Here you'll find astronomy software products created by Night Sky Observer (such as LunarPhase Pro and Jupsat Pro) along with a range of other software, some of which is free to download.

Software From Night Sky Observer
LunarPhase Pro V3 Read Review 1 Read Review 2 Read Review 3

LunarPhase Pro (Version 3.33 Released May 29th, 2010) is a Moon observer's software toolkit (for Win 98/NT/ME/2000/XP) which provides real-time moon and sun information, along with a wide range of observation planning tools. It also contains a database of over 9,200 lunar features (which can be searched) and an interactive Moon atlas which allows you to identify features on the moon's near-side, far-side and North & South polar regions. The maps also contain Rukl chart outlines and lists on features on eah Rukl map. Views through your own eyepieces/telescopes can be emulated and you can find out when particular features appear under similar illumination on furure dates. A real-time list of features currently along the lunar terminator is also included. Download Demo Here

LunarPhase V2.70
LunarPhase is a cut-down Shareware version of LunarPhase Pro for those who don't want the advanced observing tools. It also does not contain the interactive Moon Atlas. The software does provide rising, transit and setting times for both the Sun and Moon, start and end times for Civil, Nautical and Astronomical twilight and a range of information on the Moon and, to a lesser degree, the Sun, graphically displaying the current phase of the moon (in real time), its age, percentage illuminated, distance, position and the times and dates of the major lunar phases for the selected month and year. It also provides Lunar Eclipse information and a number of observing tools. An inbuilt database of over 2,000 features is included. Comes with a 20-day trial period. For more information (and screenshots) and to download the application, see the LunarPhase Page.

LunarPhase Lite
LunarPhase Lite is the most basic version of the software, and is of use to photographers, fishermen, gardeners, military and stockbrokers - in fact anyone who just needs a basic application to give moon and sun rise/set times, times of twilight, current phase and times and dates of major phases for the month. Also includes a Daily View diagram which shows the positions of the Moon and Sun in the sky during the selected day. For more information (and screenshots), see the LunarPhase Lite Page.

JupSat Pro
This program calculates the positions of and displays side-on and plan views of Jupiter and its satellites (for four optical configurations), along with the Longitude of Jupiter's Central Meridian for both equatorial (System I) and non-equatorial (System II) zones. It also graphically displays the position of the Great Red Spot and shadow transits of the satellites, monthly satellite tracks, Great Red Spot transit times and times of mutual satellite phenomena and allows animation. Online documentation is included.

 

Software News
Google Earth is Launched
Google launched the highly anticipated full version of Google Earth, the search engine's stand-alone global map utility on June 28th, 2005.

 

Observatory Plans
SkyShed Backyard Observatory Building Plans Read Product Review
SkyShed provide quality Roll-Off Observatory Plans, Kits and Telescope Piers. They also manufacture SkySheds and can install one on your site. SkySheds are suitable for the budding astronomer to the seasoned astrophotographer. They are designed to be attractive, affordable, easy to use and designed to last.

SkyShed Building Plans Lite Version
Read Product Review
SkyShed provide quality Roll-Off Observatory Plans, Kits and Telescope Piers. They also manufacture SkySheds and can install one on your site. SkySheds are suitable for the budding astronomer to the seasoned astrophotographer. They are designed to be attractive, affordable, easy to use and designed to last. The New Plans Lite Version contains everything except the over 100 Step-by-Step Construction Photos and individual Text Instructions. Suitable for advanced builders or those on a tight budget.

