Welcome to Sky View Café 5.8

Sky View Café is a Java applet that lets you see many types of astronomical information in both graphical and numerical form. You can see which stars and planets will be out tonight in the sky above your home town, see how the next solar or lunar eclipse will look from Los Angeles, or find out when the Moon rose over Sydney on your birthday ten years ago. Sky View Café includes star charts, a 3-D orrery, displays of the moons of Jupiter and Saturn, an astronomical event calendar, an ephemeris generator, and many other features.

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What's New / Version History

5.8.10, 2016-01-20: Fixed bug related to Julian/Gregorian calendar transition. Updated asteroid, comet, Great Red Spot, and delta-T data.

5.8.10, 2016-01-20: Uses updated geographic database service. Updated Great Red Spot data.

5.8.9, 2015-11-01: Fixed bug related to Julian/Gregorian calendar transition. Updated asteroid, comet, Great Red Spot, and delta-T data.

5.8.8, 2014-04-28: Fixed bug in alignment of Isolation view image. Updated Great Red Spot data.

5.8.7, 2014-02-09: Added one-click main compass point (S/W/N/E) orientation buttons to Sky view. Updated asteroid, comet, Great Red Spot, and delta-T data.

5.8.6, 2013-09-01: Added comet C/2012 S1 (ISON). Fixed incorrect E/W labeling of longitude in geographic "Find..." results. (This was merely an issue of mislabeling in the search results list. The coordinates were programmatically correct, and properly labeled under "Location Settings" after being selected.)

5.8.5, 2013-03-17: Online-only update. Fixed applet's access to previous user settings, stored as a browser cookie, access which had become blocked by recent versions of Java.

5.8.4, 2013-03-09: Added comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS).

5.8.3, 2013-03-04: Fixed a minor typo (bad degree symbol).

5.8.2, 2013-02-17: Updated asteroid, comet, Great Red Spot, and delta-T data. Fixed a minor OS X-specific button drawing problem.

5.8.1, 2012-08-25: Online-only update. Improved appearance and layout of applet when viewed on Linux web browsers. Fix for a minor browser-only appearance issue (disabled up/down adjustment arrows had a white, rather than gray, background).

5.8.0, 2012-08-12: Updated and larger star catalogs for both the online version of SVC and for the stand-alone version, now with more than 5400 and 20,000 stars respectively — roughly double their previous sizes. Improved drawing of stars, especially in larger, expanded views. Fix for a layout bug that caused the "Show Names..." menu to be clipped and hidden on Windows systems when the display area provided for SVC was at or near its minimum size.

5.7.1, 2012-07-21: Improved zooming in Moons/GRS view. Improved handling of non-US postal codes.

5.7.0, 2012-07-19: New "look and feel". Larger, faster geographic database with more accurate time zone information. New "Moon - 1°" and "Sun - 1°" options in the Sky view, useful for close examination of occultation and transit events. Dimmer stars are now brighter and easier to see. Orbits view can now be zoomed in and out using the mouse wheel. Fix for Windows stand-alone SVC to prevent a possible warning about missing MSVCR100.DLL.

5.6.2, 2012-01-20: Put missing Sun back into the center of the solar system in the Orbits view.

5.6.1, 2012-01-19: Fix for "Setting - 1 min." bug that could cause SVC to hang when using this event type. Even better handling of odd time zone quirks. Fix for Windows stand-alone SVC to prevent a possible warning about missing MSVCR71.DLL.

5.6.0, 2012-01-02: Added new ecliptic and equatorial grid options to the Sky view (enhancing the previous options to display the ecliptic and the celestial equator). Added a new "Time" view for displaying conversions of SVC's clock to other useful time values, such as Local Sidereal Time (LST), Local Mean Time, and Julian date. Added a new time zone option, "Local Mean Time", useful for historical applications where local mean solar time is more appropriate than modern time zones. Improved handing of odd time zone quirks, such as the recent change in Samoa where the entire day of Friday, 2011-12-30 was dropped, with Thursday leading straight into Saturday when the country switched its clocks to the opposite side of the International Date Line.

5.5.1, 2011-10-18: Fixed a minor bug in syncing the pop-up calendar with the clock.

