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Version 3.5 - 8th December 2017

Version 3.5 of AstroGrav is an upgrade containing a new evolution algorithm, a new command for removing objects without changing the orbits of other objects as a consequence, significant performance improvements, and many other improvements and bug fixes. This information is intended for existing users who are already familiar with AstroGrav and want to quickly find out about the main changes. This is a free upgrade for customers who have already purchased a license, so that all you need to do is download Version 3.5 and use it in place of your old version. If you have any problems with this new version, please don't hesitate to contact us so that we can help you out.

Version 3.5 of AstroGrav has the following new and improved features.

Simulation Evolution

Version 3.5 of AstroGrav includes a new evolution algorithm that is both more accurate and significantly faster in many simulations.

Importing Objects

Version 3.5 of AstroGrav includes the following improvement and bug fixes to the importing of objects into solar system simulations using the Edit / Import Objects... command.

  • A bug has been fixed that caused the import of asteroids to fail in a rare cases, such as the recently discovered interstellar asteroid 2017 U1.
  • A bug has been fixed that could cause AstroGrav to do a fast import even when the Fast Import box was deselected.
  • AstroGrav's guess for the absolute magnitudes of comets has been increased from 12 to 15 when the JPL Comets option is used, so that comets don't appear to be much brighter than they actually are. The MPC Comets option, which contains accurate absolute magnitudes, is unchanged.
  • Importing objects is now much faster in cases where a significant amount of evolution is required.

Table Improvements

Version 3.5 of AstroGrav includes the following improvement to tables.

  • A bug has been fixed that caused characters such as degree, arcminute, and arcsecond symbols to appear as other symbols when the exported files were opened in text editor or spreadsheet software.
  • A bug has been fixed that caused the headers of an exported table to be incorrect after a change of units.
  • The Show Horizontal Scroll Bar item in a table's column selector menu has had its name changed to Auto-Resize Columns, because this better reflects its purpose. The corresponding change has also been made in the table preferences.
  • The column resizing algorithm has been improved to make it easier to manually resize a table's columns when Auto-Resize Columns is switched on.
  • Ephemeris tables have been made to respect the Auto-Resize Columns setting in the table preferences.
  • The Total Velocity column has been added to ephemeris tables. This is hidden by default, but can be shown using the table's column selector.
  • Many of the column widths in ephemeris tables have been reduced so that less 'junk digits' are displayed and ephemeris windows take up less space.

Removing Objects

In previous versions of AstroGrav, the only way to remove objects from a simulation was to use the Edit / Delete command. This has the disadvantage that the orbits of other objects are changed as a consequence. For example, if you delete the Moon from a solar system simulation, the Earth's orbit is significantly changed as a consequence. Version 3.5 of AstroGrav solves this problem with the introduction of a new Edit / Remove Objects command that removes the current selection of objects in such a way as to leave the orbits of other objects unchanged.

Other Improvements

Version 3.5 of AstroGrav also has many other minor improvements and bug fixes, including the following.

  • Many performance improvements have been made, significantly speeding up some operations.
  • Inaccuracies in the calculation of peri longitude and position longitude values have been removed.
  • A bug has been fixed that could cause object histories to appear on the inside of trajectories where they could overlap and be difficult to read.
  • The entry of exponents has been made more flexible by allowing upper case 'E' characters and '+' symbols.
  • Unwanted '-' symbols for dimensionless units have been removed from various parts of the user interface.
  • The Calculate Orbits... command has been moved from the Edit menu to the Tools menu.
  • The Solar System sample simulations have been made more accurate, and their start date has been changed from 01/01/2017 to 01/01/2018.