 

Distributed Computing Projects
PlanetQuest
Free software with which you can search for and discover new planets, classify stars and learn new facts about known stars, learn much more about your world and the universe, and meet new friends.
Avida
Avida is an auto-adaptive genetic system designed primarily for use as a platform in Digital or Artificial Life research. In lay terms, Avida is a digital world in which simple computer programs mutate and evolve. You can examine evolutionary adaptation, general traits of living systems (such as self-organization), and other issues pertaining to theoretical or evolutionary biology and dynamic systems.
Einstein@Home
Einstein@home is a program that uses your computer's idle time to search for spinning neutron stars (also called pulsars) using data from the LIGO and GEO gravitational wave detectors. Einstein@home is a World Year of Physics 2005 project supported by the American Physical Society (APS) and by a number of international organizations.
climateprediction.net
Climateprediction.net is the largest experiment to try and produce a forecast of the climate in the 21st century. To do this, we need people around the world to give us time on their computers - time when they have their computers switched on, but are not using them to their full capacity.
Folding@Home
Folding@Home is a distributed computing project which studies protein folding, misfolding, aggregation, and related diseases. We use novel computational methods and large scale distributed computing, to simulate timescales thousands to millions of times longer than previously achieved. This has allowed us to simulate folding for the first time, and to now direct our approach to examine folding related disease.
Evolution@Home
You have been caring about endangered species? You are generally interested in evolution of life on earth? You are a specialist for the evolution of sex? Then you will want to download the current simulator of evolution@home. It allows your computer to do meaningful evolutionary research while you have a cup of coffee or enjoy the weekend.
SETI@Home
SETI@home is a scientific experiment that uses Internet-connected computers in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI). You can participate by running a free program that downloads and analyzes radio telescope data.

 

