SkyTools 4 Updates

Latest version: SkyTools 4.0j R2

Updates on this page are for all editions of SkyTools 4 starting with version 4.0f. See note below if you are running a version prior to 4.0f.  

Important: SkyTools 4 Imaging V4.0e and earlier must be updated to version 4.0f prior to installing later updates. Update to version 4.0f here

Update Manually

If connected to the Internet you will be prompted from within SkyTools to download the latest update automatically and no further action is necessary. To update manually, close SkyTools, download the update file from the link below and run it. 

 

Download latest SkyTools 4 update (10 MB)    

Fixes/Additions/Changes in Version 4.0j R2

Visual

  • Star ratings have been updated for better visibility, especially in Night Vision mode

  • The Ideal Eyepiece on the Nightly Planner didn't always match the Ideal Eyepiece selection on the charts for double stars

  • Logging an object no longer causes a full refresh of the Nightly Planner list

  • The Catalog Notes tab is now restored to the Object Information Window 

  • The gray background has been removed for the Finder Chart View Labels in Night Vision mode for better visibility

Imaging

  • The Synopsis tab now displays information for comets and other soloar system objects

  • It is now possible to set the ACP Scheduler dither to -1 to enable auto dither for a project

  • Target Selection Tool: the NightBar now displays data for the same filter as the columns when the filter is automatically selected

  • The signal for some extremely blue quasars was being overestimated

Fixes/Additions/Changes in Version 4.0j R1

General

  • Links have been updated on the top level Help menu to support the new video tutorials

  • The East/West name labels were reversed for the Double Nebula on the charts

  • The magnitude estimates for classical novae have been improved

  • The Update Now button on the Subscriptions dialog now forces an update regardless of how long it has been since the last update

  • The StSci DSS image server has been updated to address recent changes in that server and is now working again

  • The FOV outline widths on charts could no longer be changed to > 1 after the last update

  • Version nuimbers now include a "release number." The version is 4.0j R1, for version 4.0 with "j" as the major subversion, and a release number of 1. 

  • Many other minor fixes have been applied

Visual

  • The double-star splittabilitry filter on the Nightly Planner has been restored to working order

  • In some cases multiple Barlow lenses could lead to problems selecting eyepieces

  • Log entries now support "not seen" as a difficulty reporting option

  • Plottable image links were lost when restoring a backup with image attachments made on another computer

  • The FIV label at the top of Eyepiece views on the Finder Charts could sometimes display incorrectly

  • The Nearby Objects tool (Object Info) was not being refreshed when the date, observer, location, or instrument were changed

  • A double-click now opens the Object Info for an object in the Neaby Objects list

  • The Sync feature when used with a Sync database could fail on attachments because it was not finding an important file

  • Ephemeris for planets was not properly formatted when copy/pasted into excel

  • Imported telescope names could be more than 31 characters, which could cause data corruption

Imaging

  • Reading filter data from a file has been improved with more informational error messages. Non-regular wavelenght intervals are now fully supported

  • The Scheduler has been updated with many fixes, especially with regard to imaging systems that use GEM mounts, and now should work more reliably

  • The Database Power search tool has been updated with many fixes and now should work more reliably, especially for a specific imaging system and/or night.

  • Exporting a Target List to a file is now working again

  • Target Selection tool: the Nightbar data now properly reflects the filter when a specific filter is selected 

  • The time sliders on the Scheduler were sometimes displaying a different time than was actually being applied to scheduling

  • A printed schedule for imaging systems that use a GEM mount could sometimes be truncated

  • Target Selection: newly created lists for double stars did not always have the pair selection initialized properly

  • Imaging Systems: the OTA selection is now disabled when  "camera only" is selected for the imaging system type

  • Compare Imaging Systems (tab of Object Info) had incorrect column labels for double star targets

  • The Backup/Restore process was not always restoring the lenses for a camera

  • The camera FOV is now drawn on printed Atlas charts

  • The Camera View of the Atlas chart was not always correctly restoring the last camera used

  • Target Selection tool was not saving the focal changer selection when switched away to another tool and then back again

  • The delete option has been removed from the schedule, as it had not been intended for the final release version and could corrupt the schedule if used

  • Some of the key presses on the Scheduler tool were being mapped to the wrong function, e.g. the delete key was producing a Control-S

  • Exposure Calculator: under some circumstances the time to reach SNR function could sometimes return a time when the SNR could not actually be reached

  • Target Selection Tool: the Target iQ and iQ blocks were not being properly updated after changes to the date, location, and imaging system

