Looks like Apple got the new versions of DS out just in time to fix the “where the frak is Comet Lulin?” bug. The comet passed right by Saturn last night. You can see a terrific photo of the two at http://www.spaceweather.com.
Lulin is now in Leo and traveling very fast each day. It peaked at about the predicted brightness, around 5th magnitude. Visible to the unaided eye-barely-in a dark sky. But should be a nice binocular object.
I just got word from Apple that Distant Suns-Lite was released to the Appstore. DS-Lite is a stripped down version of the paid app (we can’t call it a “demo”). The full app includes things like the ability to change the date and time, deeper data for various objects, and the photos for planets and deep-sky objects, and the aim-toolbar and a host of other things. For those who only need a quick tool to see what’s up right now, have at it. If you want a little more flexibility, please check into the paid version. After all, it’s not THAT much. Really. And just you wait until you see the next version.
The “green” Comet Lulin is now visible to the naked eye in the souther part of Virgo. If you are in a brightly lit area, you should be able to see it with a pair of standard binoculars.
The special comet alert stuff in the 1.2.1 rev of DS doesn’t work quite right (blast those engineers!), so you will have to go to http://www.spaceweather.com for sighting and brightness info, along with a lot of cool photos. I fixed the bug last night and now await Apple’s thumb’s up which should happen in a couple of days.
It should be available in 3 or 4 days. The main difference is some UI tweaks at user’s requests for things that were a little confusing or just plain wrong. And you can actually close the ##$^ event-alert toolbar and keep it closed. I sent the entire QA department to bed without their supper for missing that one, so it is now more useful than annoying.
Also a number of small bugs were addressed.
Celebrate in moderation.