is no question that SkyTools is the premiere software for planning observations. It is clear from the
start the the Nightly Planner was created by an avid
astronomer who actively uses it himself.
one of over a hundred observing lists or create
your own with the Nightly Observing List Generator,
Database Power Search, Designation Search, or
are rated by Visual
Difficulty based on a complex model of the sky and
optimum viewing times are computed based on a
complex model that considers object type, brightness,
altitude, and the darkness of the sky.
pair splittablity ratings are computed based on a
sophisticated model of your telescope, eye, and sky
the list to only those objects appropriate for your
conditions, your telescope, your expectations, and your
Observing List Generator
observing lists customized for your conditions,
telescope, and experience.
upcoming eclipses, conjunctions, transits, occultations,
meteor showers, oppositions, greatest elongations,
Jupiter satellite events, planetary satellite
elongations, and more. Learn
upcoming events on a monthly sky event calendar
or nightly events planner tool.
major application in itself, the SkyTools logbook uses
context and customizable presets to fill in as many
fields as possible before you start writing. Browse logs
by night, observer, location, telescope, etc. Search for
log entries via multiple search criteria. Print or copy
to the clipboard logs to satisfy the requirements for
various observing awards. Learn
is often called a planner, but in fact it contains a
fully functional charting program. The Interactive Atlas
is like a fine atlas for your computer except you have
complete control over how it looks and what is
Finder Charts for Binoculars and Telescopes
"star hopping" charts customized for your
instrument will guide you to even the most difficult
objects--no more hand-placing FOV circles! These charts
use highly accurate simulations of the visibility of
objects in the sky to make finding objects quick and
Eye and Overhead Sky Charts
displayed on the screen or printed out, these charts
simulate the naked-eye sky using an accurate scientific
model that includes your local light pollution.
is an utterly unique tool that places a simulated view
of your telescope in a popup window on top of the
Interactive Atlas. The FOV of the telescope is drawn on
the atlas. The atlas provides the context of what you
are looking at, while the viewer shows you what you can
expect to see.
the view around on the atlas to preview various
objects, or if connected to a telescope, the viewer will
mark the position of the telescope with an FOV circle
that is computed for the selected eyepiece.
connected to a GOTO telescope you can move the telescope
by dragging the FOV circle around on the atlas.
Notes, Images, and Web Links to Objects
content to any object. Type notes or paste them in.
Create links to web sites or images on your hard drive.
Share your content with other SkyTools users. Learn
is a very powerful tool for searching the extensive
SkyTools databases. Learn
the most distant quasar visible in your telescope
an observing list of edge-on galaxies
very red stars
every dark nebula in a given constellation
on and on...
the position of an object at regular intervals
the optimum time to observe an object nightly
the position angle and separation for a long-period
any of these on a chart with a click of the mouse!
and Display DSS Images on Charts
a picture can help you prepare to observe an object or
confirm that you truly saw it. Right-click on a chart to
download a Digital Sky Survey image for display in the
chart background or automatically download images for
all the objects in your observing list.
Data for Comets, Novae, and Supernovae
maintains observing lists with currently visible comets,
novae, supernovae, and asteroids that make close
approaches to the earth. These lists are easily
downloaded from within SkyTools so you will always have
comet information in SkyTools is second to none. Other
software or online sources can plot the position of a
comet. But the magnitude and size data is often
incorrect or misleading. Only SkyTools can give you
accurate magnitudes and coma diameters because the
author, who maintains the Comet Chasing web site,
pulls together recent observations. Not only that, but
he also developed a method to accurately predict the
visibility of a comet in the eyepiece which is used by
SkyTools (the magnitude alone is almost meaningless for
star catalogs are notoriously error prone, but SkyTools
includes the most complete and highly corrected double
star database available.
supports double star observing with a variety of
you zoom-in on a chart multiple stars split into
component stars, including long-period binaries,
plotted at the correct relative positions for the
for double star observing using splittability
predictions for your telescope, conditions, and
for double stars to view based on splittability or
fixed separation and magnitude limits.
this tool to visualize the objects in your observing
list so they can be readily compared. Plot an array of
thumbnail images of each object, either as they appear
on an idealized atlas, or as simulations in your
3 Secrets: Ten Useful Things Other Software Can't Do