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View Full Version : Good Astronomy Software?



David Hall
2002-Jan-14, 01:49 PM
Hey guys, up till now I've been using the AdAstra freeware, which is nice but pretty limited, and I'm starting to think about investing in a full astronomy software package. I'd like to hear what y'all recommend. I don't really know what kind of features or functions I really need, but I'm not looking for top-of-the-line stuff, just some good reasonably priced reference software with perhaps the ability to upgrade or add on to later.

Let me know what you use and have used. What features do you use regularly, and what do you find that gets in the way? IOW, what should I be looking for, and what should I avoid? All opinions welcome. Thanks.

GrapesOfWrath
2002-Jan-14, 02:16 PM
Have you checked out the free demo at SkyMap (http://www.skypub.com/)?

Code Red
2002-Jan-14, 02:53 PM
I recommend Starry Night (http://www.starrynight.com/) - it's the dog's wotsits...

David Hall
2002-Jan-14, 03:29 PM
Thanks for the recommendations. But would you care to elaborate? I don't just want to know what's good, I want to know WHY you think it's good, especially what features said software excels in. I've never really thought about astroware before, so I'm a bit in the dark about even what to consider.

I would like to hear about personal experiences with such programs. What do you use? What do you use it for? Features, ease-of-use, details, difficulties, and anything else. And if you know of any good review sites, I'd appreciate those too.

I'm sure others would like to hear about them as well.

aurorae
2002-Jan-14, 08:53 PM
People can generally comment on the small handful of software packages that they frequently use. Hardly anyone reviews all the packages. There are lots, check this web site out, it is the most complete list I know of:

http://www.seds.org/billa/astrosoftware.html

What uses do you have for the software? What specific features are you interested in? You might be more likely to get an answer for that question.

I am somewhat familiar with The Sky and Starry Night, also with some of the programs for the Palm OS. So I could give general impressions of them.

I've heard good things about some free programs like Cartes Du Ceil, and other commercial programs like SkyMap.

You might also try looking in yahoogroups for some of the packages, or looking in sci.astro.amateur via dejanews.

Russ
2002-Jan-14, 11:38 PM
Either Astronomy Magazine or Sky & Telescope used to have reviews that they did of various software products on their web site. I just shot over to both to give you a link and found nothing at either. If you contact them by email they may be able to connect you with their reviews or suggest an alternative. You may also find something in the back issues section. I didn't take the time to surf there.