FREE -- DOWNLOADABLE PROGRAMS & FILES

The following files and programs are either freeware or shareware.  If you want the complete version of a shareware program, please peruse the distributors website for more information.

Please click the name of the desired program to review and/or download the file.

 

Celestia
 
This is a freeware program that has an outstanding Milky Way display and it allows the observer to
view the heavens from locations in space...beyond Earth.  

 

Virtual Moon Atlas
 
This is a very powerful freeware program that allows you to see the moon's phases and 
features from both visual side and the far side.  

 

Cartes du Ciel
 
This is a powerful freeware program with downloadable updates for new comets and asteroids, and
access to huge star catalogues for deep sky observers.  

 

GeoClock for Windows

GeoClock is a shareware program which displays a map of Earth, showing the ever-changing areas of daylight and dark.  All time zones are displayed, and you can find out when sunrise or sunset will occur anywhere on Earth.  It includes a world map, North America, a Polar view, and a view from "space."

This is a really neat program.   It makes an interesting and beautiful screen saver, as well as a utilitarian program.


Registration for the full program with many additional maps is $20.00.
Joseph R. Ahlgren is the author of GeoClock.

 

SkyMap Pro

"Sky and Telescope Magazine" rated this as the best and most accurate shareware astronomy tracking program. 
This is a Demo version with option to upgrade to the full program.

This program produces sky maps in either a "horizon" or "detailed area of sky" mode from any viewpoint on Earth.   You may either choose your location from the extensive list, or type in your latitude and longitude. 
You may select various levels of detail for stars, constellations, planets, comets and deep sky objects for any year from 4000 BC to 8000 AD.
One of the neatest features of this program is its ability to plot the orbits of comets, asteroids, and planets.  You can input new data on new comet and asteroid discoveries, and plot and print your own extremely accurate finder charts.

There is a search feature, and an imaging program, called Sky Image, which allows you to view and print JPEG's and GIF's, and match them to deep sky objects on the screen.  You can click on any object on screen and get information about it.

This program's maps are compatible with any Windows-driven printer.  Images are very sharp, and may be printed in colour if desired.  Printed images are much sharper than SkyGlobe's printed sky maps, with much fainter stars and much more detail.

This shareware version comes with only 15.700 stars with magnitudes up to 7.  The full version for registered users comes with 88,000 stars to magnitude 8.5.
Registration for the full program is $40.00.
For more information, go to the SkyMap for Windows home page at  http://www.skymap.com/ .
SkyMap Software is the author of SkyMap.

 

CyberSky

This is a shareware program that you can download from the home site listed above.  For beginners, it is easier to use than SkyMap, and has better graphics than SkyGlobe.  The stars are color-coded by their spectral class.  It also features a daytime (blue sky) background as well as the traditional dark night sky.
This shareware is easier to understand and navigate than some of the others, so if you do not have experience with PC "Planetariums," this would be a good place to start.

Mars Previewer II

This is a freeware program.  If you use Basic, you will find several other programs that you might find useful listed down the page.
The Mars Previewer also has an e-mail troubleshooter reference if you have any problems with set-up or use.  Be sure to note the instructions at the bottom of the info box on set-up.

 

Reference Links:  

A good Astronomical Software link resource from Sky & Telescope Magazine On-Line will be very helpful.  Many different types of programs are available in several formats for computer.  Both Freeware and Shareware are listed  HERE.


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