5.5.0, 2011-10-08: Added a new feature to display the Milky Way, emphasizing the galactic core and the galactic central plane. You can now view all asteroids, all comets, or all of both simultaneously in addition to the previous option to select one particular asteroid or comet to view. A pop-up calendar is now provided for setting dates. Java 1.6 is now required.

5.2.7, 2011-06-17: Improved visibility of current time marker in Insolation view.

5.2.6, 2011-05-03: Fixed a bug where many calculations for events in year 0 (1 BC) were calculated for the year 1 (AD) instead.

5.2.5, 2011-04-28: Fixed broken "Web Info About (astronomical object)..." pop-up menu item.

5.2.4, 2011-04-28: Fixed a lack of complete clock display update when changing the sign of the year by typing a plus or minus sign rather than changing the clock by "rolling" the sign via arrow keys or by mouse clicks.

5.2.3, 2011-03-27: Equinox and solstice times are now an independent option in the Calendar view, which can be switched on at the same time as rise/set or twilight times. When you're viewing the rise/set times of something other than the Sun, a planet symbol will now appear along side the rise/set times to make a clearer distinction between those times and sunrise/sunset times.

5.2.2, 2011-03-24: dded work-arounds for OS X Chrome/Firefox 4.0 problems.

5.2.1, 2011-03-22: Fixed colors for clock in time tracking mode (it should be green on black when tracking, like it had been for a long time in previous versions of SVC, not gray like a disabled control).

5.2.0, 2011-02-06: Added two new features which combine to create an easy way to survey the morning and evening visibility of the planets. The first feature is the addition of morning and evening twilight to the "previous/next event" navigation menu. (The definition of when twilight begins and ends is user definable in the Preferences dialog.) The second feature is a "Track Sun" option which keeps the azimuth orientation of the Sky display locked to the azimuth of the Sun (even when the Sun is below the horizon).

5.1.3, 2011-01-11: Fixed a bug with an error dialog which could appear then keep reappearing when you tried to close the dialog, forcing you to have to kill the application (or your web browser) in order to escape the error message.

5.1.2, 2011-01-05: Fixed some issues with dialog handling when running on the Chrome web browser, plus added a work-around for a Java HTML-parsing bug which could cause the "About" dialog to be blank.

5.1.1, 2010-12-22: Improved speed of anaglyph 3-D drawing (now nearly twice as fast as before). Fixed an issue with occasionally inconsistent placement of left eye vs. right eye name 3-D labels for planets.

5.1.0, 2010-12-19: Added anaglyph 3-D viewing option to Orbits view. Added user-settable Preference for Julian-to-Gregorian calendar transition date.

5.0.6, 2010-11-28: Various small bug fixes and code improvements.

5.0.5, 2010-11-01: Brought back the "Your OS" time zone choice. Fixed a few minor bugs.

5.0.4, 2010-10-30: Brought some features previously only in the stand-alone version of SVC into the web version: "Gray orbits below horizon" option in the Orbits view, decimal degrees and astrometric coordinates option in the Tables view. Astrometric coordinates are now always shown for a fixed equinox and ecliptic (J2000.0 by default, an adjustable Preference setting).

5.0.3, 2010-10-27: Fixed a bug in showing decimal formatted angles in tables. Add asteroids and comets to Table view, along with new formatting to convey lower precision of asteroids/comets positions (compared to planet positions).

5.0.2, 2010-10-27: Improved the accuracy of the positions of asteroids and comets over a 200 year span (from 1910-2110). Previously asteroid and comet positions were based on one set of simple orbital elements for each body, limiting the accuracy for each body to narrow spans of time. Now each body has multiple sets of orbital elements from multiple dates, with new sets added before the time that an orbit computed by the previous set would have an error greater than 1 arc minute of heliocentric longitude or latitude.

5.0.1, 2010-10-19: Fixed a problem where navigating to some event types via the event panel could be off from the correct event time by the offset of your time zone from UT. Added two-axis rotation and zoom control to Orbit view.

5.0, 2010-10-17: New look-and-feel, asteroids and comets, improved time zone system, clikcable dates and times in Calendar, azimuth Preference setting (North 0° increasing eastward or South at 0° increasing westward), more.

Copyright © 2000-2012 Kerry Shetline. The character "Duke", used for my Java code link, is a trademark of Oracle, Inc.