April 3, 2017
- Accuracy: Enhanced the star detector, plate solver and align adjustment.
- Stack: When promoting/demoting/accepting/rejecting images, changing the pick, or using auto-weight, the stack was not immediately updated. This has been fixed.
- Browser: Resolved a thumbnail rendering issue in the image browser.
- Browser: When double clicking one of the images in a stack, the stack is not unfocused anymore.
- Editor: Fixed an issue when switching to the editor-only mode.
- Crash: Fixed a crash that could occur in the editor when moving the mouse cursor.
- Crash: Fixed a rare FITS header related crash during importing.
February 10, 2017
- Import: Fixed a spike in memory usage immediately after importing.
- Import: Improved the import performance.
- Import: Image thumbnails are now generated during the import for all images, not only for those initially visible in the browser.
- Preferences: Fixed the link in the description of the USNO-A2.0 catalog.
- Browser: Fixed a delay that could occur when deselecting images in the browser.
- Accuracy: Enhanced the star detector.
February 1, 2017
- Performance: Stacking, calibration, normalization and image alignment are now a lot faster.
- Performance: In addition to the star detector, used internally by the plate solver and the align adjustment, now stacking and calibration also optionally use a GPU for their computations. It may not always lead to an actual performance improvement, so use the corresponding “Compute device” option in Observatory’s preferences with caution.
- Stack: The default stack type is now “Average” instead of “Layer”.
- Library: Reduced the disk space utilization for all stack types.
- Editor: The “blinking” frequency has been increased slightly.
- Histogram: The “Auto Adjust” option is now disabled by default.
- Measure Inspector: The background estimation was removed because Observatory doesn’t actually use such single value.
- User Interface: Removed the “New Version” menu item because the subtle way it differs from “Duplicate Version” wasn’t worth it.
- User Interface: Removed the “New” menu from the contextual browser menus. It’s still in the main menu of course.
- User Interface: The Help menu now contains a link to the videos on our website.
- User Interface: Updated the copyright year.
- Performance: Observatory is now smarter about when to keep an image in memory.
- Performance: Optimized the image browser and image strip browser.
- Performance: Fixed an issue with the (weighted) median computation and made it faster.
- Performance: Observatory no longer requires the discrete GPU to be in use for MacBook Pros.
- Performance: Only the green channel is now used for determining the align adjustment of an RGB image.
- Calibration: Fixed a bug that prevented calibration from working properly for images that had no filter name set.
- Calibration: Resolved an issue where a flat dark would erroneously be listed.
- Browser: Resolved various selection and focus issues in the image and image strip browsers.
- Stack: An image’s layer opacity is now taken into account, effectively acting as a weight.
- Sidebar: You cannot enter an empty name for folders, albums or smart albums anymore.
- Import: WCS information is now correctly imported for XISF images.
- Import: Handle XISF files with FITS keyword string values that are not stored according to the XISF specification.
- Import: Handle an invalid aperture diameter value in RAW image EXIF data.
- Import: For RAW images, the image type is now initialized using the file name.
- Import: Initialize the source value for PTF, WISE, Spitzer and Gemini images.
- Inspector: When you move an image to a calibration album, making it read-only, the inspector is now updated to reflect that.
- Inspector: You cannot enter an empty image version name anymore.
- Inspector: With multiple images selected, placing the cursor in the name field could result in empty names. This has been fixed.
- Layers: The blend mode, opacity and visibility in the layer panel are now disabled for the generated stack images.
- User Interface: “Show Master FITS Header” now works for XISF images as well.
- Accuracy: Enhanced the star detector.
- Accuracy: Enhanced the solar system computations.
- Accuracy: Use stricter computation accuracy requirements for supported GPUs.
- Crash: Fixed a crash that could occur with the crop adjustment.
- Crash: Fixed a possible crash when removing an adjustment.
November 12, 2016
- Observatory now has Quick Look and Spotlight plugins for XISF images, and can import them as well. XISF is the native file format of PixInsight, an image processing software platform designed specifically for astronomical imaging.
- The Image menu and Browser contextual menu have new “Open Master” and “Open Master With” menu items. This allows you to quickly open a master file in an external editor, for example PixInsight.
- Library: It is now easier than ever to create a new library. Just drag the folder containing your astronomical images in the Finder and drop it onto the Observatory application icon. It will create a new library and import all images in the folder and its subfolders. It’s a great way to quickly inspect your latest images, and can serve as a starting point for a much larger library as well.
- Browser: You can drag & drop images from the browser to albums in the library navigator to organize your images. If you press the Option key while dragging, the image version is copied instead of moving it. Currently you can only move images to the albums in the “Collections” section of the library navigator, not the “Library” section. For this to work, the browser should also not be focused on a stack.