Planetarium Software
Cartes du Ciel
This program enables you to draw sky charts, making use of the data in 16 catalogs of stars and nebulae. In addition the position of planets, asteroids and comets are shown. The software prepares different sky maps for a particular observation. A large number of parameters help you to choose specifically or automatically which catalogs to use, the colour and the dimension of stars and nebulae, the representation of planets, the display of labels and coordinate grids, the superposition of pictures, the condition of visibility and more. All these features make this celestial atlas more complete than a conventional planetarium. Free.
Celestia
The free space simulation that lets you explore our universe in three dimensions. Celestia runs on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X.
Universe Sandbox
Interactive Space Simulator: Smash moons into planets, create new stars, and build new worlds from spinning discs of debris. Explore our solar system in 3D or destroy everything you've created with a super massive black hole. You can simulate and interact with: Our solar system: the 8 planets, 160+ moons, and hundreds of asteroids; Nearest 1000 stars to our Sun; Our local group of galaxies; An unlimited number of fictional scenarios. Tinker with your creation or sit back and watch the effects of gravity unfold. It's fun, accessible, and easy to use. (Commercial software - $25 - but a demo is available).
Stellarium
Stellarium is a free open source planetarium for your computer. It shows a realistic sky in 3D, just like what you see with the naked eye, binoculars or a telescope.
It is being used in planetarium projectors. Just set your coordinates and go. Free.
Universe Sandbox
Interactive Space Simulator: Smash moons into planets, create new stars, and build new worlds from spinning discs of debris. Explore our solar system in 3D or destroy everything you've created with a super massive black hole. You can simulate and interact with: Our solar system: the 8 planets, 160+ moons, and hundreds of asteroids; Nearest 1000 stars to our Sun; Our local group of galaxies; An unlimited number of fictional scenarios. Tinker with your creation or sit back and watch the effects of gravity unfold. It's fun, accessible, and easy to use. (Commercial software - $25 - but a demo is available).
Pocket Stars
Stellarium is a free open source planetarium for your computer. It shows a realistic sky in 3D, just like what you see with the naked eye, binoculars or a telescope. It's available for Windows, Mac and Linux. The latest V0.10.2 manual (PDF) is here
WorldWide Telescope
The WorldWide Telescope (WWT) is a Web 2.0 visualization software environment that enables your computer to function as a virtual telescope — bringing together imagery from the best ground and space-based telescopes in the world for a seamless exploration of the universe. Experience narrated guided tours from astronomers and educators featuring interesting places in the sky. You can also view the universe at different wavelengths, to see how it would look if our eyes worked in the x-rays or infrared.
Google Sky
Google have teamed up with astronomers at some of the largest observatories in the world to bring you a new view of the sky. Using Google Maps this tool provides an exciting way to browse and explore the universe. You can find the positions of the planets and constellations on the sky and even watch the birth of distant galaxies as seen by the Hubble Space Telescope.
Pocket Stars
Pocket Stars is a high accuracy star chart, ephemeris, and Celestial Navigation calculator for notebook, tablet, and desktop and Pocekt PCs (PDAs).
Earth Centered Universe V4.0
ECU is a Planetarium and Telescope Control Program for Amateur Astronomers capable of simulating many of the features visible in the Earth's night sky. You only need to enter your geographic location and the time; the local sky will then be simulated on the screen in a colourful display. This application is Shareware!
Home Planet V3.1
Home Planet is a comprehensive astronomy / space / satellite-tracking package. Well worth a look. It offers Solar and Lunar position and phase data, ephemerides for planet and asteroids, maps, catalogues and more. This application is Freeware!
NGC View V6.2
NGCView is a program which departs from the traditional astronomical software paradigms of planetariums, ephemerides and text-based database programs. It provides a fusion of the best qualities of all three into a single program designed to optimize the time you are looking through an eyepiece. An evaluation copy of the program (30-day limit) can be downloaded.
SkyChart III
SkyChart III is a planetarium program which provides accurate sky simulations. It accurately simulates the sky as it appears tonight, as well as hundreds or thousands of years in the past or future. The sky can be viewed from any place on Earth, or from any object in the solar system or beyond it. Also provides support for Meade LX200, Celestron AstroMaster, Orion SkyWizard and other telescope controllers.
SkyGlobe 3.6
This is a superb (DOS) astronomy program that presents a realistic and beautiful display of the stars and constellations as they appear in the sky at night from your location. It displays over 29,000 stars and as well as constellation lines, the planets, the Sun, the Moon, Messier Objects, the Milky Way, and grid lines. Location, time and date can be adjusted and the number and brightness of stars, zoom, print out screen displays, and more can be changed.
SkyMap
SkyMap is a 'planetarium' program that draws maps of the sky, as seen from anywhere on Earth, for any date between 4000BC and 8000AD. The program is very accurate (Planetary positions, for example, have a mean error of less than a half second of arc). Two different types of the map can be drawn; a 'Horizion' map, showing a local view of the sky as seen by an observer, and an 'Area' map showing a detailed view of a small area of the sky on an RA/Dec grid.

 

Planetary / Solar System Software
Google Earth
Google launched the highly anticipated full version of Google Earth, the search engine's stand-alone global map utility on June 28th, 2005.
Lunar Occultation Workbench V4.1
Lunar Occultation Workbench is a freeware program and it now comes in two editions: Lite and Professional. For novices to the field of occultations of stars and planets by the moon, the Lite edition is recommended. The Professional edition does everything that the Lite edition can do and more: it includes over 476,000 stars of the Guide Star Catalog 1.1 ( GSC ) which lie in the Zodiacal zone. Both editions can handle the large lunar limb databases Watts and MoonLimb.

 

