Observatory 2.0.2

Observatory 2.0.2 is now available on the Mac App Store.

It resolves performance issues for images stored on NAS. Although you should never store an Observatory library file itself on NAS, Observatory requires quick random access to it after all, images can be stored on NAS. For best performance you should store the library files on your computer’s internal SSD or an SSD directly attached to it.

The File menu has a new “Delete Rejected Masters…” item. After an imaging session, drop the folder with your new images onto the Observatory application icon, then use the gallery browser or one with your canvas on a second monitor to quickly scan your images and reject those that are of unacceptable quality by pressing Control-Command-Zero (^⌘0). Afterwards in the browser bar deselect “Accepted” in the Image Type dropdown and you’ll see only those images you are about to remove. After verifying, choose “Delete Rejected Masters…” and Observatory will move all the rejected images to Finder’s trash.

PixInsight 1.8.9-2 was released a few weeks before Observatory 2, and has an important change buried in its release notes. Although it still accepts FITS WCS keywords when opening images, it will ignore them when saving XISF or FITS files. It now only writes astrometric solutions to PixInsight XISF files, and only using XISF properties. It’s a huge compatibility step backwards, as the FITS format and WCS FITS keywords are the standard in the astronomy community. PixInsight 1.8.9-2 still generates linear solutions in addition to its proprietary spline-based distortion corrections, and Observatory 2.0.2 adds support for these linear astrometric solution XISF properties.

The Quick Look preview action menu now also contains the STF option that was introduced in Observatory 2.0.1. It applies to the Quick Look preview and thumbnails. Please note that Quick Look thumbnails are cached by Finder, so changing it may not have any effect until you clear the Quick Look cache and relaunch Finder. Its main intended use is to temporary change how the Quick Look preview is displayed.

Observatory 2.0.2 has many more little improvements, like better asteroid magnitude estimates, a limit on image preview dimensions, a progress bar in the New Library window, and it fixes a few crashes. All changes can be found in the release notes.