In the last few months I started again deditcating more time on astronomy and star gazing.
To better organize my star gazing sessions I started developing a software capable of suggesting celestial object from various catalogues, choosing them among the best visible ones for the selected date and place, and that’s how SkyPlanner got started.
SkyPlanner has many features useful for visual observations: it allows searching and even suggests many objects from many catalogues, such as Messier, NGC/IC, Abell, Arp, MCG, UGC; provides information about the star gazing session, for instance weather, sun and moon rise/set time, moon phase; allows you to set your own telescopes, automatically estimating each object difficulty for the selected instrument; downloads preview images of the object field from the Digitized Sky Survey Archive, presents additional catalogue information and allows you to set your own notes before and after the visual observation.
The objects list is automatically sorted by transit time, creating a printer-friendly star gazing schedule.
I hope this software will help many of you organizing your best star gazing sessions!
I’m open for suggestions, feedback and error reporting, both in my blog here, or through SkyPlanner feedback form page. A more detailed features list and review is in this page.
A special thanks to Alessia, who helped in many ways, providing suggestions, ideas, testing, writing some catalogues importers.
Happy star gazing!