- Browser: You can drag & drop images and stacks on top of another image or stack of the same album. This combines them in a stack. If you press the Option key while dragging, the image version is copied instead of moving it. The browser cannot be focused on a stack for this to work.
- Browser: The Image menu has new “Move to New Album” and “Move to Album” menu items. Press the Option key to access the previous “Add to New Album” and “Add to Album” menu items. The corresponding menu items in the Browser contextual menus have been removed.
- Browser: Observatory now actively monitors master images to detect if they were altered or deleted. It updates the image version badges accordingly. If a master image is altered, choose “Image ▸ Reset Attributes…” to incorporate the changes into the library, and remove the badge. There are currently still some limitations to the number of master images it monitors simultaneously, which will be addressed in a future release.
- Browser: A new badge is used to indicate a missing master. The browser uses the previous badge to indicate that a master was altered. This can happen if you open the master with an external editor, and modify it.
- Browser: Weights are now always and only displayed when focusing on a stack. The corresponding subtitle and column selection menu items have been removed. The weight column is now always next to the date/time column, both of which cannot be moved.
- Browser: The date/time column menu item has been removed because this column cannot be removed from the List Browser.
- Editor: For matched images the image scale is shown by default, in addition to the grid.
- Editor: The maximum allowed aperture, gap and annulus values in the centroid settings have been increased.
- Library: The compression ratio for Managed Masters has been slightly improved.
- Preferences: Adjusted the label capitalization style.
- User Interface: Adjusted the font size in the inspector dropdowns.
- User Interface: Increased the width of the image and collection name field in the inspectors. Now the favorites, archive and trash icons are rendered behind this field, when applicable.
- User Interface: Enhanced the application icon at small sizes.
- User Interface: Observatory libraries have a new icon.
- User Interface: One icon is now used for FITS and SBIG images, as well as for XISF images. The latter is used only if PixInsight is not installed.
- User Interface: The “Observatory Blog” menu item has been renamed to just “Blog”.
- Library: “Reset Attributes…” uses much less memory, and is more efficient when multiple image versions are selected.
- Library: Fixed an issue with the creation of a Managed Master when using “Image ▸ New ▸ Master”.
- Import: Improved handling of invalid binning, pixel size and pixel scale values.
- Import: Fixed an SBIG date/time handling issue.
- Browser: Resolved an image browser layout issue when switching between browser types.
- Sidebar: Improved the selection behavior in the library navigator, making it much easier to add folders, albums and smart albums.
- Sidebar: Resolved an issue where the sidebar was not always updated if there was a change to an album.
- Inspector: Fixed an issue that made it impossible to change the CCD temperature in the image version inspector.
- Inspector: Fixed issues with duration and length unit conversions.
- Spotlight: Fixed a mixup in the FITS and SBIG Spotlight Importers that may prevent them from working properly.
- Spotlight: Now including the “Content Created” item in the Finder “Get Info” window so it actually displays the exposure date/time.
- Spotlight: Fixed an SBIG date/time handling issue.
- Crash: Resolved a crash that sometimes occurred when switching to Virtual Observatory immediately after opening a library.
- Crash: Resolved a crash that could occur if a managed master or image version was damaged or missing.
- Crash: Image thumbnail generation and stacking are now more robust against failures. Together with the previous issue and in combination with state restoration, it could prevent Observatory from fully launching.
- Leak: Fixed a memory leak in the Blog update notifier, inspectors and a potential leak in the channel pixel data handling.
September 14, 2016
- Browser: When you select a folder, album, or smart album, the browser displays a Focus Bar. It contains the name and type of the selected collection, and allows you to traverse up the collection hierarchy using its “Unfocus” button.
- Browser: Instead of expanding stacks inline, the images comprising a stack are shown when you focus on the stack with the Focus Bar. When focused on a stack, the Focus Bar displays three handy buttons to quickly select the stack’s pick image, all images comprising the stack, or the stacked image itself. With the “Unfocus” button you traverse up to the stack’s album.
- Browser: Badges are displayed for images that have notes or are marked as favorites.
- Virtual Observatory: Additional archives!
- Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE AllWISE Atlas). WISE is a 0.4 m NASA infrared-wavelength space telescope.
- Spitzer Heritage Archive (level 2). The Spitzer Space Telescope is a 0.85 m NASA infrared-wavelength space telescope.
- Palomar Transient Factory Archive (level 1). A survey using the Palomar Samuel Oschin 1.22 m Schmidt Telescope.
- Gemini Observatory Archive. The Gemini Observatory consists of two 8.19 m telescopes, the Gemini North in Hawaii and the Gemini South in Chile.
- Virtual Observatory: Filter search results by target, instrument, filter name, description or identifier.
- Virtual Observatory: 2MASS preview images.
- Browser: The Image Browser and Image Strip Browser have been reworked to improve compatibility with future OS updates.
- Browser: The image selection handling has been enhanced.
