Wednesday, November 2, 2016

KStars Lite 1.0.0 is released on Google Play!

A couple of days after the release of KStars 2.7, the KStars team is happy to announce the availability of KStars Lite for Android, now available on the Google Play Store.

KStars Lite is our successful Google Summer of Code project for 2016. It was developed by our star student and active developer Artem Fedoskin who managed within a few months to create a QML/QtQuick lite version of desktop KStars with many features including:

Full Skymap

Sky Map
A beautiful sky map that takes you into deep space to see stars, planets, galaxies, and much more:

  1. All Solar System Objects
  2. Constellation Art
  3. Constellation Boundary Lines, Lines, Names
  4. Equatorial Coordinate System
  5. Horizontal Coordinate System
  6. Deep Sky Objects
  7. Stars and Deep Stars
  8. Ecliptic, Equator and Horizon
  9. Milky Way
  10. Satellites
  11. Supernovae
  12. Labels

GPS-Based Location

While you can select your location from the thousands of cities shipped with KStars Lite, you can also simply ask it to automatically fill that information and it would fetch your location within a few seconds!

This feature is very handy when you're on the field and want to see an accurate representation of the night sky form your current location.

KStars Lite fetches not only longitude and latitude information, but also geographic information about your current location (city, state, country) via Google services.

Color Schemes

Similar to the desktop KStars version, KStars Lite support setting of several color schemes.

Most notable is the Night Vision scheme that enable your eyes to adjust to the darkness while still being able to utilize the sky map fully without any blazing glares that could ruin your night vision.

Projection Systems

Select from various projection systems. A projection system is used to map 3D space into your 2D screen, and there are many ways to do it including:

  1. Lambert azimuthal equal-area projection.
  2. Azimuthal equidistant projection.
  3. Orthographic projection.
  4. Equirectangular projection.
  5. Stereographic projection.
  6. Gnomonic projection.

Find Any Object

KStars Lite provides you with a convenient search functionality to search within KStars catalogs that includes thousands of stars, galaxies, nebulae, and solar system objects. When an object is found, you can go to the object on the sky map or view detailed information about it.

But what if the object is not found within KStars database? Do not worry! KStars include functionality to search numerous online catalogs for millions of objects. Once found, the KStars database downloads the new object data, and includes the new object just like a regular KStars object where you can view its information, center it...etc

Detailed Object Info

Explore detailed object information provided by KStars Lite. This includes images, position and time information, and links to pursue further information on the object.

Want to know when the project will pass overhead? Check the position tab. Want to see more images of the object? Check the links tab. Have some notes to write about the object? Save them in the logs tab.

The general tab includes the most prominent information about an object such as its magnitude, its distance from earth, and its angular size in the sky.

Full INDI Client Support

Control your Telescope, CCD, DSLR, and even your complete observatory within KStars Lite. With its first class INDI client support, you can connect to an INDI server running your equipment, and start controlling them immediately.

You can track your telescope motion on the sky map, and even select any object and ask the telescope to track it. Have a camera attached to your telescope? Simply capture an image and get a live preview on KStars Lite!

No need to fiddle with cables and wires anymore, use KStars Lite to wirelessly control your astronomy equipment at any time and from any where.

What's next?

Please bear in mind this is our first KStars Lite release for Android, and while we worked hard to fix some of the quirks in the development version, there is still room for improvements including improving its stability and performance:

  1. Reduce startup time: Currently it takes about ~35 seconds for KStars Lite to startup (on my Samsung S5) which is a very long time compared to what users typically expect on Android. We will be working hard to reduce this startup time to an acceptable range.
  2. Adjust sky map to follow gyroscopic sensors: We eventually expect users to point their phone/table to any location on the sky, the KStars Lite would then adjust the sky map to show this particular region of the sky. There were several issues with using Qt Sensors that prevented this feature from making it into the initial release, but we are working on it.
  3. Ekos support: We might include some of the modules of Ekos in the Lite release.


Unknown said...

Will it be coming to F-Droid soon/at_all for us Google-less folk? Great work though, looks stunning would love to try it.

Geir Isene said...

Excellent work!

It would be helpful if you could post a step-by-step tutorial on how to control a telescope (in my case a Meade LS-8) with KStars Lite (and I do mean baby steps with no assumptions taken, like "I assume you know what INDI is" or "I assume you have the hardware necessary", etc.)

Jasem Mutlaq said...

Good idea Geir, will get to that eventually :)