When I get a bigger telescope, I can still use KStars to prepare finder charts. Thanks to James Bowlin, who foresaw all the hurdles in the achievement of this goal and laid out the correct data structures – it actually worked the first time, perfectly! I just replaced the mag 10 Hipparcos star catalog with the mag 12 Tycho-1 star catalog, and it just works!! KStars displays 1 million stars down to mag 12, and there’s only a little freezing because the magnitude limit vs. zoom factor formula needs a bit more tweaking!
It’s really nice to see that the core of Globular Cluster M22 was actually displayed as individual stars, with 11.2 mag stars shown.
There are still quite a few bugs, because I notice a very uneven distribution of mag 11.5+ stars. They are not at all displayed in the Sagittarius milky way region – this is bad, because it should be easy to find mag 12 stars in the rich star clouds of SGR.
For those who are familiar with my GSoC project – no this is not the end of it. It is a “new beginning” (to get very poetic about it). I still have to settle the issues of proper motion (i.e. duplicate high PM stars in all trixels that they may cross in a 20000 year timescale) and improve the loading speeds and reduce the cache size. Besides, there’s a lot of clean up and code quality improvement to be done – we want to split named and unnamed stars into different SkyComponent classes, because the data structures that are used to store them are different.
I’ll post screenshots etc once I’m done with debugging of the problem I mentioned above (No mag > 11.5 stars in SGR!)