By CEDRIC FOLLMI
Open the Mac App Store to buy and download apps.
Observe the sky like a pro.
iObserve pushes your preparation of astronomical observations to a much higher level. It gathers all the information you need when observing the sky with small and big telescopes, and let you manipulate your nights and targets. It has been built from the ground up by a former ESO support astronomer in Chile.
-- What others have said:
• Best in its class (5 stars) "There is no other app for planing astronomical observations like iObserve. Because of its all-in-one approach, iObserve is also a discovery machine, allowing the user to make connections that were not obvious. And this is perhaps the best thing that can be said about any app. And the author has an amazing roadmap for the app, I can only hope he achieves it. Truly stellar, well done!" (a happy austrian user)
• "Must have for serious astronomers" (5 stars) "Every observer with a mac should have this app, and observers without a mac should buy a mac so they can use this app. It has proven invaluable on multiple observing runs both in the planning phase an while observing." (a happy US user).
• "Efficient observing " (5 stars) "I witnessed the development of this app from its early beta versions and am pleased that it turned out to be much more stable and clean. I use it everytime I go observing at large observatories [...]." (a canadian "Some Dude")
• "iObserve" (5 stars) "The Application works extremely well. I needed support and it was very efficient, i had an answer in a few hours." (some enthusiastic italian 'Mr. Fox')
• "A must have app for all serious astronomers" (5 stars) "This little application has now matured very nicely from its origins a few years ago. (...) It will appeal to serious astrophotographers, deep sky enthusiasts and – of course – professionnal astronomers. Yes, you can find the same information if you scout around the web, but iObserve puts it all in once place, and a lot more besides. I couldn't work without it. And the developer, Cédric, provides outstanding support." (a nice follower from Australia).
iObserve allows you to:
• Easily import any known in SIMBAD or not-yet known object, browse the Exoplanets catalogue or download the latest JPL ephemeris of any known comet and asteroid. All object parameters, properties and references will automatically be kept up-to-date.
• Draw and track multiple colored airmass curves for about 100 builtin observatories on Earth, and get the objects sorted according to the best observing time,
• Draw multiple star tracks with builtin or custom horizon masks, and follow targets across the sky, within customisable night boundaries,
• Find automatically the closest standard stars among 21 000 optical and near-infrared (spectro)photometric or telluric stars stored in 6 different catalogues,
• Download the SDSS, DSS, 2MASS and AAVSO finding charts in multiple photometric bands and with numerous options,
• See the Moon's airmass curve, along with its age, coordinates and illumination fraction, and its minimum separation to any object,
• Easily convert fluxes and magnitudes between different units, et get immediate extrapolations in every bands of the Johnson, Cousins, Strömgren, TYCHO2, SDSS and 2MASS systems,
• Easily convert object coordinates between equatorial, celestal (sidereal) and galactic systems, for any epoch in various units,
• Convert times and dates, and see how the Earth shadow is placed on the world map, relative to your position and that of your observatories,
• Convert small and large distances, and, like all other conversions, save it for future reference.
Moreover, iObserve lets you create new observatories – being a remote location, a professional observatory or simply your backyard. You will then be able to use it like any other builtin observatory.
iObserve also provides its famous times bar with Local Time, UT, Julian Date and the Sidereal Time for all its observatories.
What's New in Version 1.4.2
This update fixes two small issues with manual coordinates for new objects, as well as the webservice URL for individual exoplanets. This should prevent the planet mass and other important parameters to disappear upon update. Oh, and the buttons (and other small visual tweaks) in Mavericks have been restored in their previous shine...
New in 1.4: Some new features, lots of small fixes, but is also made for the app to keep up with new OS X versions. The internals have been modernised, the support for OS X 10.7 and 10.8 has been dropped, and the look has been refreshed and flattened. Oh, and a redesigned "New Object" sheet should allow you to not be confused anymore between the objects resolved by name, and the ones entered manually.
Here are the details. Among the new features and improvements:
• Allowed to change the scaling of curve plots down to 1 hour, and the shift across 72 hours.
• Redesigned 'New Object' sheet to avoid confusion for manuel and automatic coordinates.
• Adding the possibility to drag-and-draw a triangle with separation values between points in Finding Charts.
• Updated the catalogue of exoplanets.
• Added the possibility to sort the columns of the exoplanets table.
• Reorganisation of the 'References' of an object to a dedicated and searchable 'tab'.
• Added the possibility to sort a folder of objects either alphabetically or using R.A..
• Introduced various "observatory aliases" to ease the finding of some common telescopes.
• Improved the map showing the separation of observatories (when more than one is selected at the same time).
And the bugfixes:
• The tracking distance in finding charts now gives the same answer as in Aladin from CDS.
• Fixed an issue that was provoking, sometimes, a freeze of curve plots.
• Fixed the deletion of separators.
• Fixed an issue with the detection type in the 'New Exoplanet' sheet.
• Lots of fixes on the Finding Charts, especially in the secondary windows.
• Fixed the missing colors information of the standard stars
• Fixed the ordering of dropped items when drag-and-dropping multiple items in the left-hand tree.
• Fixed the drag & drop when dragging multiple items from different levels.
• Fixed the (very tricky) drawing of the shadow on the Times converter Earth map.
Moreover, iObserve shouldn't use as much memory as before and some optimisations have been made.
• Fix of the problem of the missing 'New Object' sheet on Mavericks.
• Updates of a few icons, and the links to the support website.
Absolutely essential for professional observational astronomers
If you’re a frequent observer, this is an absolute must-have. I have made many observing runs using this app, and it simplifies the planning of a night by orders of magnitude (particularly if you’re observing many targets in a run).