  • The Plottable Image dialog sometimes failed to appear after being used previously

  • Target Selection: the location menu is now being properly refreshed after adding a new location

  • Imaging Project FOV and/or mosaic outlines were not visible on the printed Interactive Atlas

Fixes/Additions/Changes in Version 4.0i

General

  • Common names for some nebulae were incorrectly labeled on the charts

  • Comets with long tails now display the approximate length of the actual tail on the charts

  • Some variable stars, such as R CrA, were not being found correctly in the Designation search

Visual

  • Planning for bright comets has been improved. For example, the Nightly Planner could sometimes pick the evening when the morning was the better time period

  • Binoculars with a mirror mount are now oriented correctly on charts

Imaging

  • In some rare instances an observation that was split by a required meridian flip could be scheduled at the incorrect time
  • Exposure Goals for comets have been improved with more options for the part of the comet that is being targeted for a given SNR

 

Fixes/Additions/Changes in Version 4.0j

General

  • In some cases notes were not being imported properly from ST4 observing lists in stx format

  • Pro/Imaging: comet data can now be imported from a file, in case the regular download from the MPC has not been update recently

  • The Manage Plottable Images dialog now has a New button to create a new folder, and it now lists all attachment folders, rather than just those with plottable images already assigned to them

  • Many minor fixes have been made throughout

Visual

  • Printed/Copied logs are now better sorted

  • The drift arrow on printed eyepiece charts was not using the correct line style and color. 

  • A problem was fixed where the incorrect telescope or observer could be passed to the Object Info  window via a log entry

  • The keyboard shortcuts for adding eyepiece strings to a log were sometimes not getting the correct string for Barlow lenses

  • Imaging Project, Composition Tab: mosaics with overlaps of more than 250 pixels were not saving the overlap size properly

Imaging

  • Imaging Systems: a problem has been fixed that could make it impossible to properly select if a DSLR was modified or not

  • Imaging Project: Observations Tab. The observations table columns are now better sized and they will remember modifications to the column widths made by the user

  • Estimates of emission line strengths have been improved for supernovae and HII regions

  • Under certain conditions the Scheduler would not schedule for filters with long total exposure times

Fixes/Additions/Changes in Version 4.0i

General

  • Common names for some nebulae were incorrectly labeled on the charts

  • Comets with long tails now display the approximate length of the actual tail on the charts

  • Some variable stars, such as R CrA, were not being found correctly in the Designation search

Visual

  • Planning for bright comets has been improved. For example, the Nightly Planner could sometimes pick the evening when the morning was the better time period

  • Binoculars with a mirror mount are now oriented correctly on charts

Imaging

  • In some rare instances an observation that was split by a required meridian flip could be scheduled at the incorrect time
  • Exposure Goals for comets have been improved with more options for the part of the comet that is being targeted for a given SNR

Fixes/Additions/Changes in Version 4.0h

General

  • The intermittent startup crash has been fixed

  • Import of ST3/ST4 .stx files with attachments now works for all kinds of attachments, including ratings

  • Printed charts no longer print in the red color scheme when Night Vision was enabled

  • Database Power Search: fixed a crash wen searching for minor planets

  • Database Power Search: selecting Today as the date now properly unlocks the date-dependent fields

  • Some red text in Night Vision mode was not changing brightness according to the Preferences setting

  • The Backup-prompt before closing SkyTools has been re-enabled

  • Real Time: entering temperatures in C now works consistently

  • Background (plottable) images now display properly on the Thumbnail Viewer

  • Minor Planets Data: downloading a single minor planet a second time, before the first completes, could lead to corruption of the minor planet database

  • Events: circumstances for a minor planet at opposition now properly displays the magnitude

  • Real Time: the telescope control voice can now be disabled, although this is not recommended, as it is often the only feedback for what the mount is doing

  • Object Info now properly displays the R.A. label for Quasars

  • A crash could occur when downloading DSS images

  • Many minor fixes have been made throughout

Visual

  • Real Time Best Now: objects can now be automatically marked as observed and hidden from the list as each one is observed

  • Real Time Best Now: no longer loses the selected object when the list updates

  • Nightly Planner: keyboard shotcuts could stop working after a list refresh

  • SkyTools 3 import via Sync now properly imports all attachments, including ratings

  • Real Time : objects that were up all day, or visible only during the morning/afternoon (such as the sun) did not always show up properly

  • Real Time: Obs. Time and View Time columns are now enabled automatically.

