Tips and Tricks for New 6.3.3 Features
Here is a list of Starry Night features that will help you create great looking Starry Night Favourite files.
For additional features, refer to the User’s Guide under the Help menu and subscribe to our monthly newsletter at StarryNightEducation.com .
Starry Night can display 3D shadow cones (umbra and penumbra) for all planets, dwarf planets and moons in our solar system. To display the shadow cone for an object, open the Find pane and check the second box to the right of the object’s name. In the example below, the Earth and Moon shadow cones have been toggled on.
You can change the color of the shadow cone and select to display the umbra, penumbra or both when the shadow box in the Find pane is checked. To customize how shadows will appear, open the Options pane, expand the Solar System layer and click on “Planets-Moons”. This will bring up a new dialog window that allows you to change the display options for shadow cones.
Distance Spheres allows you to display translucent spheres at custom distance milestones from a selected object.
Tip: An example of a distance sphere to show the boundaries of our solar system can be found in the Favourites side pane under Simulations->Other->Distance Spheres->Sun distance spheres. Use the Increase Elevation button in the Toolbar to view the distance spheres. Hold down the SHIFT key and click-drag your mouse cursor around a distance sphere to change your perspective.
To add a new distance sphere, right-click or ctrl-click on a solar system object and select Distance Spheres... from the contextual menu that pops up. Alternatively, you can open the Find pane and click on an objects contextual menu button (first button located on the left of the object’s name) to view the contextual menu.
Click the (+) button in the dialog window that opens to add a new distance sphere.
Name your distance sphere and set the radius of the sphere. In the example below, the Sun will be at the center of the distance sphere. Press the Ok button when finished.
To display the distance sphere, make sure the box to the left of the sphere’s name is checked.
To view the distance sphere, use the Increase Elevation button to increase your distance from the Earth. In this example, we added a distance light sphere with a radius of 1 light year and would have to increase the elevation to at least 1 light year to view the sphere.
This is a fun and educational feature. Starry Night allows you to enlarge the sizes of solar system objects. When this feature is used, the object will no longer be drawn to scale but there are advantages. For example, when you hover above the solar system, the planets are mere dots. You can use the magnification feature to enlarge the sizes of the planets, making them easily visible.
The magnification slider is hidden by default. To view the magnification slider open the Find pane and right-click (Windows) or ctrl-click (Macintosh) on a column heading, such as “Name”. In the menu that opens, select “Magnification”.
A new slider will appear under the heading “Mag.” Move the slider to the right to magnify the size of the object.
The hide feature will hide a solar system object from view. For example, if you were showing the orbit of the Earth, you could hide all of the other planets and avoid being distracted by the motion of the other planets.
Like the magnification feature, the hide feature is hidden by default. To view the hide checkbox column open the Find pane and right-click (Windows) or ctrl-click (Macintosh) on a column heading, such as “Name”. In the menu that opens, select “Hide”.
A new checkbox will appear to the left of the Alt. column. Click on the box to hide the object. In this example, Venus has been hidden from view.
Precession Dial shows a ring in the northern and southern sky marked in 1000 year increments depicting the rotational axis "wobble" of the Earth over its 26,000 year cycle.
To display the precession dials, open the Options pane, expand the Guides layer and then the Celestial Guides (Poles) sub-layer. Under Celestial Guides (Poles) check the “Pole Precession Circles” box.
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