Version 3.0.270: astronomical news appear in W3 – WinStars 3

Version 3.0.270: astronomical news appear in W3

It’s an old project that I have in a corner of my mind and that comes back in another form in this new version: using the capabilities of calculation and visualization of W3 to illustrate the astronomy news.

So I introduced the Artemis 1 mission and the possibility to follow the Orion capsule in real time. In the future, I would like to be able to do something much more complex by reproducing all the phases of the life of a mission, from the lift-off, the trajectory corrections to the access to the scientific data. But there are many obstacles to overcome. First of all, technically ( it is necessary to improve the appearance of the objects and add more complex effects such as projected shadows, metallic reflections, etc.), but even more difficult is to access information concerning maintenance operations, orientation, engine ignition, and data acquisition, which implies having a contact with a member of the team, which is not at all obvious. But after all, I am living about 50 km from the Deep Space Network of Madrid… A lead to follow?

But the main feature of this version is the introduction of a new symbol (the letter i in red) indicating a link to an online article on theconversation.com.

These are high-quality vulgarization articles written by astronomers or physicists and that I reproduce here with their permission. Thanks to all these researchers who devote part of their time to inform the public about the current state of research in astrophysics.

This version also fixes a problem concerning the Gaia EDR3 catalog which was not accessible since the change of url of the Astronomical Data Center of Strasbourg.

And also… W3 is nearly 100000 lines of code in c++ that I maintain alone. It’s more than 3 Gb of astronomical data stored on two servers that feed the software. It is more than one billion objects that can be displayed by the program. So, you can encourage me to continue by buying the full version, or by leaving a positive comment on Google Play etc. Thanks to you!