The Photo Ephemeris Web eclipse simulator includes custom graphics that are best supported on higher performance or more modern hardware.
This page includes some tips on how to minimize performance requirements of the simulator so that you can use it effectively on older hardware. We have reviewed these tips and techniques on a 2016 Intel MacBook Pro, but YMMV...
Prefer using the mini simulator
...or reduce your browser window size. The larger the screen area occupied by the simulator, the more demanding it is. If you stick to the mini-simulator on the map page, you automatically minimize this cost.
Disable Enhanced Baily's Beads
This is the single most effective step to minimizing graphics performance impacts: the 'enhanced' Baily's beads effects are demanding on your GPU. If things are moving slowly, your battery percentage is falling quickly or your computer growing warm, turn these off as shown:
Avoid the 'Full Limb' setting
If you need to use enhanced Baily's beads, try to avoid using 'full limb' mode - this can greatly increase performance costs as it causes the simulator to evaluate all possible limb angles for potential beads:
Reduce bead resolution
At moderate zoom levels, the visual difference between minimum resolution and maximum resolution can be small, as shown in the example below, but the performance difference is significant. Reduce the resolution setting as far as you can for performance gains.
GPU Performance Warning Icon
The GPU Performance warning icon will be displayed when your selected settings are likely to result in high or very GPU utilization (the actual performance will vary based on your exact hardware). If you see the warning icon, consider changing your settings as described above, or reduce them again after you have examined the scenarios you need in the simulator.
Things that won't help improve performance
- Changing simulator mode: there's little difference between photorealistic and outline modes - although photorealistic mode can appear as if it's more complex (particularly during totality), the performance burden on your system is little different to the outline mode view
- Reducing Baily's beads exposure: unless the slider is at -16.6EV (off) the performance impact is identical, so feel free to set the exposure to the best value for your use case.
Please send us any feedback you have on your experience with the simulator - it's helpful to hear about real world usage scenarios.