or by visiting http://knightware.biz/community/loginfm.php and entering your log in credentials. These pages are available only to licensed users, and they provide a free service to users that upload readings to the public SQM Readings Map page. These pages are also available through the browser on any mobile device. The new page is called Meter Tools and is available from the community menu.

Community Home page

Once you reach the Meter Tools page, you can view a record of your meter installation(s). Please note that there may be multiple entries for your meter serial number. If you have used your meter at different locations, there should be multiple entries. Furthermore, when you change the timezone offset in SQM Reader Pro, perhaps for daylight saving time, this also generates an additional meter installation in the database.

If you have changed the location of your meter in SQM Reader Pro to correct an error, that also generates an additional meter installation. If you have this issue and wish to collate all readings under one location, please send an email to Knightware and we can do this for you. Please include the meter serial number and the correct location, enclosure offset and timezone offset for your meter.

Please note the Obfuscated column in the Meter Tools page. This indicates whether the true location of your meter is used or altered when displayed on the public SQM Readings Map page. Meter installation locations are obfuscated by default to protect the security of the installation. If you wish to have the true location of the meter installation displayed on the Map, please send Knightware an email and we can make this change for you. Be sure to indicate the meter serial number and other installation details.

Meter Tools page

You can view a Meter Readings Digest of your data over the last 30, 90 or 365 days by clicking the appropriate link on the Meter Tools page. The digest includes a graph of the selected meter's readings and a brief statistical analysis of the readings sample. Please note the graphing software renders the graph on demand. If you have a large number of readings (> 20,000) in the selected sample, the graph may not render because it may exceed the computation time limit for the software. If you have a moderate sized sample, please give the graphing software time to complete its rendering.

90 Day Graph & Statistics

02 December 2013

More Improvements to the Knightware Website

More improvements have been published on the Knightware website. Most noticeable are the changes to the menus throughout the site. The old menus were not friendly to mobile browsers - the drop-down capability that exposed subtopic pages didn't work on mobile browsers. The new menus are mobile-friendly so that the entire site can be navigated efficiently on a phone or tablet. The site has been reviewed with 7 & 10 inch tablets, and all appears well. In fact, you can still view an abbreviated version of any observing plan in the Plan Library with your mobile device browser - just log into the User's Community and browse.

New mobile-friendly menus

SQM Reader Pro Community Updates

Plans are underway to provide new tools for users of SQM Reader Pro 2 that contribute data to the SQM Readings Map page. Users have already contributed over 66,000 readings, and the new tools will help users understand their data in new ways. Tools should begin to appear in the SQM Reader Pro 2 user's community soon - please stay tuned.

Getting More Social

You may notice that social bookmarking buttons have been added to the bottom of most web pages. These buttons will help users to bookmark the pages that are most beneficial to them while sharing links to these pages with friends. We have also added a 'Link To Us' page that we hope will encourage users to share information about Deep-Sky Planner and SQM Reader Pro with others. We thank you in advance for sharing links to the website!

Link To Us page

Introducing: deepskyplanner on Google+

Finally, there is a new deepskyplanner page on Google+. We expect to use this page initially like our page on Facebook - to share announcements about new observing plans, new product features, etc. We will monitor the popularity of the Google+ page and consider using the vast array of features that Google+ offers in the future. Please add the deepskyplanner page to your circles!