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best free and non-free astronomy software for PC

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#1 frito

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 11:24 AM

specifically software that you can use to control a nexstar telescope (CG-5 AS-GT mount)

too poor to buy the wi-fi module for sky safari right now but that i know is one of the best and i love sky safari. i've made a serial cable for my mount and played around with celestron's software but am looking for something more graphical like sky safari, free is preferred right now but that does not mean it has to be. basically let me know what you all use on you're laptops for this use :)

#2 BSJ

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 11:51 AM

Stellarium

#3 BoriSpider

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 12:46 PM

Cartes du Ciel

#4 highertheflyer

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 09:07 PM

HNSKY http://www.hnsky.org/software.htm

#5 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 06:54 AM

Cartes du Ciel


Cartes du Ciel also gets my vote. It's not as pretty as Stellarium but it has more depth, a wider range of capabilities, more information and can be customized more easily.

Jon

#6 cn register 5

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 09:38 AM

CdC for me as well.

Chris

#7 timwhite

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 05:21 PM

My vote would be for winstars. The newest version does request a small fee, but the older version is still free, it is easy to use, full of features, and can control a scope. It also can read from a USB GPS, which I find handy.

Tim

#8 BPO

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 05:53 PM

The free ones I use are:

C2A, because I've yet to find anything it can't do, and can't do well.

Cartes du Ciel (CdC), because it is immensely capable, but a little more resource-hungry than some others. Only a little more, though.

Hallo northern sky (HNSky), because it will run lightning fast on everything, including an abacus, and has all the functionality most users will ever need.

KStars, because it's another great app that can do most everything required, while looking very slick. Although a UNIX/Linux app, it will run on KDE for Windows.

Stellarium, because it may be the best-looking of the bunch and very capable, although it likes to have decent hardware on which to run.

WinStars (v2), because it is another excellent app that does everything well, and has a few interesting and unique features, all without requiring a supercomputer to do it.

XEphem, because it is a pro-grade app for UNIX/Linux. Some of the largest professional observatories use it as the interface with their custom control systems. It may be overkill. :)

There are other good applications out there too, such as CNebulaX, which haven't been updated or maintained in a while, but are still worth a look.

#9 rmollise

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 08:36 AM

specifically software that you can use to control a nexstar telescope (CG-5 AS-GT mount)

too poor to buy the wi-fi module for sky safari right now but that i know is one of the best and i love sky safari. i've made a serial cable for my mount and played around with celestron's software but am looking for something more graphical like sky safari, free is preferred right now but that does not mean it has to be. basically let me know what you all use on you're laptops for this use :)


Depends on you goals. If you are a visual observer mainly after the pretty stuff, download Stellarium. It now has a built in driver for your telescope, and getting it going is relatively simple. It is very pretty, right up there with TheSkyX, Starry Nights, and SkySafari.

After the dimmer stuff and/or need a lot of features? The freeware Cartes du Ciel is the way to go. To control your scope, you'll need to install the ASCOM program and drivers, but that is not too difficult.

:cool:

#10 rmollise

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 08:46 AM

There are other good applications out there too, such as CNebulaX, which haven't been updated or maintained in a while, but are still worth a look.


This one is excellent...alas, it doesn't offer telescope control for anything other than a Meade LX200 AFAIK. If it had an ASCOM interface, I'd be using it myself.

The Linux/Unix programs? All OK, and especially XEphem (though it has certainly been exceeded in power by the top Windows programs now), but getting them to control a scope can be rather difficult/impossible for a newbie--or anybody else. ;)

#11 dragonslayer1

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 11:22 AM

Hey Rod, would one just go to this site and download the one for Celestron? Then what happens after that? Just download the Chartes program and it just sees it on your computer? Thank you,
Kasey
http://ascom-standar...copeDrivers.htm

#12 rmollise

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 03:05 PM

Yes, just go on that site and download and install the ASCOM "platform," as they call it. Also download and install the driver for the scope, the Celestron for Celestrons and Synscans. Once that's done you can click "Telescope" and "control panel" on Cartes, select your scope, enter the info required and you will be on your way.

#13 dragonslayer1

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 09:07 PM

Thank you so much for the info Rod,
Kasey

#14 planet earth

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 06:28 AM

Thanks for posting the links. :)
So far I've tried HNSKY and it's a Great program.
And yes it is very fast.
Sam






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