I recommended this software to friends at an astronomy meeting last night. When I started it up this morning (to get a screenshot to include in an email with a link to the download website) there was a new version available, which the program downloaded and installed with a click and a password verification for installation (under linux).
Perhaps these features were there before, but the new presentation makes them much more readily evident to me. The features are exactly what I wanted to see added. There is a timeline for the date in use on the right hand ephemeris panel. You can move a slider along the timeline, which gives alt/az numbers for both sun and moon in the right panel, and thinner lines to the current azimuth (compass bearing) of the sun and moon in the google map panel for any time of day you choose. There are also forward/back arrows by the timeline which go directly to the next 'event' for the day, including various twilight times (civil, nautical, and astronomical) and moon and sun rise and set.
This makes it a much more complete tool, as shots at exact sunrise and sunset are rare, and it's nice to be able to find where the sun and moon will be when above the horizon a known number of degrees. The sun and moon both have apparent N/S motion as the earth turns, so exact rise and set azimuths are not the same as when they are up several degrees above local trees, buildings, mountains, etc. Using the google satellite map view, you should be able to very accurately position yourself for the shot you want.
You can also move a gray marker to any point on the map. It will give you distance, difference in elevation, and visual angular altitude to that point so that you can tell whether it will block the sun or moon, or how high above that feature the sun or moon will be at a given time.
Last edited by Lee L; 11-05-2009 at 01:44 PM. Click to view previous post history.