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An Astrometry Machine

  1. Mar 11, 2013 #1
    Hello there,

    To give a little information, I have recently finished my MRes Computer Science project whereby I attempted to create a program suitable for educational purposes, applying many real-world Physics formulae to create a visually representative real-time simulation of a Solar System. My desire to create such a program was born from amateur star gazing as well as a general fascination of Physics as a discipline; that said, I am very much a computer software developer so decided to marry the two concepts to create something I hope to be unique and future developable.

    The program I've made is not commercial - The released version will remain as a 'beta' product, free for download from www.tssengine.com from the 2nd of April 2013 but for now, I have created a teaser trailer which I am hoping will inspire others to download and share the program, as well as create their own videos, for those whom space related learning is an interest. Any feedback, general questions or ideas for future development would be highly, highly appreciated.

    Please feel free to leave comments either here or on the youtube page but for now, Enjoy!

    Kind Regards,
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 11, 2013 #2
    looks pretty cool...looking forward to April 2nd
  4. Mar 13, 2013 #3


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    I liked the "real" looking 3-dimensional views with objects moving in the proper perspective. It seems like it can become a useful tool. I'd like to see our Solar System in this engine. But I'm afraid that the control page, with all those variables, would be too much for me to learn so as to create our Solar System. If you gave me a "basic" system with a sun and nine planets to start with, then I guess I could modify it to mimic ours. Waiting for 2 April.
    Cheers, Bobbywhy
  5. Mar 13, 2013 #4
    Cheers for the feedback guys :)

    I have included in the File menu an option to auto-load our Solar System for people to gauge the accuracy; whilst the colouring is a little off to do an incomplete chemical list, the statistics derived are all pretty accurate. I'll be posting on the website the results and conclusions I came to a little closer to the launch but it's all there.

    I realised that people will have multiple uses for such an engine so I've added in (again on the file menu) a random generator, as well as given objects on the main page the ability to have randomised parameters assigned. Whilst these aren't going to be 100% true to real life creation of a planet (I don't know if we'll ever see a planet made of 100% boron ;)), they should still give some enjoyment to people not wanting to manually input all of the parameters each time.

    edit: I should also say, I've modified the website; it's still not done but life is currently prevailing over the updates...it will be complete by 2nd of April with a lot more information and there is a tutorial system built into the engine as well to aid learning of how the system works (I am no UI expert).
  6. Mar 13, 2013 #5
    The trailer takes much too long to get to the point. Advertising should hit the viewer over the head. It has far too much atmospheric stuff. I think it would be much better shortened to 30 seconds or perhaps a minute. If I hadn't been doing you a favor I would have bailed.

    The display is too small to read, and I got only the vaguest idea of what the program did.

    On the plus side, the planets look quite nice and I'd say it could be a winner.
  7. Mar 13, 2013 #6
    Thank you for the response. This whole thing is quite a learning experience for me; I haven't ever released a program before and have been going on gut feelings for what to do regarding the whole process, often leading to mistakes. I'm nigh on useless at marketing (as shown by the original website) but it's a necessary evil I should learn at least a little more about; doesn't matter how good the program is if no-one sees it! You are right, the website has seen too high a percentage of people spending too little time to have watched the whole video and its length is liable to be a contributing factor.

    Notably I have been writing all this down for future projects but perhaps I should create a shorter version of the trailer before the release. Any more feedback is very much appreciated, and will be even more so post-launch. :)

  8. Apr 2, 2013 #7
    For anyone interested, today the created Thesis program was released for free (no sign-up, no installer) and is available from www.tssengine.com as of around one hour ago. The website will have further updates in due course for anyone who has issues with using the program but for now, the program is free to tinker with...Enjoy! :D
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