(c) Skyhound

SkyTools 3 Features at a Glance

SkyTools is the most useful and powerful software available to today's observer.  The planning features, charting capability and integrated databases are second to none.  Compare the features below to the competition: many of the most useful features, such as true optimum viewing times, visual difficulty ratings, plots of exposure quality, and multiple-view telescope simulations, are not available in any other product--even those that cost over $250.

Innovative Planning Features

  • The NightBar displays sky darkness and object altitude at a glance

  • Imaging Session Planner -- supports deep sky, planetary, lunar and solar imaging for astronomical CCDs, digital cameras, and video/web cams. (Pro edition) Learn more

  • Exposure Calculator -- use this tool to make critical calculations and to explore the possibilities.  (Pro editionLearn more

  • Powerful filtered high-speed data searching  Learn more

  • Observing lists filterable by sky darkness, object altitude, classification, constellation, and much more

  • True optimum viewing times based on a complex model that considers object type, brightness, altitude, and the darkness of the sky

  • Visual Difficulty ratings based on a complex model of the sky and your instrument

  • Double-star pair splittablity ratings based on a sophisticated model of you telescope, eye, and sky conditions

  • Your obstructed horizon is used when computing rising, setting, and optimum viewing windows

  • The Current Events generator finds upcoming appulses, transits, occultations, meteor showers, eclipses, oppositions, greatest elongations, Jupiter satellite events, planetary satellite elongations, and more  Learn more

  • The printable monthly Event Calendar lists upcoming astronomical events 

  • The Nightly Event Planner tells you at a glance what your prospects are for observing each event (anything from an Io shadow transit to a lunar eclipse)  Learn more

  • The Optimum Viewing Ephemeris lists the optimum time to view an object daily

Comprehensive Databases

  • The largest, most comprehensive stellar database available, integrating the best data from nearly a dozen catalogs.   Learn more

  • All 37,000+ multiple star systems separate into components, including accurately plotted long-period binaries

  • Over 1 million galaxies, 4000 galaxy groups, 12000 quasars, 3000 dark nebulae

  • Unprecedented cross reference capabilities: 18 stellar cross references, 53 open cluster, 14 planetary nebulae, and many, many more.

  • An ability to look up an object by simply typing in a designation that no other software comes close to matching

  • Browse any database by catalog 

  • Highly accurate and corrected planetary/diffuse nebula database

  • Historical comets with over 1600 orbits

  • 10000 minor planets with orbits computed at 40-day intervals until 2013

  • Add unlimited numbers of supplemental comets, minor planets, stellar, and deep sky objects

Innovative Interface

  • State of the art, multithreaded for no waiting

  • View charts, object information, user data, and log entries directly from an observing list

  • Print multiple finder charts customized for your instrument without human intervention

  • View or print appropriate charts directly from an event list or ephemeris

  • Variable-brightness red night vision mode

Internet Features

  • Automatically download the latest comet, asteroid, and novae/supernovae data directly from our web site in observing list form

  • Join the SkyTools community: directly browse our web site for observing lists and user data to download, or share your own export files   Learn more

  • Download Digital Sky Survey images centered on  a specific object or at any position

  • Automatic updates

Integrated Observing Logbook

  • Expedited log entry form using preset defaults -- enter multiple logs quickly and easily  Learn more

  • List log entries by object class, night, location, observer, instrument or constellation

  • Filtered log entry searches by multiple criteria including constellation, dates, observers, locations etc.

  • "Night" logs -- separately record the entire experience for a given night of observations

  • Export in a variety of formats, print, and copy to the clipboard individual logs or sets of log entries 

  • Record miscellaneous observations such as meteor showers, atmospheric phenomena, etc.

Interactive Atlas

  • All the features commonly found in dedicated sky mapping software  Learn more

  • Photo-realistic star display provides breathtakingly beautiful realistic star fields.  Highly configurable to any taste.  Great on a laptop in the field.

  • All double stars naturally split into pairs on the charts.  Long-period binary stars with orbits are accurately depicted at the current location.

  • Classic atlas display for those who prefer the traditional look

  • Star colors based on B-V index

  • Smart labels that never overwrite one another

  • Accurately rendered planet features

  • Unprecedented customization of chart component styles, colors, lines and fonts

  • Accurate positions for all planetary satellites visible in amateur instruments, including Himalia, Amalthea and Phoebe

  • Download and display DSS images in the chart background

Telescope/Binocular Simulations

  • Take a step beyond the atlas or planetarium!  

  • A sophisticated model is used to simulate the sky brightness, limiting stellar magnitude, and visibility of extended objects

  • Atmospheric extinction is modeled (stars and other objects dim appropriately toward the horizon)

  • Fields of view are computed automatically from the information provided about your telescope or binoculars

  • Three-view star hopping charts customized for your instrument will guide you to even the most difficult objects--no more hand-placing FOV circles! Learn more

  • Innovative Star Drift Indicator allows for quick orientation at the eyepiece; simulated eyepiece views can be dragged to any rotation angle

  • Download and display DSS images in the eyepiece view

  • Realistic overhead sky and naked-eye simulations show you exactly what you can see from your site

Real Time Observing

  • Use SkyTools at the telescope  Learn more

  • Targets are recommended in real time

  • Fully integrated telescope control

User Data Management

  • Create your own content, with notes, images, ratings, and web links attached to objects  Learn more

  • Assign your own notes to objects

  • Assign images to objects

  • Assign web site links to objects

  • Create an obstructed horizon customized for your observing location

  • Synchronize your data between two computers

  • Import/export log entries, notes, images and web links -- any/all can also be exported along with the objects in an observing list

  • Import/export custom chart preference schemes

  • Selective backup/restore of all user data for safe keeping

  • Unlimited import of the latest minor planet and comet data

  • Supplemental stellar and deep sky databases (add your own objects)

Printed Charts

  • Print paper versions of the atlas, simulations, or finder charts

  • Print Preview

  • Highly customizable separately from the on-screen display

  • Selectively add elements such as a keys, various object information (including object notes!) and blank space for written notes or drawings

Miscellaneous Features

  • Define your telescope or binoculars quickly by simply selecting your model from our database

  • Generate telescope reports that list the performance characteristic of your instrument, including the true field of view and stellar limiting magnitude of each eyepiece, recommended additional eyepieces, camera data, etc.

  • Computations are of the highest accuracy, including the effects of the observer's location, elevation, atmospheric refraction and extinction

SkyTools 3 Secrets: Ten Useful Things Other Software Can't Do