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The Sky 6 or Starry Night Pro 6?

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#1 Robin Lee

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Posted 08 September 2006 - 09:20 AM

I am considering a planetarium software at the moment. Between The Sky 6 and Starry Night Pro 6, which one is better?

Regards,
Kim Miau.

#2 Peter Argenziano

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Posted 08 September 2006 - 10:33 AM

I have The Sky 6 and Starry Night Pro 5.8.2, and find them to be quite similar. Which one is better is purely subjective, and which one I may consider to be better may be so for me, but not for you.
To me, the determinant factor lies in what the intended use will be. Either of those are really good planetarium packages.
However, if you want planning or charting software, I find Sky Tools and MegaStar, respectively, to be superior products.

#3 Robin Lee

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Posted 09 September 2006 - 04:26 AM

I have The Sky 6 and Starry Night Pro 5.8.2, and find them to be quite similar. Which one is better is purely subjective, and which one I may consider to be better may be so for me, but not for you.
To me, the determinant factor lies in what the intended use will be. Either of those are really good planetarium packages.
However, if you want planning or charting software, I find Sky Tools and MegaStar, respectively, to be superior products.

So, The Sky 6 has the same "eye candy" as Starry Night Pro? Do you mean that plan for a observing session regarding to "planning"?

Regards,
Kim Miau.

#4 Peter Argenziano

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Posted 09 September 2006 - 10:12 AM

Kim, yes, I find that the attempts at portraying a realistic sky are shared by both TheSky and SNP. That's not a bad thing, mind you, just an observation on my part.
I have SNP installed on one PC, and TheSky on another and find that when I use either one it is more for their planetarium functionality than for their charting or planning features. As an aside, I think TheSky has the longer learning curve, with SNP not far behind.

Yes, my earlier comments were in the context of planning for an observing session. This is one aspect that Sky Tools does really well, and quite easily.

#5 JAT Observatory

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Posted 09 September 2006 - 10:31 AM

The Sky6 has less eye candy than the SNP. I personally don't want eye candy in my software. As Peter pointed out it really depends on what you want to do with the software. For me TheSky is the main controlling program of my observatory. TheSky6 Pro is a very powerful piece of software. Unfortunately not every one has a use for some of its features. Many folks feel it’s over pieced. I personally think it’s a great deal. The thing I like about TheSky is it works really well with the other Software Bisque programs which I use, so for me it is a no brainer..

TheSky6 ability to interact with other programs to do automated astrometry, image linking, automapping, direct interface to RealSky DSS, dome control for me is a major plus over software. I really like the scripting ability when used with programs like Orchestrate, TPoint, CCDSoft it is amazing what the software can do. It also works well with the Brian Warner’s SBScripter6 software which generates scripts for TheSky and CCDsoft.

I also use SkyTools2 with Sky6. By using SkyTools2 with the scope control add-on, when I select “TheSky controlled scope” option I now have a great planning package that work perfectly with what I feel is great planetarium software.

#6 Robin Lee

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Posted 09 September 2006 - 10:49 AM

The Sky6 has less eye candy than the SNP. I personally don't want eye candy in my software. As Peter pointed out it really depends on what you want to do with the software. For me TheSky is the main controlling program of my observatory. TheSky6 Pro is a very powerful piece of software. Unfortunately not every one has a use for some of its features. Many folks feel it’s over pieced. I personally think it’s a great deal. The thing I like about TheSky is it works really well with the other Software Bisque programs which I use, so for me it is a no brainer..

TheSky6 ability to interact with other programs to do automated astrometry, image linking, automapping, direct interface to RealSky DSS, dome control for me is a major plus over software. I really like the scripting ability when used with programs like Orchestrate, TPoint, CCDSoft it is amazing what the software can do. It also works well with the Brian Warner’s SBScripter6 software which generates scripts for TheSky and CCDsoft.

I also use SkyTools2 with Sky6. By using SkyTools2 with the scope control add-on, when I select “TheSky controlled scope” option I now have a great planning package that work perfectly with what I feel is great planetarium software.

TheSky6 is so good as a observatory software... How's the performance of it with CCDSoft? What does it do when pairing with CCDSoft?

I just know that CCDSoft and TheSky 6 are written by the same company.

#7 jedimasterk

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Posted 09 September 2006 - 09:03 PM

Starry Night Pro Plus 6 works better with Maxim DL and DSLR, whereas Sky 6 Pro with Bisque products. Both are good, Starry Night Pro Plus 6 is my choice. You hardly get any documentation with Sky 6 Pro. With Starry Night Pro 6 you get user guide, hard copy, and pdf, quick reference chart, Sky Theater DVD, and simple astronomy companion book, hard copy and pdf. Versus The Sky 6 Pro info only in pdf format. And it is cheaper.