- Browser: The Open/Close All Stacks and Open/Close Stack menu items have been replaced by the “Focus on Stack” and “Unfocus” menu items, with keyboard shortcuts ^⌘[ and ^⌘].
- Browser: Stack thumbnails are displayed with an upper-left corner badge icon instead of the number of images comprising the stack.
- Browser: The Outline Browser has been renamed List Browser and it uses the standard selection behavior.
- Browser: The browser in “Browser & Editor” mode is now always of fixed height, regardless the type of browser.
- Browser: The three Image Browser size buttons have been replaced with a slider. The maximum thumbnail size has been increased.
- Browser: Double click a stack to focus on it.
- Browser: Double click an image to switch to “Browser & Editor” mode, select the image, and focus on its album.
- Browser: The contextual menus have been updated with “Focus on Stack” and “Unfocus” menu items.
- Browser: The “Show in Album” menu item has been renamed “Focus on Album” and moved upwards in the main menu and contextual menus.
- Browser: The “Focus Back” and “Focus Forward” menu items have been renamed “Go Back” and “Go Forward”, with keyboard shortcuts ⌘[ and ⌘].
- Browser: The attachment badge is now also displayed if an image’s album has an attachment. For them to show up in the attachments inspector you still need to select the album.
- Virtual Observatory: If you switch to the Virtual Observatory, and its search field is empty, it will now automatically receive the keyboard focus.
- Virtual Observatory: Renamed the “Bandpass” column header to “Filter”.
- Inspector: The “Edit” button has been removed from the image version inspector and the collection inspector. Now you can edit the metadata right away, unless you lock the image version or collection.
- Inspector: The image statistics inspector is now displaying ranges as “min – max” instead of “min Δdelta”.
- Inspector: The default position of the WCS inspector is now below the location inspector.
- Inspector: Visual improvements for all inspectors.
- Editor: The image focus history buttons in the editor’s header and their corresponding menu items have been removed.
- Editor: The image name is now centered in the editor header. It is prefixed by a stack badge if the editor is displaying a stack.
- Stack: The Stack menu contains a new Select submenu, corresponding to the three buttons that are displayed in the Focus Bar when focused on a stack.
- Performance: Further optimizations to loading and displaying RAW images.
- Spotlight: Handling the [K] unit for sensor temperatures, so the temperature is correctly converted from Kelvin to Celsius, if the unit is provided in the FITS header.
- Preferences: Observatory resets the paths and displays a warning if the chosen UCAC4 or USNO-A2.0 folders do not contain the expected catalog data.
- Tags: The automatic tagging does not add tags for stars of the Tycho–2 catalog anymore.
- User Interface: The “Edit Note…” menu item has been moved to the Collection and Image menus, and is now also available in the library navigator and browser contextual menus.
- User Interface: The “Attach File…” menu item has been moved to the Collection and Image menus.
- User Interface: Renamed the “Reset Master Attributes…” menu item to “Reset Attributes…”.
- User Interface: Moved the Mode submenu item further down in the Image menu.
- Browser: You can now lock Unfiled images as well.
- Browser: The keyboard focus is set correctly when switching between browsers.
- Virtual Observatory: The ESO archive would under certain circumstances not be searched with the correct radius. This has been fixed.
- Virtual Observatory: Resolved an issue that prevented the air mass and observer name, if available, to be displayed in the inspector.
- Virtual Observatory: If an album is renamed in the sidebar, while the virtual observatory is active, this change is now reflected.
- Virtual Observatory: The exposure duration as displayed in the inspector for HLA images would sometimes contain extraneous zeros after its decimal separator.
- Virtual Observatory: Under certain circumstances not all archives were initially selected for a newly created library.
- Virtual Observatory: Fixed a search results selection issue when sorting.
- Import: The album hierarchy created when importing folders of images generated superfluous folders.
- Import: The right ascension, declination, latitude and longitude FITS keyword parser sometimes failed to parse the (arc)minutes and (arc)seconds correctly, resulting in values of the form “NN 00 00.0” in the inspector. This has been fixed. To resolve this for images in existing libraries, select them in the browser, and then choose “Image ▸ Reset Attributes…”. Please be aware that this resets all attributes to those of the master image, not only these four.
- Import & Spotlight: Handle OBSERVAT FITS keyword, and keywords used by the newly supported Virtual Observatory archives.
- Inspector: The image statistics inspector is now taking into account which channels are active of the image.
- Inspector: Disabled word wrapping for inspector attributes values.
- Inspector: Removed the slider displayed next to the air mass attribute.
- Editor: WCS coordinate transformation error handling has been improved.
- Channels: If a channel is active or visible is now image layer specific, instead of being a global setting for the whole library.
- Source Folder: The “Locate Source Folder…” item has been added to the action menu.
- Library: Improved handling of read-only libraries.
