"SkyView(R) Lite" for Astronomy and Astrology by "Terminal Eleven"

VidThreeNorth

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People interested in astronomy or astrology might enjoy this Android app.

To use it, point the phone's camera in a direction in which you are interested and it will display prominent space features such as particular stars, planets, constellations and even man made devices. These are not photographic representations but synthesized approximations. If you are interested in astrophotography, then it should help you point your scope in the right direction. This "Lite" version is enough for me. There is a paid version called "Explore the Universe". I do not know what features it adds.

The samples are three screen captures of its representation of the constellation "Leo".

[added 2022-08-03 23:43]
The images I posted were made using the Sony Xperia's main android screen capture. I did not notice that this program had the camera icon showing. [Correction 2022-10-15 22:21: The camera icon only shows up when the phone is roughly in the horizontal layout. The icon is not at the "bottom" of the screen which I wrote before, but rather on the far right. The phone can be off-axis by about 45 degrees clockwise or anti-clockwise, but not more vertical than horizontal.]. Tonight I tried that to see if it would actually take pictures. As I wrote in the next message, the program can integrate a real photograph with its depictions of astral objects overlaid. So depending on how you set up the options, you can take essentially the same "fake pictures" from within the program without using the screenshot function.
 

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VidThreeNorth

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I have been trying the SkyView program more since my last post. It seems to be a lot more versatile than I thought. Various features can be turned off, such as the graphics for the zodiac, and the photographic capability is better than I thought. It turns out that one can take a standard photograph with the synthetic astronomy components overlayed. SkyView is calling this "augmented reality". This has some potential. Then again, if you do the black background screens, those could be composited with something else later too. Anyway, I am uploading one of the SkyView photos I took on my Sony Xperia 10 iii. This is part of Pisces with, I think Jupiter. The background is the cloud cover of the night the photo was taken. My bottom line Xperia 10 iii does not have a "night mode", but does a passable low light at night, which can be brightened further in post.

[2022-09-29 20:48
Correction: The camera does have a "Night Mode". It is at the bottom of the menu screen. If I try it, then I will probably remember it.]
 

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VidThreeNorth

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One thing that I did not figure out immediately is that the picture files created by SkyView cannot be viewed on my Windows 8.1 computer directly. I use Corel Paintshop Pro to convert the JPEGs to a viewable form. The Paintshop Pro identifies the problem as "Colorspace" needing to be adjusted for the image to load. I do not know enough about JPEGs to know what all this is about, but I will assume that the files are already "legal" JPEGs, but just not Windows JPEGs. If they were not "legal" JPEGs, then I would have expected that Corel would not have been able to load them.
 
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VidThreeNorth

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This is a problem that is a bit worse than I expected, but I do not expect that it can be solved:

The location system used by cellphones is mainly based on the GPS satellite system, which was started by the US government. According to Wikipedia, cellphones should be accurate to 4.9m, but enhance-able using WiFi. I thought that it was also enhanced by cellphone service providers, but I found no reference to that.

Anyway, as I have mentioned before, I have been having fun using the SkyView(R) program, but recently I realized that I could check it's accuracy by taking reference pictures using its built-in "display" ("augmented reality") function.

"Oops."

So I tried taking a few reference pictures and found that it was less accurate than I expected. The image I am including in this report is named "20221125_1204037619404031306708984.jpg". The name was created by the SkyView(R) program, and I guess that it combines the date and time and orientation data. If you are, or know, an astronomer, you might be able to check if I am right about that.

At any rate, this is an "augmented reality" photograph that includes the Sun. In the reference picture I am uploading, the real Sun is in the bright section somewhere around x=760, y=330. SkyView's Sun is show at around x=1964, y=324. As I mentioned, the discrepancy is more than I expected, but I don't know how it compares to other smartphones, and I do not know any way to correct it. If anyone knows a way to correct this, I'd be interested in finding out what about it.
 

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