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Version 4.0 - 4th July 2019

Version 4.0 of AstroGrav is an upgrade containing a large number of 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 an AstroGrav 2 or AstroGrav 3 license, so that all you need to do is download Version 4.0 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 4.0 of AstroGrav has the following new and improved features.

Background Stars

Version 4.0 of AstroGrav includes approximately 118,000 stars from the Hipparcos catalogue for use with solar system simulations. This is adequate for most purposes, but some users will require many more background stars, particularly when wanting to see the detailed star background near a faint asteroid or comet. To satisfy this requirement, millions more faint background stars are now available as a separate download. They're supplied in this form because the data is many times the size of the rest of AstroGrav, and so only those who are interested need to download it.

The download files and corresponding installation instructions are available here.


Version 4.0 of AstroGrav allows you to print the contents of any window with the new File / Print... command, which allows you to print to either a printer or a document on disk. The new File / Page Setup... command allows you specify the size and orientation of printouts using a standard page setup dialog.

If you want to print the contents of a view window to a printer, you might want to save printer ink / toner by first using the View / Show / Inverted command to invert the colors, making the background of the image white instead of black. In order to prevent the accidental waste of printer ink / toner, a warning is issued before printing a view with a black background.

View Window Improvements

Version 4.0 of AstroGrav includes the following improvements to view windows.

  • In earlier versions of AstroGrav, trajectories and histories in view windows were limited to 50 time steps. There is now a new View / Trajectory Size... command that allows you to change this figure for any particular view window if you wish.
  • The horizon is no longer automatically fixed after using the View / View From... command to view from a location on the Earth's surface.
  • The edges of objects drawn with the circular style (View / Object Style / Circular) have been smoothed out so that they no longer appear jagged.
  • The drawing of view windows has been significantly speeded up.
  • The maximum background star magnitude has been removed from the view preferences because it no longer serves a useful purpose.

Full Screen Mode

When using the View / Full Screen Mode command in version 4.0 of AstroGrav, the following twelve keystroke commands are now available to adjust the view.

  • Control+Alt+K (Command+Alt+K on a Mac) greatly decreases the magnification.
  • Control+Shift+K (Command+Shift+K on a Mac) slightly decreases the magnification.
  • Control+Shift+L (Command+Shift+L on a Mac) slightly increases the magnification.
  • Control+Alt+L (Command+Alt+L on a Mac) greatly increases the magnification.
  • Control+Alt+J (Command+Alt+J on a Mac) greatly decreases the brightness.
  • Control+Shift+J (Command+Shift+J on a Mac) slightly decreases the brightness.
  • Control+Shift+B (Command+Shift+B on a Mac) slightly increases the brightness.
  • Control+Alt+B (Command+Alt+B on a Mac) greatly increases the brightness.
  • Control+Shift+T (Command+Shift+T on a Mac) shows objects using the standard object style.
  • Control+Shift+I (Command+Shift+I on a Mac) shows objects using the intermediate object style.
  • Control+Shift+H (Command+Shift+H on a Mac) shows objects using the photographic object style.
  • Control+Shift+C (Command+Shift+C on a Mac) shows objects using the circular object style.

These keystroke commands are identical to the keyboard shortcuts that are used in the View / Magnification, View / Brightness, and View / Object Style menus.

Other Improvements

Version 4.0 of AstroGrav also has many other minor improvements and bug fixes, including the following.

  • The time zone has been added to the status bar of solar system simulations when the time unit is either universal time or local time.
  • A bug has been fixed that sometimes caused the Window / Bring All to Front command to disappear from the Window menu.
  • The sorting of the very large tables used by the Edit / Import Objects... command has been significantly speeded up.
  • The Help / AstroGrav Logs command has been added to make it easier to view AstroGrav's logs and send them to technical support when necessary.
  • New particle types for black holes have been added.
  • The Help / AstroGrav Google+ command has been replaced with the new Help / AstroGrav YouTube command because of the termination of Google+.
  • The default mass threshold of a new simulation has been changed from 1.0e20 kilograms to 0.0 kilograms.
  • Display quality has been greatly improved on high-DPI monitors.