- Crash: Resolved a crash that occurred when the expected files of the UCAC4 or USNO-A2.0 catalogs were not accessible.
August 3, 2016
- Spotlight: Observatory now includes Spotlight Importers for FITS and SBIG files. This means that, when choosing File ▸ Get Info for such files in the Finder, it will now display useful information like image dimensions, exposure time, detector temperature, right ascension, declination, etc. What’s more, you can now search for this information right from within the Finder itself!
- Library: When creating a new library, you now will not be asked for its name anymore. You only need to provide it when explicitly saving it. This is more convenient and consistent with other applications that support Auto Save. More importantly, this makes Observatory fully compatible with the new Tabs feature of upcoming macOS Sierra.
- Library: Disk space utilization for layer stacks has been optimized. For existing libraries, switch the stack type to for example Average and then back to Layer to recover the disk space.
- Virtual Observatory: Search results are now displayed as they come in. You do not need to wait until the last archive returns its data anymore.
- Virtual Observatory: Download notifications are coalesced.
- Virtual Observatory: The search radius is now expressed in arcminutes instead of degrees. The default value has been reduced to 10’.
- Virtual Observatory: The search results can now also be sorted by Source.
- Virtual Observatory: Scrolling through the results with the trackpad gesture has been improved by enabling predominant scrolling.
- Performance: Loading and displaying images is up to 40% faster.
- Outline Browser: Enabled predominant scrolling, making it easier to scroll using the trackpad gesture.
- User Interface: Observatory now will display a notification whenever the Observatory Blog is updated.
- User Interface: Notifications are now shown while the application is in front.
- Finder: FITS files are now referred to as “Flexible Image Transport System” instead of “Flexible Image Transport System Image”.
- Finder: Tweaked the library document identifier reported to the system in preparation for future enhancements.
- Import: FITS files with names that contain special characters (parenthesis, brackets, etc) now can be imported as well, and rendered by the FITS Quick Look plugin.
- Virtual Observatory: Fixed an issue which could result in duplicate searches to be submitted to the archives while they were still ongoing.
- Virtual Observatory: Changing the search radius will now start a new search.
- Virtual Observatory: Resolved an issue where under certain circumstances images would not be downloaded into the selected album.
- Preview: Virtual Observatory preview images sometimes were downloaded even when the preview pane or sidebar was collapsed. This has been fixed.
- Sidebar: The sidebar icon size is now adjusted when changing the corresponding preference.
- Histogram: Fixed an issue where selecting many images and a histogram preset would not set the black & white points correctly.
- Editor: Now images are correctly centered in the editor even on macOS Sierra.
- Editor: The editor zoom factor now is updated correctly when switching between assistant editors.
- Stack: Fixed an issue with layer offset handling.
- Crash: Resolved a potential crash upon quitting Observatory after using the stack inspector.
June 8, 2016
- GPU Accelerated Computing: With the new “Compute Device” option in the General tab of Observatory’s Preferences window you can now instruct it to perform some intensive computations on the GPU instead of the CPU. Only supported compute devices are listed, and the GPU that is currently connected to your display is indicated with an icon next to its name. If your computer has multiple GPUs, it is recommended to select one that is not connected to the display.
- Library: If you press the Option key while opening the File menu, the “Compact Library” menu item changes into “Optimize Library…”. Choose this new menu item if you wish to immediately generate the thumbnails of all images in a library.
- Performance: Observatory is now smarter about when to load an image into memory.
- Performance: Channel and layer thumbnails are now cached.
- Performance: Observatory now does not compute image statistics if the corresponding inspector is hidden or collapsed.
- Performance: The performance of image statistics computations has been improved.
- Performance: The star detector that is used internally by Astrometric Matching and the Align adjustment is now faster and optionally GPU accelerated.
- Import: The “Auto-Stack” option in the Import sheet is now unchecked by default.
- User Interface: Slight improvements to the animations in the sidebar and inspectors.
- Image Browser: Resolved an issue with the quick filter that resulted in temporary blank thumbnails.
- Image Browser: Workaround for a vertical scrolling issue when using the scroll gesture.
May 8, 2016
- Virtual Observatory: Added support for the Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS).
- Virtual Observatory: Added support for the W. M. Keck Observatory Archive (KOA). It is currently limited to the NIRC2 instrument.
- Virtual Observatory: The number of search results and selected items is now displayed.
- Measure Inspector: There’s a new Cursor inspector which for matched images displays the celestial coordinates at the current cursor position.
- Library: When creating a new library, the example “Observation Sessions” folder will not be generated anymore.
- Virtual Observatory & Astrometric Matching: The look of the archive, SIMBAD and NED buttons is changed.
- Main Menu: The Help menu now contains links to the Release Notes and Observatory Blog.
- Virtual Observatory: SDSS searches that are out of range now will not display an alert anymore.
April 25, 2016