CCD / Image Processing
PHD Guiding
PHD Guiding is designed to be "Push Here Dummy" simple, yet provide powerful, intelligent auto-guiding of your telescope for both PCs and Macs. Connect your mount, your camera, select a star, and start guiding. Voted the best software for guiding in the 2007 AstroPhoto Insight survey. [Free]
DSLR Shutter
DSLR Shutter is designed to be a simple tool to capture long-exposure images from digital SLR cameras using their "bulb" setting. It allows you to specify the number of frames, their duration, and various delays to act as a software interval timer for your camera. [Free]
Nebulosity
Nebulosity (Windows and OS X) is designed to be a powerful, but simple to use capture and processing application for a wide range of astronomy CCD cameras. Many cameras are supported for capture and images from just about anything can be processed (support for many FITS formats, PNG, TIFF, JPEG, CR2/CRW, etc). Its goal is to suit people ranging from the novice imager who wants to create their first images to the advanced imager who wants a convenient, flexible capture application for use in the field. In it, you get a host of purpose-built, powerful tools to make the most out of your images (e.g., Digital Development Processing, traditional alignment/stacking (equatorial and alt-az), Drizzle alignment/stacking, Bad Pixel Mapping, LRGB tools, real-time tricolor histograms for color balancing, star tightening via edge detection, adaptive scaling of stacks, Canon CR2/CRW RAW Bayer matrix loading, 32/96-bit accuracy, etc.) [Free]
Craterlet
Craterlet is a capture application for the Orion StarShoot Solar System imager and for other cameras compatible with DirectX (DirectShow) and WDM (e.g., the ToUcam, Vesta, etc). It provides streaming to AVI and still capture. [Free]
WCS
WCS helps you to polar align your mount using the drift alignment method with CCD or webcam support. It supports any camera which can be installed as a Windows device (Meade LPI, ToUcam, NexImage, etc). There's also a version available for the Meade DSI cameras. The error in polar azimuth and polar elevation can be adjusted very quickly, even if Polaris is not visible (e.g. obstructing trees, buildings, or if observing in the southern hemisphere). The idea is to measure the star drift of an inaccurately aligned mount using a webcam, and to calculate the amount of polar axis misalignment. After that, it assists you in achieving near-perfect mount alignment using the webcam display. With WCS, the effort needed for alignment is reduced to a minimum, and you have more time for observing and imaging. [Free Trial]
PEMPro
With PEMPro Version 2 you can now correct your mounts periodic error, polar alignment and backlash using your CCD Camera or Webcam to dramatically improve tracking and guiding. [Free Trial]
Images PLUS
The premier program for DSLR camera control, image acquisition, calibration, alignment, stacking, processing and enhancing astrophotographs. If you can only afford one program, this is the one to get. Images Plus will not only control all of your camera's functions through your computer, it will also help you focus your camera. Once you have acquired your images, it will calibrate and align them with a couple of clicks of your mouse. Then you can use it to apply advanced image correction and enhancement techniques such as digital development and deconvolution.
IRIS
Iris offers numerous and powerful functions for image processing of digital astronomical images. It is particularly optimized to exploit the images that come from CCD or DSLR cameras. Iris can load and save images in the formats FITS, PIC (proprietary format), raw or BMP. [Free]
AstroArt V3.00
Astroart 3.0 is a complete software for image processing, photometry, astrometry and image stacking for CCD and film images. Provides camera control for Starlight Xpress, SBIG, Audine/Genesis cameras amongst others. Various plug-in modules extend funtionality.A commercial product with a downloadable demo.
AstroVideo V3.3.6
AstroVideo uses any Windows-compatible video capture device to create an effect similar to long exposure photography, by automatically integrating a large number of video frames. Astrovideo captures and superimposes hundreds of video frames to acheive far greater sensitivity than is normally possible with a low-cost video camera.
AVIS Fits Viewer
Opens 8 & 16bit FITS files. Imports files from SBIG, Starlight Xpress, Hisis, Pixcell and other CCD cameras.Exports data to FITS, TXT, RAW, TIF, TGA, BMP and JPEG file formats.Freeware.
FitsView
FITSview is available a number of computer systems. The viewer has easy to use graphical controls and will display astronomical images in the Flexible Image Transport System (FITS) format (as saved by some CCD cameras) allowing zooming, scrolling, modifying the brightness, contrast and pseudo color and allow determination of celestial positions and the physical brightness units in the image. Both standard World Coordinate System (WCS) and Digitized Sky Survey (DSS) coordinates are supported. Positions and brightnesses of selected pixels may be logged to a text file and specified positions in the image may be marked. Images may be compared by "blinking" them and 3 dimensional images may be viewed a plane at a time or in the form of a movie. Blanked pixels and all defined FITS image data types are supported.
Maxim DL
A complete image manipulation package for CCD and film images. Comes in two versions, one with CCD camera support (MaxIm DL/CCD) and another without. Camera support version supports CCD cameras from SBIG, Apogee, Starlight Xpress, Celestron, Meade and others.A commercial product with a downloadable demo.

