SkyTools 4 is now two products, SkyTools Imaging, which comes in a single edition, and the newly introduced SkyTools Visual , which is a comprehensive software platform dedicated to every aspect of visual observing including planning, finder charts, controlling a telescope and logging observations.
SkyTools Visual comes in three editions: Standard, Standard plus Real Time, and Pro. Real Time is devoted to use in the field at the telescope and features the new SkyTour which offers a hands-free experience at the eyepiece. The Pro Edition includes Real Time along with a deeper database and other advanced features.
SkyTour generates a plan that takes you from object to object with a minimum of interaction, allowing you to stay at the eyepiece and to stay dark adapted. At each stop, a voice reads information about the object and suggests the ideal eyepiece to use. The tour is organized unlike any other, always ensuring the best possible view.
SkyTools Visual offers a tool for selecting and editing observing lists. The software offers the ability to sort a list in the best order to view throughout the night (or the time period selected). It creates a plan for the night in time order and will start by selecting objects in the west that are setting taking advantage of the limited time to view these objects. As the setting objects are caught up, the algorithm will minimize the movement of the telescope, doing its best to avoid moving all over the sky. Plans can be printed if needed.
The software also suggests the ideal eyepiece to use to view each object. The ideal eyepiece suggestion considers resolution and/or fitting the target into the field of view when selecting an eyepiece. It will always assure the best view, or if the object is difficult to detect, the eyepiece that will maximize a user’s ability to detect it.
The Real Time Tool offers a Best Now mode which chooses the best objects to observe in real time which are placed at the top of the observing list and updated regularly.
More than 500,000 accurate galaxies have been added overall to the SkyTools platform, even while large numbers of low-quality and non-existent galaxies have been removed. New galaxy designations have been added, such as UGCA and RFGC. Many obscure, yet visually observable, nebulae and clusters have been added, often by hand. The positions of open clusters have been reviewed and updated to be more accurate.
SkyTools 4 Standard Edition Subscription Plan
Backyard observers can leverage the power of SkyTools to make every observing session a successful one. SkyTools Standard Edition takes what is difficult about the hobby easier – knowing which objects are worth looking at in your telescope. Observe them when they are at their best them without tedious star hopping and without having to know the details of airmass, zenith distance, or astronomical seeing.
The software’s Nightly Planner distills the most sophisticated astronomical calculations into a remarkably simple interface that anyone (even absolute beginners) can use. It doesn’t just organize your observations, it helps you pick targets that are suitable for your location, telescope, and conditions and ensures that you will get the best possible view.
The Event Finder heralds upcoming meteor showers, eclipses, transits, appulses, Jupiter satellite events, GRS transits, and informs you when a faint planetary satellite is far enough away from the planet to spot.
Subscriptions to current comets, novae/supernovae, and interesting minor planets automatically keep users updated with the best and most current data available. Imagine being able to see a supernova on any given night, or spot a fast-moving asteroid as it passes the earth!
SkyTools Standard Plus Real Time Observing Plan
Offering a hands-free experience at the eyepiece, SkyTour Real Time Observing takes the Standard edition to the next level and is all about planning for right now at the telescope. Use it to drive your telescope with your laptop or tablet, or to navigate the sky with on-screen finding charts. With Real Time, users can pick what to look at in real time from a list of objects that are currently at their best.
The software generates a plan that takes users from object to object with a minimum of interaction, allowing you to stay at the eyepiece and to stay dark adapted. At each stop, a voice reads information about the object and suggests the ideal eyepiece to use. The tour is organized unlike any other, always ensuring the best possible view.
SkyTools Pro Edition Observing Plan
SkyTools Pro Edition offers everything that the Standard and Plus plans offer as well as enhanced features and the deepest database for the most serious observing. Users can plan for obscure objects with no catalog magnitude or size.
The Pro Edition provides the ability to locate faint nebulae or planetary satellites once thought to be beyond amateur instruments. With the deep star database you can always be sure of what you are seeing in the eyepiece. Users can find comets that are at the edge of detection without wasting time looking at ones that can’t be seen because they are too diffuse. Users can accurately track earth-approaching asteroids, lying in wait just ahead of them.
Pricing for SkyTools 4 is $99.95 USD for the Visual Standard Edition; $139.95 USD for the Standard Edition + Real Time Observing; and $179.95 USD for the Visual Professional Edition. SkyTools 4 is also available in the Visual Edition which is available for$199.95 USD and a SkyTools 4 Imaging + SkyTools 4 Visual Pro Edition Bundle is available for $249.95 USD.
The Visual Edition connects a new and highly accurate imaging model to the most highly-corrected and complete astronomical databases available, via an innovative user interface. It allows astrophotographers to pick suitable target objects, predict how many exposures will be required to obtain the desired result, keep track of each project’s progress, guide observations so that SNR is always maximized and much more.