Can I send in feedback?
Yes, please use the in-app contact tool to get in touch.
I don't respond to all feedback, but I do read it.
Why doesn't Astrospheric work on my (insert Android device)
Android requirements are as follows
- The device must be on Android 5.1 or higher*.
- The device must have at least 3GB of RAM.
The device must pass
Google Play Integrity
checks. We use automatic integrity protection provided by the Play store.
Without these basic tests in place, over 90% of my
development time fielding Android issues.
*Please note that we officially support the latest production Android version. More information on official support can be found here.
Where does Astrospheric get its data from?
The bulk of the data shown on Astrospheric comes from the Canadian Meteorological Center (CMC).
Other data sources include the GFS model as well as the experimental RAP model which provide values
such as Smoke and Aerosol optical depth. The Seeing model is pulled from Allan Rahill's model
(which is based off of the CMCs model). I'm constantly investigating other weather models for
interesting variables to help improve the overall forecast on Astrospheric.
How is Astrospheric different from Atilla Danko's "Clear Sky Charts" service?
Users tend to think that because the primary data source is the same
between Clear Sky Charts and Astrospheric that they give the same results, which isn't accurate.
Here are a few big differences.
Astrospheric process raw model data from the CMC 4 times a day.
This is why Astrospheric updates 4 times a day instead of twice like Clear Sky Chart.
Processing the raw data also allows Astrospheric to produce high quality
map overlays to visualize the data.
Astrospheric dynamically generates a forecast for your exact location instead
of working off a predefined set of locations. Even with thousands of locations
available on Clear Sky Chart, that only represents a tiny fraction of the CMCs
forecast data. By generating the forecast dynamically, Astrospheric can take
advantage of the high resolution CMC data and get you the best results.
Astrospheric is constantly upgrading its astronomy variables to better reflect current
conditions. For example, Astrospheric's Transparency forecast
integrates the latest smoke and aerosol data to produce a more
realistic forecast of sky transparency. Astrospheric's cloud
forecast looks at trends in cloud movement in the area to produce a more accurate forecast.
There are many other functional differences between the services. Clear Sky Chart is obviously
still a valuable resource and some users may prefer it given Astrospheric's higher system and bandwidth
Why doesn't Astrospheric update more frequently?
Below are the models and their update frequencies. Astrospheric updates as often as these models produce
data except for the RAP. Technically the RAP updates hourly, however it only produces an extended forecast
every 6 hours.
Are there plans to make Astrospheric work outside of the continental US and Canada?
Not at this time. Processing quality worldwide data to build accurate astronomy variables is prohibitively
expensive. We welcome other developers and studios to fill the gap in weather forecasting beyond Astrospheric's domain.
Will Apple's purchase and shut down of the Dark Sky APIs impact Astrospheric?
No. Astrospheric process raw weather model data on its own servers instead of repackaging other company's weather APIs.
However, astronomers using apps such as Clear Outside or the thousands of other weather apps that use these APIs
may notice changes as those app developers find new and cheaper sources
for their data.
What other weather data sources are valuable to astronomers?
There are thousands of weather apps and websites available, but it can be tough to know if they will work well
for astronomy. Here are a few tips that can help in picking them out.
Go to the source of the data and know what weather model you're looking at.
Check more than one weather model.
Look at the data on a map since it's still the best way to understand the weather patterns.
Weather.gov is a great resource for those in the USA since it gets you access to the primary US weather models
(GFS, NAM, HRRR, etc). If you're feeling adventurous, you can access raw model data at https://nomads.ncep.noaa.gov/
Should I send feedback when the weather report is wrong?
Short answer - no. Every 6 hours the Candian RDPS model generate well over 200 million predictions for an area
covering most of North America. It will be wrong at times. Even the Cloud Ensemble will be wrong at times.
The model is constantly ingesting new data from thousands of
automated sources in order to correct and generate the next set of predictions. Observations from individuals are not
incorporated into the model and therefore would be a waste of time to send. However, if you notice something completely out of the
ordinary (eg. a dew point of absolute zero), then it's worth letting me know, because an error may have occured in my code
which parses the data.
Can rain and other precipitation be added to the forecast?
Technically yes, but precipitation data won't be added to Astrospheric. We are focused on Astronomy variables and
adding precipitation adds a dramatic amount of UI.
Why is the time shown in Astrospheric wrong?
Astrospheric shows the local time for the current forecast location. This includes any adjustments for timezone and
daylight savings time. If you notice that the time is an hour off, please first check that your device's operating system timezone is set correctly.
If it is set correctly, then please contact me using the in-app contact tool.
Can I embed Astrospheric on my website?
Most likely. Check out www.astrospheric.com/embed
for more information and the rules for using it.
How can I support Astrospheric?
Financially - The best way to support Astrospheric is to purchase a subscription. Not only will you get weather alerts, but the money helps fund current and upcoming improvements to the service.
In the community - Tell your friends about Astrospheric! If you’re part of an astronomical society then consider using Astrospheric and Subspace!
Scientifically - If you are a meteorologist or astronomer (or in a related scientific field), and you have an idea to improve or expand the data Astrospheric is using then please get in touch with me!
Is there a French version of Astrospheric?
Not yet, but I'm working on it!