FITS/XISF/SBIG Acorn image plugin 1.2

Today Acorn 7 was released. Acorn has a new interface and is now fully optimized for Apple silicon Macs. We have updated our FITS/XISF/SBIG Acorn image plugin today as well, and like Acorn 7 it now also runs natively on Apple silicon.

After installing the plugin, you can open FITS, XISF and SBIG images with Acorn as easy as a JPEG or TIFF while maintaining the dynamic range in your images. The plugin is free, but you do need Observatory and Acorn to use it. It’s a great addition to Observatory’s Quick Look and Spotlight plugins for the same image formats.

More information about the plugin and the download link can be found in the User Guide. Full release notes are here.

Observatory 1.6.1

Observatory 1.6.1 is now available on the Mac App Store.

In this update we have fixed a regression in the Library Navigator that was causing its overzealous closing of folders.

When importing images, Observatory now automatically handles the incorrect scale in the WCS solution generated by ASIAIR PRO. Overlays and tags in Observatory will now be correct if you use this device to plate solve your images.

ESO has fixed a regression in their service to access raw observational data. As a result, access to the ESO archive using Observatory‘s Virtual Observatory has been restored. To better serve our needs in Observatory, we took this opportunity to adjust what data is returned. Results are now limited to the following instruments:

  • EMMI/LaSilla: A multipurpose instrument for observations in the visible wavelengths at La Silla Observatory in Chile, retired in 2008.
  • FORS1/VLT: An instrument at Paranal Observatory in Chile, retired in 2009 to make space for XSHOOTER.
  • FORS2/VLT: An instrument mounted on the VLT 8.2m UT1 Antu telescope at Paranal Observatory in Chile.
  • OMEGACAM/VST: A camera for the VLT Survey Telescope, a 2.6m telescope designed specifically for wide-field imaging at Paranal Observatory in Chile.
  • VIMOS/VLT: A wide field imager mounted on the VLT 8.2m UT3 Melipal telescope at Paranal Observatory in Chile.
  • WFI/LaSilla: The Wide Field Imager is permanently mounted on the 2.2m MPG/ESO telescope at La Silla Observatory in Chile.
  • XSHOOTER/VLT: An imager mounted on the VLT 8.2m UT2 Kueyen telescope at Paranal Observatory in Chile.

A change in the HST service prevented Observatory‘s Virtual Observatory from searching HST images. This has been resolved.

Release notes.

Observatory 1.5.3

Observatory 1.5.3 has been released to the Mac App Store.

The Calibrate adjustment now tolerates small differences in ISO speed, pedestal, gain and exposure duration for its calibration frame validation. This solves the issue where the calibration frame selections sometimes didn‘t list the expected master calibration frames.

The adjustment also gained the new option to skip most of the validation altogether. So if some of the metadata is incorrect, or you want to calibrate your image with a flat taken at a different sensor temperature, now you can without having to manually edit the metadata.

Release notes.

Observatory 1.5.2

Observatory 1.5.2 is available on the Mac App Store.

New in this release is that Observatory now always reopens libraries upon launching. Previously this behavior was determined by the “Close windows when quitting an app” setting of the General System Preferences, but since this setting is turned on by default, many users were not aware of this feature in Observatory.

Another improvement is related to the decrease in contrast of successive macOS releases. These changes affected the legibility of inspector, browser and editor labels in Observatory. This has been fixed.

The largest change however is one that becomes relevant only later this year. Observatory is now compatible with Apple silicon! Right now Apple doesn‘t allow us to release a universal binary that runs natively on Apple silicon and natively on Intel-based Mac computers, but Observatory is now compatible with Rosetta 2 translation on Big Sur.

Release notes.