Aciqra 2.3

Aciqra 2.3 (Grand River) is the third major release of the Aciqra 2 series. The term "Grand River" refers to the upper portion of the Colorado River which runs from its source in the Colorado Rockies down to the confluence with the Green River in Utah. Originally intended for December of 2012, Aciqra 2.3 was delayed due to unexpected difficulties in implementation. Nonetheless, the release is now considered stable and ready for use as a successor to 2.2.

The most notable addition to this release is the (semi-)realistic display of comets. Both an ion and a dust tail are displayed with proper orientations determined from the physical parameters of past comets.With this addition, Aciqra is now the first free and open source planetarium to depict comets with reasonable accuracy. Note that although most comets will appear similar to the depictions generated by Aciqra, comets are notoriously difficult to predict with each comet being unique from every other comet, and so there may be drastic deviations from actual appearance. Normally, however, there should only be slight deviations from reality except when the predicted physical parameters change.

In addition, the path of solar system objects can now be traced, showing where a given object was and will be and the path it travels along in between. This feature can be used to track a planet's retrograde loops or to locate a comet's perihelion encounter.

Also, the interface is now more readable with a darkened background behind every label and descriptor. Menus have been dimmed to be less intrusive. The installation procedure has also been streamlined for non-Windows systems, effectively requiring only a series of "make" and "make install" commands to build and install.

For a complete list of changes, see the official release statement on Caglow Central.

As always, downloads are available from both SourceForge and Caglow Central.

C/2011 L4 in conjunction with the Moon
C/2012 F6 as it fades from view in the Northern hemisphere
The much anticipated possibly-Great Comet of 2013
Movement of Mars relative to the background stars
C/2012 S1 (ISON) as it moves south to perihelion before rapidly looping North afterwards