Be patient, FREE planetarium software shown
is here too!
Software Bisque: Several versions available:
- Student Edition:
$ 79.00 (download)
- Serious Astronomer Edition: $ 144.00
- Professional Edition: $ 329.00 (download)
TheSky is the most expensive (Pro) Planetarium software
(slightly more than Starry Night) but if you plan on getting serious with
astrophotography you will want to buy the Professional version. The Pro version
has features that allow other astrophotography (MaximDL, FocusMax, T-Point, etc.)
programs to automate some of the really tedious, time consuming tasks such as
focusing and framing your imaging target. Don't underestimate the value of this
benefit until you come to discover that, once you place a camera on the
telescope, you no longer have the ability to look through an eyepiece to centre
the object. All you know is that you just took a 5 minute exposure, and nothing
but stars (where's the nebula?) are there, and you don't know which direction to
move the mount. Your don't dare take the camera off because you just spend the
last 45 minutes getting it focused!
FYI, you can get TheSky Pro for free, but
you have to buy the $ 15K Paramount ME that comes with it!
: Several versions available
- Starry Night Enthusiast : $ 80.00
- Starry Night Pro : $ 150.00
- Starry Night Pro Plus : $ 250.00
Starry Night offers a nearly identical experience to TheSky and can also connect
to, and control your telescope. The only disadvantages, compared to TheSky are:
- is does NOT integrate with other software that do "plate
solve" and camera focusing
- It is considerably more taxing on computer power.
Stellarium : FREE !!
Stellarium is a free open source planetarium for your computer. It shows a
realistic sky in 3D, just like what you see with the naked eye, binoculars or a
telescope. It is being used in planetarium projectors. Just set your coordinates
Ciel : FREE!!
This program enables you to draw sky charts, making use of the data in 16
catalogs of stars and nebulae. In addition the position of planets, asteroids
and comets are shown. The purpose of this program is to prepare different sky
maps for a particular observation. A large number of parameters help you to
choose specifically or automatically which catalogs to use, the colour and the
dimension of stars and nebulae, the representation of planets, the display of
labels and coordinate grids, the superposition of pictures, the condition of
visibility and more. All these features make this celestial atlas more complete
than a conventional planetarium.