Aciqra: Aciqra 2.1 Release

Posted December 22, 2011 by User 1

It was three years ago to the day that the Aciqra project first made its presence known to the world as a project on SourceForge. Its first release came just two days later -- a simplistic planetarium program -- unimpressive to say the least. Over these next three years, the project steadily grew as progress was made towards create a better, more advanced program. These results of three years of work are now finally surfacing because on this December solstice of 2011, the long-awaited Aciqra 2.1 is released.

The idea for Aciqra 2 was officially announced on April 30, 2009, over four months after the Aciqra project was initially made public. The plan was for development to commence in May so that a release could be made by December. December came and went, however, with almost no apparent progress towards a release. This lack of progress led to the release being delayed first to December, 2010 and later to December, 2011 after the scale of the release became apparent. It was not until August of 2011 that a final release was clearly in sight. Four months later, that final release is now here.

The magnitude of this release makes it nearly impossible to describe all the changes that have occured since version 1 of Aciqra. In fact, Aciqra 2 shares no code in common with Aciqra 1 as it is written in a completely different programming language using different tools. In effect, it is a new planetarium that could well be from a different project. Aciqra 2 now OpenGL for rendering its display of the sky as well as the redesigned interface. Large numbers of stars, deep space objects, comets and asteroids are available and usable without crashing as a result of countless optimizations. In addition, a plethora of new features are present including a night vision mode, an angle indicator and labeling of the brightnesses, colors, sizes, scientific names in addition to the common names of celestial objects.

Despite the obvious improvements, Aciqra 2 may not be perfect for everyone as it purposely excludes many of the popular features from Aciqra 1. Specifically, none of the "Widgets" present in Aciqra 1 have survived the update. These were deemed unnecessary after the project's mission became producing a planetarium for scientific use in the real world. Several of these may eventually return in the near future, but separate from Aciqra itself instead being their own individual projects under the Caglow umbrella. Doing this allows those who would like these features to have them without requiring those who do not to download them. For the time being however, they will only be available in Aciqra 1.

Aciqra has come a long way since its origin three years ago. Yet, it still has far to go. Even with this release, Aciqra 2 is not complete. In fact, it is only the beginning of a long and great series of releases that will expand on the work of 2.1. By this time next year, we will have two more innovative releases available. The same will occur the following year. One can only imagine where Aciqra, or even the world, will be by then. But for now, we have this first release -- the one of Aciqra 2.1.


Both the standard edition and a Bright Star Edition are available. The standard edition includes the Tycho-2 and Hipparcos star catalogs in addition to the Bright Star Catalog in the Bright Star Edition. Also, the updater script is only packaged with the standard edition as it will only update to that version. Therefore, the Bright Star Edition is for all essential purposes, "Aciqra Lite" and is recommended for everyone who does not need to view a large number of stars.

Bright Star Edition
Installer (Windows) - 2.96 MB:
Binaries Archive (Windows) - 2.65 MB:

Standard Edition
Installer (Windows) - 57.17 MB:
Binaries Archive (Windows) - 58.01 MB:
Binaries Archive (GNU/Linux) - 56.75 MB:
Source Code - 56.74 MB:

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