#8 Peter Argenziano

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Posted 09 September 2006 - 09:19 PM

I agree with Marcus' assessment of using TheSky 6 Pro in an observatory setting. That's actually why I have mine. I am on the operating staff at a small observatory being constructed nearby (5 meter ObservaDome), and the main instrument -- only instrument at this point in time -- is a 16" LX200R on a Paramount ME. TheSky 6 Pro is what we'll be using there. I wanted to be able to get comfortable with the interface in the comfort of my home.

#9 Robin Lee

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Posted 09 September 2006 - 10:01 PM

Starry Night Pro Plus 6 works better with Maxim DL and DSLR, whereas Sky 6 Pro with Bisque products. Both are good, Starry Night Pro Plus 6 is my choice. You hardly get any documentation with Sky 6 Pro. With Starry Night Pro 6 you get user guide, hard copy, and pdf, quick reference chart, Sky Theater DVD, and simple astronomy companion book, hard copy and pdf. Versus The Sky 6 Pro info only in pdf format. And it is cheaper.

I see. What do you like with your plus?

#10 JAT Observatory

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 02:10 AM

You hardly get any documentation with Sky 6 Pro. With Starry Night Pro 6 you get user guide, hard copy, and pdf, quick reference chart, Sky Theater DVD, and simple astronomy companion book, hard copy and pdf. Versus The Sky 6 Pro info only in pdf format. And it is cheaper.


While Sky6 doesn't come with any printed docs, it is very well documented. The other thing I really like about TheSky (and the Software Bisque in general) is the support that the Bisques brothers provide. As far as I am concerned their customer service is second to none. Their website is also a wealth of info.

#11 jedimasterk

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 07:51 AM

They really did a good job with charting. Similar to Skytools 2 it now has a 3 pane chart and other charting options. Charts look a little nicer as well. I also like the Event Finder, it will tell you at start up what events are occuring in your area and what you are able to see in your area. The Moon maps with markers and outlines are a favorite feature with me when observing the moon. With Plus of course you get the All Sky Mosaic, but more importantly you also get the ability to identify 1700 globular and open star clusters and view positions and outlines of 1400 dark, emission, planetary and reflection nebulae. And for astrophotography you can use imaging plug-in to integrate Starry Night and MaxIm DL imaging software, Windows only though. :cool:. Starry Night Pro Plus 6 still has some minor glitches, it is version 6.0.0, but the the feedback so far has been good. And the support seems very good, when using the disscussion groups as well as Imaginova's own feedback and bug issue site which is now up. And Imaginova keeps their software updated frequently, whether it is databases or program updates. So far version 6 has run very well on my system and is pretty stable, only one glitch, which will be addressed in next update. I really like it. Hope this helps!. :). The Sky 6 Pro is also good though, I was considering it as well. But Starry Night is a bit easier to use from what I have read, and MaxIm DL may be a future product for me. The Sky 7 is in the works, from what I have read. But one advantage also I find with Starry Night is that you don't need to own Starry Night to qualify for an upgrade price. If you own Deep Sky, Skytools 2, or Skymap Pro etc, you also can qualify for an upgrade price. Refer to their website. With the Sky 6 you need to have a previous version of The Sky, no other astronomy software qualifies. But if you bought a telescope with the "el cheapo edition" of The Sky 5, you do qualify. :D And as Rod Mollise says the investment is worth it, since software is a tool, and look how much you spend on one eyepiece. I will also add, that planetarium software, does have the advantage, that it can be useful even on "cloudy nights" :)

#12 Robin Lee

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 08:47 AM

I think I better have a trial copy of starry night 6 plus. Is there any? I can't find any trial copy of The Sky 6 Pro, is there?

I am quite sure that I will love the event planner by Starry Night.

#13 JAT Observatory

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 03:38 PM

There is no trial version of TheSky.

#14 jedimasterk

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 03:45 PM

No trial version of Starry Night Pro Plus 6 either. It does have a 30 day return policy though. I believe The Sky 6 Pro is the same. Both programs are fairly large to have an effective trial version.

#15 Robin Lee

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Posted 11 September 2006 - 04:06 AM

It's too bad. I was going to have a try.

#16 Magellan

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Posted 20 September 2006 - 06:52 PM

I am not forking out 300$ up front to try it, that is why prices are so high anyway.

