Coming soon to Where is Io

The last Where is Io release was a few weeks ago.  That’s because I’ve been working through a new chunk of math that I’ll need for a few new features.  One of the things I needed was rise and set times for Jupiter and the Sun, which quickly turned into all the planets (because it’s basically no additional work to fill it in for everything else).

The application is evolving in it’s own direction into a more general solar system almanac, which makes me wonder if a new name is going to be in order on the next release (probably called 2.0 because of so many changes).  Name suggestions are welcomed.

5 thoughts on “Coming soon to Where is Io”

  1. I’m really looking forward to the next release. I just found your Where is Io app the other day and used it to look at Jupiter with my Galileoscope. The sky has been incredibly clear this week and I was able to the the remaining band with amazing clarity even at only 50x. I used the same scope last fall to look at Jupiter and could barely make out any signs of banding. Some time this month I plan to get a 6″ Newtonian from Orion (via Amazon) once I get enough rewards points with my credit card.

    One thing I’d like to see with your app (when it comes to Jupiter) is an indicator of when the Great Red Spot will transit. Sky and Telescope has a page to start from (http://www.skyandtelescope.com/skytel/beyondthepage/91731334.html) that just lists UTC times. They also mention that +/-50min from those times are the best time to view it. I was thinking that a horizontal highlight band could mark those 100 min spans. With the current app, does the line cover over the Jupiter graphic when the moon is in transit or does the user just have to know that when the line is crossing from left to right the moon is in transit?

    As for renaming the app … well there’s part of me that says you should leave the name alone as kind of a quirky homage to where it came from kind of like recursive acronyms other projects have (Wine Is Not an Emulator). The more logical part of me thinks a new name would be appropriate but isn’t creative enough to know what that name should be.

    I’ve been playing with some Android development myself but all my app does is assist (as a WebKit wrapper) in driving a user around the Heavens Above page. It gets your GPS location and timezone and has menu items to point you to certain pages (Skymap, Sun, Moon, ISS, Planets, and a select group of Minor Planets) with the right data tacked onto the GET string. So far it hasn’t been published on the Market and only one other person has played with it other than myself.

    Anyway, keep up the good work. I might try building your Git snapshot to see how it works this weekend. Either way I’ll probably be checking out the code.

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  2. First, thanks for the really in depth feedback. It’s very appreciated.

    I’ve got code in the repo that draws the lines over and under each other, that will be in 2.0 (which is the next release, hopefully out in a week or so). At some point I’ll work out the math for the shadow transits, which are actually easier to see.

    Great Red Spot transit is a good idea as well, I’ll look into what’s required for that math wise. My overall goal is to make the app a fairly useful planetary almanac.

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  3. Oh I had another idea to add into the app. When on the Rise and Set Times page, swiping from right to left should move ahead one day so users can see the rise and set times for the next day. It would probably be logical to then allow the user to swipe the other way in time as well. Now that I’m playing with the code I might give that a try but since I have no idea how to do that … it might take me a little while to figure it out. If this feature is added, the date should be displayed at the top of the page in case the user doesn’t know how many times they’ve swiped back and forth.

    The tricky bit about the Great Red Spot is that it has moved around over time so just knowing that it was at a certain longitude and the rotational rate over time won’t always be sufficient for predicting it’s transits since it’s longitude could drift over time. This page shows a plot of the drift over time. http://jupos.privat.t-online.de/rGrs.htm I suppose that’s what minor code revisions are for.

    Of course once the Jupiter and Saturn systems are well tracked, I guess Uranus’s moons would be next for those with big scopes. http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/objects/javascript/3310476.html# I’m still waiting on getting my first 6″ scope so Uranus’s moons will be beyond me for quite some time.

    -Keith

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    1. “Oh I had another idea to add into the app. When on the Rise and Set Times page, swiping from right to left should move ahead one day so users can see the rise and set times for the next day. It would probably be logical to then allow the user to swipe the other way in time as well. Now that I’m playing with the code I might give that a try but since I have no idea how to do that … it might take me a little while to figure it out. If this feature is added, the date should be displayed at the top of the page in case the user doesn’t know how many times they’ve swiped back and forth.”

      Ok I’ve implemented this code today (10/1) but I haven’t checked it into github yet because I need to tune it a bit. I have to add the gesture listener to more objects in the layout otherwise as it stands now, you will only get it to respond if you swipe (technically called a fling) in the black space below Neptune or in the Title bar. I also added a row to the layout above the Sun to show the date that is being displayed.

      -Keith

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      1. I’ll check out the code on Sunday and see about integrating pieces of it. Just got back from a vacation, so it might take me a little time to get my head around it. 🙂

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