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Observing Faint Outer Moons

With the world’s best observing software

You won't be able to see Jupiter's satellight Himalia in moonlight, from a light-polluted location, or if is is too near to the glare of the planet. Only SkyTools finder charts use a scientific model to determine what you can see in the eyepiece, given the conditions at the time of your observation, and as seen in your own telescope. Himalia is plotted above as it would appear in an 18-inch Dob on the night of of January 22. The inset shows the same view, also with the position of Himalia centered, but on the night of January 7. The sky is too bright on this night for Himalia to be seen, so it is not drawn on the chart. Note that there are fewer stars too. 

Jupiter's Himalia and Saturn's Phoebe are bright enough to be observed in larger telescopes, but these satellites are seldom attempted because they are so challenging to find using traditional methods and software. The unique features of SkyTools can give you the edge you need to bag these elusive objects.

Success Requires Deep Charts

The SkyTools Pro Edition star database goes down to 20th magnitude, using the most reliable data available. The finder charts will display only those stars that will be visible in your eyepiece and it will match the orientation, making it a snap to identify both the field and your moon. There is no need to place field of view circles; SkyTools draws them automatically based on your telescope info.

Success Requires Planning 

Spotting these moons is difficult even with a large-aperture telescope. At a minimum, success  requires the satellite to be well above the horizon, far away from the glare of the planet, and without the interference of twilight or moonlight.  The SkyTools planner uses our scientific model to tell you when your best chances are to spot the satellite, and which of your eyepieces to use.

Is my telescope large enough? 

Is my sky dark enough? 

Is the moon away from the glare of the planet? 


SkyTools can answers these questions. There is no need to waste your time looking on the wrong night or from your light polluted backyard if you can't reasonably expect to see it.  

SkyTools 3, because it's the astronomy that matters.

Read more about SkyTools 3