  • Real Time Best Now: the View Time column has been renamed "Time Left" to avoid confusion

  • Nightly Planner: Obs. Time and View Time columns are now automatically enabled for an Observation Plan as needed

  • The Eyepiece "West" arrow is now properly drawn on printed charts

  • A crash could occur when printing finder charts for multiple target objects

  • Stars on printed finder charts were not being scaled properly

  • Nightly Planner: the log filter is now reset with the other filters

  • Ephemeris: distance column switches to km for close minor planets

  • Nightly Planner/Real Time: the right-click selections and filetrs for the Observation Status now work

  • Real Time Best Now: changing column schemes now updates the list

  • Real Time: an empty list no longer generates an error

  • Finder/Eyepiece charts: background images could only be displayed for the first attachments folder

  • Syncing logs with ST3 no longer generates an error if there are no log entries

  • Nightly Planner / Real Time: deleting the currently selected list could cause a crash

  • The YearBar didn't always repaint properly after changing the month

  • Nightly Planner / Real Time: deleting the currently selected list via the List menu sometimes deleted the wrong list

  • Deleting binoculars could cause problems with the telescope/binoculars data

  • Binoculars were not always importing from ST3

  • Print Chart Dialog for Eyepiece charts didn't always select the correct eyepiece

  • The Optimum Ephemeris for the Moon sometimes reported the moon twice for the same night

  • Optimum Ephemeris: for some objects the position columns were not displaying the correct data

  • Real Time Best Now: better handles daylight observing of the Sun, Moon, and other bright objects

Imaging

  • Scheduler: if the target SNR could not be reached during the time available, a bug could result in very short exposure times for some systems

  • Scheduler: slews and meridian flips have been better optimized

  • Scheduler: no longer adds unnecessary filter changes

  • Scheduler: extra meridian flips are no longer added after manually adding an observation

  • A crash could sometimes occur at startup while refreshing the observing/target list for the first time.

  • There was no telescope control speech after the ST4g update (Imaging-only). It has been restored.

  • Target Selection: changing the class filter no longer results in a full list refresh

  • More f-stop selections have been added for DSLR cameras

  • Many other minor fixes have been made

Fixes/Additions/Changes in Version 4.0g

  • A crash could sometimes occur at startup while refreshing the observing/target list for the first time.

  • Deleting a list from the List Functions menu could delete the wrong list. After deleting the list open in a tool, a new list is automatically selected.

  • It is no longer possible to add a single comet/minor-planet orbit more than once

  • Upgrade Your Product is now working. Use this Setup menu item to purchase an upgrade to a higher edition or bundle.

  • The YearBar sometimes failed to repaint after selecting a single month to view

  • Deleting the last binoculars could under certain cirumstances delete a telescope instead

  • There was a problem with printed charts that could lead to scaling issues, including tiny stars and other issues, such as poorly spaced object trail labels

Fixes/Additions/Changes in Version 4.0f (Imaging only)

  • New!  Event Finder Tool

  • New! Backup/Restore has been added to the Tools menu

  • New! Upgrade Your Product has been added to the Setup menu, which can be used to upgrade to the SkyTools 4 Imaging + SkyTools 4 Visual Bundle

  • Many many fixes and improvements have been made (too many to list here)

Fixes/Additions/Changes in Version 4.0e (Imaging)

  • The code that estimates the longitude of Jupiter's Great Red Spot (GRS) was not working properly for dates after mid-June. This has been fixed.

  • The Add Objects button on the Target Selection Tool has been replaced with a menu with two selections: Designation Search (the original result of pressing Add Objects), and Database Power Search.

  • A bug was fixed that affected the surface brightness used in the calulations for some galaxies.

  • On the locations dialog, the Bortle class selection for the skjy brightness was not being correctly set to match the sky brightness when the sky brightness dialog was re-opened.

  • The detector selection on the select Camera dialog (for your imaging project) now uses a fixed size dialog rather than a large menu, which was awkward to scroll.

  • Various other minor fixes and enhancements have been made. 

Fixes/Additions/Changes in Version 4.0d (Imaging)

  • The algorithm for estimating the signal and SNR for comets has been completely redone from scratch. It should now be much more accurate and consistent. A new selection has been added to the "Expose for..." menu for comets called "Comet core" which estimates the signal/SNR for the central bright part of the comet only.

  • Many fixes and enhancements have been made for imaging systems that employ multiple focal changers.

  • Many fixes and enhancements have been made for imaging systems consisting of cameras with multiple fixed lenses. 

