Cartes du Ciel is a free open source planetarium software to use on Windows, macOS or Linux platform. It provides the ability to draw sky charts, making use of the data in many catalogs of stars and nebulae. The position of planets, asteroids and comets are also shown.
The main functionality in the program is the ability to prepare different sky maps for a specific observation session. A large number of parameters provide the ability to choose specifically or automatically which catalogs to use, the color 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.
In the latest version 4.2 of Cartes du Ciel offers the following changes:
– New default interface with two button bar.
– New icon for the buttons, better suited for night vision filters. Use larger image for big buttons and high-resolution screen.
– Add direct connection to Alpaca telescope. It is now possible to use a telescope connected to a remote ASCOM Windows computer from Skychart running on Linux or macOS.
– Support for the new GAIA DR2 star catalog.
– Allows the use of the HNSKY star catalog in the “290” format.
– New mosaic tool to prepare mosaics for image capture.
– Shows the object rise and set time relative to the local horizon if a horizon file is loaded. This can be disabled in Setup/Observatory. Calendar rise/set are always given to the astronomical horizon.
– Set observatory coordinates from the telescope GPS, this set a “Telescope” observatory name and does not override other settings.
– New button to Park/Unpark the ASCOM telescope.
– Allowa per chart observatory horizon profile.
– Added update menu for Delta T and Jupiter GRS.
– Added orange night vision mode.
– Separate label setting for Asteroid and Comet.
– Option to show only the celestial equator line.
– Option to not filter the bright nebula by magnitude, only by size.
– Option to set the drawing line width.
– Allows the ability to lock at the position set from the menu View/Position.
To learn more visit the official website.