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Brightest Stars Turn Dim in Night Mode?

I have been a huge fan of SkySafari ever since it got ported to Android, thanks for the great work there.

That said, I discovered a fairly large bug in the red screen night mode this weekend (first clear, dark skies on a weekend in several months). When I switch the display mode to Night, everything goes red. But the brightest stars (mags -1 to 2)  become very dim (nearly invisible), and the faintest stars disappear entirely. I can combat the latter by raising the star magnitude limit. But the bright star issue remains. Zooming in, I can see that the bright stars are represented by a fairly large circle, but it seems like most of this circle is 'greyed'. The net effect is that the relative brightness of stars changes when night mode is turned on, and the mag 3 or 4 stars seem to be the brightest. This behavior is new to me, and it makes it very difficult to match up star patterns. I am running SkySafari Pro version on a Samsung Galaxy Note 4 with Android 6.0.1

Here are some screenshots:

I know that Rubylight is a better way to protect my night vision, but I didn't happen to have any with me that night. I try to conserve it because I only get 2 or 3 nights use out of a rubylith sheet before it no longer adheres to the screen or gets damaged. Also, I do a lot of outreach with the general public, and it makes no sense 'waste' my Rubylith here when other people aren't taking similar care to preserve night vision (flashes on cameras, screens at full brightness, headlights, etc.)

Is there any setting that can fix this behavior, or do I need to go with Rubylight full-time and avaoid using the App's night mode?




  • 0
    Bill Tschumy

    We are aware of the bug and will try to get a fix out soon.  The only work around I'm aware of is to increase the star symbol size to 200%.  This will make the dim stars more readable.

    Really sorry about the bug.  It crept in right before the release as part of work on another product.

  • 0
    Brett Schaerer

    Thanks for the quick response, Bill. I'll increase the star symbol size and wait for the patch. I'm not a programmer, but I know coding is hard (and not entirely unlike whack-a-mole), so the occasional bug doesn't bother me too much, especially if you're working on a fix.

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