SkyChart

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SkyChart

An excellent open-source program enables you to draw sky charts.

5

Our rating: 

5
License: Free (Open source)
Categories: Education, Astronomy

Pros & Cons:

Excellent index. Many images. Ephemerides for twilight, planets, sun, moon, comets, asteroids, and solar and lunar eclipses. Variable star observer. Telescope controls.
No satellites, e.g. no International Space Station.

Our Review:

SkyChart (aka Cartes du Ciel) is a very easy to use planetarium program. Its in depth index found every object in my test sample with the exception of UGC 9128. Additional catalogs for stars down to magnitude 16 (UCAC3) are available on the website, along with several specialty catalogs. There are instructions for adding the entire PPMXL catalog (magnitude 20), which I didn't attempt as it required 148 GB of hard disk and 24 GB of ram.

SkyChart has a calendar calculating ephemerides for twilight, planets, sun, moon, comets, asteroids, and solar and lunar eclipses between any two dates. And there is a variable star observer with the predictions of minima and maxima for many variable stars for the next couple of cycles.

SkyChart can control a computerized telescope mount.

The program includes images of many deep space objects right in the planetarium window. I didn't notice any actual stellar images or planetary images. However, the online documentation indicates that planetary images are available in the Linux version. No bookmarks.


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