  • Fixes and enhancements have been made to the f-stop settings for imaging systems consisting of cameras with multiple fixed lenses.

  • Fixes have been made to the guider FOV for external guide scopes.

  • Fixes have been made to the minor planet database so that it will work properly with the epochs used by the MPCORB database.

  • The download of a single minor planet is once again working.

  • The Camera dialog has been redesigned to be shorter so it will fit on small screens.

  • The All Novae/Supernovae subscription is now working properly

  • The Scheduler now displays coordinates for slews of imaging systems that use a hand controller.

  • Various fixes and enhancements have been made to the Exposure Calculator to better initialize itself when opened for targets and imaging projects via a right-click on the Target Selection, Scheduler, and Real Time Tools. 

  • The Exposure Calculator now opens properly via a right-click on the Atlas.

  • A fix has been implemented that could cause problems after deleting an imaging project.

  • Adding multiple imaging systems without exiting the Imaging Systems dialog should no longer cause confusion between OTAs attached to the imaging systems.

  • Various other minor fixes and enhancements have been made. 

Fixes/Additions/Changes in Version 4.0c (Imaging)

  • Viewing a FITS image in the SkyTools Image Viewer could cause a crash, which has now been fixed. 

  • Target Selection Tool: the Start and Duration of the exposure period was always displayed for the automatically selected time period to image. Now it will display the time period corresponding to the IQ selected when the Night Filters are enabled. This means that if you set the IQ to C, the exposure time period listed (Start and Duration columns) will be from the start to the end of the period of time when the IQ is C or better. 

  • Support has been added for smarter window positioning on multiple monitors, particularly when maximized. A check is also made to see if the window is opening on a missing monitor. The window is repositioned on the main monitor if this happens. 

  • As a result of the multiple monitor support, chart windows will now open in their last size and position.

  • The IQ line on the NightBar was not always drawing correctly for comets on the Target Selection, Scheduler, and Real Time tools.

  • The spoken object information feature was missing a DLL file to make it work. This feature was developed primarily for SkyTools Visual, but some may find it useful for Imaging as well. Press the Speech button on the bottom right of the Object Info dialog to enable/disable spoken info.

  • When SkyTools starts, the introduction window that appears will now display the progress of the subscription updates that are occurring. In some cases it may take more than a few seconds to update one or more subscriptions, so this lets the user know what's going on. 

  • The Designation Search dialog now defaults to the target list displayed on the Target Selection tool when opened via the "Add Objects" button.

  • When editing a camera, the detector had to be set to manual in order for the camera to be saved without an error.

  • Target Selection: enabling the time sliders was forcing the Night Filters to be enabled even though they were turned off.

  • The open cluster NGC 2112 had no position and magnitude and there was also a non-existent open cluster that sometimes appeared. 

  • Some additions have been made to the help system.

  • Various minor bugs have been fixed

Fixes/Additions/Changes in Version 4.0b (Imaging)

  • A fix was made to a bug in the iTelescope update process

  • A new button has been added to the Subscriptions dialog that will force an update of your selected subscriptions

Fixes/Additions/Changes in Version 4.0a (Imaging)

  • Download and display of DSS images on the Imaging Project Composition tab is now supported 

  • Selecting a camera from the camera pool sometimes added the wrong camera

  • The Gain selection on the exposure calculator was not working properly

  • Classic stars were being drawn on the charts with an unwanted "shadow" outline

  • An important settings file was not being properly created the first time SkyTools was started, causing a wide range of strange behaviors 

  • The camera and filter pools are now being updated automatically from the web when SkyTools starts. This will allow Skyhound to quickly disseminate new cameras and filters

  • When SkyTools 3 observing lists with supplemental database objects are imported, an attempt is made to associate the supplemental database objects with newly added primary database objects

  • The YearBar sometimes failed to redraw properly as it was being computed

  • Supplemental Deep Sky Database objects were failing to delete

  • Some nebulae were failing to draw on the charts (including the Tarantula nebula)

  • The Exposure Calculator was using surface brightness calculations when Expose For was set to Stars

  • The air temperature units on the Exposure Calculator were not always working correctly, nor were they being saved properly

  • The STScI Digital Sky Survey image server has been added as choice to download DSS images from. Note that as of this writing the LEDAS server no longer seems to be working, apparently due to a problem on their end. 

  • Various problems associated with attachment folders have been addressed

  • Various problems associated with importing SkyTools 3 observing lists have been addressed

  • Various minor bugs have been fixed