#17 Magellan

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Posted 20 September 2006 - 06:54 PM

one thing to remember though, TheSky6 requires a less powerful computer to get all the benefits, but SN requires almost a gaming machine to get all the benefits.

#18 Robin Lee

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Posted 21 September 2006 - 09:24 AM

I am not forking out 300$ up front to try it, that is why prices are so high anyway.

I get you. :D

How about the performance with Intel CoreDuo 1.83GHz and GMA950?

#19 Fabio Papa

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Posted 20 November 2006 - 10:37 AM

I had the opportunity to try a TheSky 6 CD. I was not impressed at all about the rendering speed. Unless I did something strange, my Pentium4 3.2Ghz was unable to draw the chart while moving with the mous. It would update the graphics at, say, 1-2 frame every 3-4 seconds. Very very slow.

Any other of you experienced the same?

#20 JAT Observatory

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Posted 20 November 2006 - 11:54 AM

I turn off most of the rendering stuff (although it runs ok on my PC). I don’t care for it, nor do I have a need for it. While there are those who may like or dislike TheSky for various reasons I am one who really likes TheSky. I like it for its scripting ability and what it allows me to do with my scope and observatory.

I have used TheSky to remotely control my mounts, (ETX90, LX200GPS, LXD-55, LXD650 and now the Paramount) and I am very happy with it.

It’s interaction with programs like CCDSoft, T-Point, Orchestrate, Percison PEC, is what makes it a winner for me.

Tom Bisque does a great job of showing some of the things that can be done with the software as an astronomy tool here: http://www.bisque.com/tom/skymenu.asp

I also suggest you take a look thru some of the topics listed here to see how TheSky interacts with other software: http://www.bisque.com/tom/tom.asp These are some of the things that make it so powerful. While other programs may also have some of these features having someone explain how to use them can be worth its weight in gold.

While I use a number of programs, one for planning, another for image processing etc, I have not found one that is a cure all. But in the case of TheSky I doubt I’ll ever out grow its capabilities. I continue to learn more and more stuff it can do every time I use it.

TheSky is very sophisticated piece of software and it can do a lot of stuff, but it doesn’t shine in every area as a stand alone program. So you really have to decide what you want the software to do and what your needs are going to want to do in the future. So you are going to have to spend time at each site and see what the software is “really” capable of doing.

#21 Nick Cook

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Posted 20 November 2006 - 05:17 PM

As Marcus mentions, TheSky works very well with other software packages. I use with mine with SkyTools, an excellent piece of planning software with really useful charts (visual, finder & scope). Starry Nights probably beats it in the visual stakes, but as a work horse, TheSky is excellent.

For the record I run it on my spare ancient 1.6 Mhz PC with no problems (actually the first one I built back in 2000).

Nick

#22 Robin Lee

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Posted 21 November 2006 - 01:53 AM

Yes, I agree with Marcus. TheSky 6 is a great tool for those who wants to remote control their observatory or write a script for the computer to control your session.

If you want to have visual enjoyment, you won't be wrong with StarryNight.

#23 MarkHilt

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Posted 21 November 2006 - 08:43 AM

I've been using TheSky6 for over a year now, only thing i use, its on my 1.3 GHZ laptop and runs very well, interfaces with my little ETX like a dream. Updates are a bear to get on dial-up but nothing is foolproof, overall a thumbs up for me.

#24 Attila the Hun

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Posted 13 April 2008 - 05:45 AM

Hi Everybody,

Although it is not new but I have found this topic right now because I am hesitating on the same question at the moment. I have found a lot of useful info here, thanks for everybody, but would need some additional facts/experiences. I have a backyard obs, and have got an FS2 controller (made by Astro-Electric, Germany) which can be used by LX200 standard instruction set (protocol).

So, my tangible questions are:

1. Which software can provide more sophisticated telescope control features?
E.g. not only star pointed instructions but both large-scale and small (sub-arcminute) direct movements; polar alignment aid function, home position; auto-control for E-W position of German EQ mounts; tracking ability for any celestial body like comets, asteroids & satellites; Alt-Az based-calculated King Rate real-time speed corrections; etc.

2. Which software has larger database (stars, deep sky objects, variables, asteroids, etc.) included in their price (not as an option...) and/or limiting magnitude?

3. Which software does seem to be better for star-map printing?

4. Which software has ephemeris and occultation calculation module (if anyone has it).

"Eye candy" view is not a point for me at all.

Thanks for your opinions in advance.

Attila
Hungary

#25 Chris Schroeder

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Posted 19 April 2008 - 10:06 AM

Which program works better with Vista?


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