Gaia Sky is here again with a brand new release packed with new features and bug fixes. Here are the most important:
The idea of ditching both my web hosting provider and Drupal has been at the back of my mind for a few months.
Bear with me. Since about 2011 I have been maintaining this website using the cheapest hosting tier my hosting offers – At least it was the cheapest at the time I got it. They call it The Essential and it costs over 300 bucks for 2 years. It is not a lot, but it is definitely too much for my purposes of hosting a small blog where I provide occasional updates on my projects, my portfolio and my CV.
Also, loading times are horribly long and the complexity of managing the Drupal installation (upgrades/updates) and also the database takes way too much of my time. Only the thought of updating to Drupal 8 sends shivers down my spine and ultimately got me searching for better options.
Today, 26 September 2016, the Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) features a video we have prepared with Gaia Sky at the ARI/Uni Heidelberg. The video itself shows a flight from outside of our Milky Way galaxy to the Sun and then a travel through the Solar System towards the vicinity of the Earth, displaying in this journey a little over 600.000 stars from the TGAS part of Gaia Data Release 1.
Last September 14 the first Gaia catalog, Gaia Data Release 1, was made public. To celebrate the occasion, we also released version 1.0.0 of our virtual Universe software, Gaia Sky. This time around, the software comes with big improvements and lots of new features, the most prominent of which is the addition of the TGAS catalog, a part of Gaia DR1 which contains 3D positions for approximately 2 million objects. Check out the release trailer.