 

Satellite Tracking Software
STSPlus
STSORBIT PLUS, usually known as STSPLUS, is intended for use during Space Shuttle missions and for general satellite tracking using NASA/NORAD 2-Line Orbital Elements. One primary satellite and up to 32 additional "static" or "real time" satellites may be simultaneously tracked in real time on most computers. Both orthographic and rectangular VGA color map projections are available, displaying the Earth as a globe or the more traditional "flat map". A new "Night Vision" mode shows the maps in RED to protect the user's night vision, great for color laptops!
TrakSat
TRAKSAT is a satellite tracking program for amateur radio and optical users alike. The program provides all the features you would expect from satellite tracking software and much more. What makes this program so different is all the options available to the user. The program uses "pop-up" and "pull down" style windows for easy use. in this version are two fully rendered 3D earth views with full color Sun/Shadow. TRAKSAT is now a fully protected mode program with no DOS 640K limits! The program works in a Win95 DOS box.
WinTrack Pro
WinTrak Pro is an easy-to-use program for tracking satellites in real-time on PC type personal computers running Win95/98/NT 4.0. It provides a variety of features required by Amateur Radio Operaors, Astronomers, and Satellite Watchers.

 

Miscellaneous Software
Earth View
EarthView is a dynamic desktop wallpaper and screen saver, which displays beautiful views of the earth with daylight and night shadows. It produces high quality images for every screen resolution - even beyond 1600x1200! The program supports map and globe views, displays cities with local time, urban areas, city lights, clouds and much more. Many options allow total customization of all view parameters.
Astro-Mania
Blast off to learning excitement with Astro-Mania, a software game that makes astronomy fun. Eight levels and captivating graphics will keep you entertained for hours. For all ages, Win95/98.
Custom Sundial Generator
This is an Internet based application that generates a PostScript file, the first page of which is a fully corrected Horizontal Sundial for your location and the second page a template to aid in constructing a gnomon i.e., shadow caster.

 

Java Applets
JupSat Java Applet
My JupSat applet (featured on the Skynotes page and now on the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Galileo Page) displays a real-time side-on view of Jupiter and its satellites. Clicking on Jupiter or the satellite images takes you to a webpage dedicated to that object. This version now works properly on Windows NT.
Lunar Phases Applet
This applet displays the current phase of the moon and the time/date of the next four major lunar phases. The current age of the moon, its distance and apogee/perigee dates are also displayed. All times displayed are in UT except for the clock which displays the local time. The applet updates in realtime.NOTE: This applet uses long filenames. Use WinZip to unzip the archive.

 

Screen Savers
Craters Screen Saver
What better way to protect your monitor's phosphor than by smashing rocks into it at dozens of kilometres per second? This screen saver simulates cratering of initially flat terrain, obeying the same power-law relating crater size to number observed on airless solar system bodies.
Earth Screen Saver
The Earth screen saver displays an image of the Earth as currently illuminated by the Sun, from a variety of viewpoints. You can view the Earth from the Sun (day side), the night side, from the Moon, or from an arbitrary altitude above any point on the globe specified by latitude and longitude.
Sky Screen Saver
The Sky Screen Saver shows the sky above any location on Earth, including stars (from the Yale Bright Star Catalogue of more than 9000 stars to the 7th magnitude), the Moon in its correct phase and position in the sky, and the position of the Sun and all the planets in the sky.