Version 0.14.3 versus 0.16.0

Asked by bhadra on 2017-09-06

I have been working on a paper to do with orientation of temple architecture. I have been working on this paper for the last nearly 2 years and have used version 0.14.3. Now I am just ready to submit my paper and I find there is a new version 0.16.0. Probably there were more in between. My paper has involved making around 100 measurements and then some calculations based on those numbers. It could be quite tedious to repeat all that again. But I will do if it is necessary. My paper deals with position of a star from 4th to 12 century CE. Please advise me whether I have to repeat all the measurements?

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gzotti (georg-zotti) said : #1

Yes, there were 0.15.0, 0.15.1, and 0.15.2 in between. And a new User Guide! See ChangeLog.rtf in the program folder.

Please read Appendix E in The Guide. I keep repeating, Stellarium has originally not been developed for archaeoastronomers, but for 21st century amateur observers. In the present time and shortly after fundamental epoch J2000, accuracy was no problem even for the approximate models. I have started to retrofit long-time models to make Stellarium usable for questions concerning prehistoric and historic astronomy, and in version 0.14 I introduced finally a good solution for precession.

Stellar proper motion is modelled only with linear components. This has not changed since around 2008. You should compare stellar positions with results from some other reliable source, and decide whether the results from Stellarium are good enough for your purpose. (What accuracy do you need? Arcminutes, half-degrees?) The main version number of Stellarium is still "0" for a reason!

You can also install Stellarium 0.16.0 in parallel to your older version and compare a few results. I think there should be no change in the stellar positions between those 2 versions. 0.16 brought a significant improvement for solar eclipses. In any case, write clearly which version you have used for your study.

What is unique (as far as I know) is our possibility for you to create a 3D model of your temple/church and walk inside and study relations in the 5th or 12th century if you want. This has been developed exactly for such orientation studies.

bhadra (bhadra) said : #2

Thanks for your reply. I have used 0.14.3 for my study. I used it to measure rising azimuth of Spica and B Lib from 4th to 12th century.

I haven't used any "other reliable source", for comparing with stellarium. Could you please suggest which one I could use?

gzotti (georg-zotti) said : #3

I don't know your background in astronomical computing, and how accurate your results have to be.
You could do a manual computation following e.g. Meeus, Astronomical Algorithms. There are other software titles (e.g. Guide 8/9 from, or even star position tables from the mid-20th-century literature.
I am pretty confident, though, that Stellarium should be already fit for this purpose. Just install 0.16 into a separate folder and compare a few data points to see if there is any difference. (And report your results here, please!)

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