Loc: Tucson, AZ
1) Full Title: Megastar 5.X (sky charting software)
2) Author(s)/Editor(s): Emil Bonanno
3) Publisher/Imprint: Willmann-Bell
4) Copyright & Edition: Current version 5.X copyrights 1992-2002
5) System Requirements: 486 PC or better, Win95, 98, ME, NT, 2000 XP, 40 Mb hard disk space and a CD-ROM drive.
10) Background colors.: User selectable
11) Stars and deep sky object colors: User selectable. All types of objects listed including asteroids, X-Ray objects, Quasars, Radio objects, comets.
12) Constellation Boundaries shown: Yes, user selectable.
13) Constellation figures shown: Yes, user selectable
14) Ecliptic and co-ordinate lines shown: Yes, user selectable
15) Milky Way shown: No.
16) Print size: User selectable.
17) Stellar limiting magnitude: User selectable to about mag.16, with some areas going a lot deeper.
18) Stellar designations used: All, user selectable
19) Deep sky catalogs used:over 150 different catalogs, all user selectable.
20) DSO limiting magnitude: user selectable to about magnitude 25. There are over 200,000 DSOs in Megastar
21) Chart keys: user selectable on screen or print.
22) Objects illustrated: All, user selectable.
23) Overlays: N/A
24) Scale of star images and objects (binned or infinitely variable): Infinite according to printer or screen resolution, user selectable.
25) Actual position angle of objects portrayed: Yes.
26) Map scale: User choice from 90 degrees per screen to just a few seconds of arc if desired. Zoom and Antizoom function “hotkey” selectable.
27) Sky coverage: All sky.
28) Introduction: Owner’s manual quite thorough.
29) Illustrations/color plates: Owner’s manual has many.
30) Specialty charts (i.e. Virgo Galaxies, M42 region, etc.): User selectable
31) Glossary: No.
32) Index: any subset of data within the atlas is user selectable. There is a small table of data available for every object.
Real Sky pictures are available as are Digital Sky Survey photos. 78,800 objects already have photos within the program. A supplemental CD allows the inclusion of about 130,000 more ($39.95). The Hubble Guide Star Catalog is the basic stellar database.
Control of Meade, Celestron and many other telescopes included in program.
Over 15 million stars are plotted and Megastar is compatible with the much-larger USNO list (which goes to mag.22)
To publisher website.
To existing CN reviews.
To threads in Stellar Media.
None that do more than mention it.
Contributed by Don Pensack (Starman1)
Loc: southeastern Nebraska
Well, Megastar is the one I use, and while it works well for me, quite frankly, it could be better. There are a few glitches in it, and the stellar database needs some work (leaves out one of the stars in the Trapezium). It needs a better use of the abilities of the "super" VGA displays we have now, as the stars are presented as disks of varying size rather than as points of differing brightness. The Double Star database is not all that accurate in some cases (but that seems to be a problem with a number of software atlases), but for Deep-sky, Megastar is pretty complete. It has a few catalogs which other software atlases don't, so that alone can be worth the price. In any event, it badly needs updating, as it hasn't been worked on appreciably in at least four years. Clear skies to you.
David W. Knisely . . . . . . "If you aren't having fun in this hobby, you aren't doing it right."
Hyde Memorial Observatory
Prairie Astronomy Club
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