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I have made another significant update to the Distant Worlds Star Mapper. It now draws much more realistic star images. There are some sample screen shots after the break:
This is a chart created with the current version:
Compare to a chart prepared with the previous version:
The star symbols used to be simple patterns, like 2x2 squares, 3x3 diamonds, and filled circles, each representing a one-half magnitude "bin". Now, the star symbols vary continuously with magnitude, so a difference of, say, 0.2 or 0.3 magnitudes is always perceptible. The actual brightness function is the square of a 2-D Gaussian function centered on the star's position. Both the amplitude and the width vary smoothly with stellar magnitude.