Cartes du Ciel (or Sky Chart) is an astronomy program. Created by Patrick Chevalley, it is a powerful planetarium with features similar to commercially available software. Cartes du Ciel precisely shows the placements of stars. Information on several stars are also provided. But it offers a lot more.
It can give you information on planets, asteroids, nebulae, galaxies and comets. The software supports many catalogs including Guide Star and Tycho. Other catalogs can be used so you can see thousands of stars.
Standard planetarium features are built-in. You can view the sky in different ways. There are controls for zooming in. Colored stars make them easier to identify. The interface isnít flashy, but it is fairly easy to learn. There are many features here that will please advanced and novice users. If you want to locate more stars, you can get the other catalogs on their website. If you are really serious about astronomy, you can get the PPMXL catalog (magnitude 20).
Cartes du Ciel can compute ephemerides for lunar and solar eclipses between two dates. You can calculate ephemerides for asteroids, the sun, comets and the moon. The software also has a variable observer that can gauge maxima and minima for various stars. The software is capable of handling a computerized telescope mount.
Next to the planetarium window are images of various deep space objects. It also has a Quick Locate feature. Simply choose the star you want to examine. It will show up instantly. The multiple eyepiece display is also useful. After defining the eyepiece view, you can show them on the map as circles simultaneously.
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