SkyMap Lite 2005 is a sophisticated star charting
and planetarium program for Microsoft Windows 98 or later. It can display the
sky as seen from any location on earth for any date between 4000BC and 8000AD,
showing fields of view ranging from the entire visible sky down to a detailed
telescopic "finder chart" for a faint galaxy.
SkyMap Lite 2005 has been designed to appeal to the novice, or
the more casual astronomer. For those with more demanding requirements, we also
offer the more sophisticated SkyMap Pro
We recommend the following as the minimum system requirement for running SkyMap
- Microsoft Windows 98, ME, NT4, 2000, XP, Vista, or Windows 7, both 32bit
and 64bit versions. Please note that, if running
under Windows NT4, service pack 6a or later is required. Note also that
SkyMap Lite 2005 will not run under Windows 95.
- Pentium 233 or faster.
- Memory: 64MB or more.
- Hard disk space: 240MB.
- Screen resolution: 800x600 or higher.
- CD-ROM drive required for installation.
Amongst the basic facilities of SkyMap Lite are the following:
- Easily move the map around the sky, zoom in and out, and rotate the map with a single
key press or click of the mouse button.
- Display more than 2.5 million stars as faint as magnitude 11.5. Stars are
displayed with (approximately) their true colours.
- Display more than 15,000 deep sky objects - star clusters, nebulae, galaxies, and so
on. Virtually every object which can be observed in a small amateur telescope (and many
that can't be!) is included in SkyMap Lite's extensive databases.
- Display the positions of the Sun, Moon, and major planets. Positions have an accuracy of
a small fraction of an arc second.
- Display the names, official boundary lines, and "stick figures" of all 88
- Display the positions of all known asteroids and comets. Updated asteroid and comet
data can be
downloaded free of charge from this web site, or automatically updated from
the internet from within the program.
- Display a wide range of different coordinate grids and scale lines showing
altitude/azimuth, RA/dec, ecliptic and galactic coordinates.
- Display pictures from a large collection of photographs and CCD images supplied on the SkyMap
Lite CD-ROM. If the computer is
connected to the Internet, a picture of any object can automatically be
downloaded and displayed, or you can add your own photographs and CCD images
to create your own custom picture library.
- Add your own "annotations" to a map, including text labels, lines or arrows,
eyepiece field of view circles, camera and CCD field of view rectangles.
- Print high-quality star charts on any printer supported by Windows.
SkyMap Lite has many powerful features primarily targeted at
the more "advanced" user. These include:
- A powerful search facility allows any of the millions of objects in SkyMap
Lite's databases to be easily located.
- Detailed information can be displayed about any object known to SkyMap
either by clicking the object on the map with the mouse, or locating it using the search
facility. Complete information from many different professional data catalogs is
available; this can be copied to the Windows clipboard from where it can be pasted into
any other application, such as a word processor. You can add your own notes to the
supplied information for any object.
- A large library of telescope and eyepiece data is supplied. "Field of view"
circles showing any combination of eyepiece and telescope can be drawn on the map - ideal
for finder charts intended for "star hopping".
- The path of any moving object such as a planet, asteroid, or comet can be drawn on the
map as a line labelled with the date and magnitude at specified intervals - ideal for
comet or asteroid finder charts.
- A tabular "ephemeris" can be created for any planet, comet, or asteroid.
Choose any (or all!) of more than 30 different items of information to display. This
allows you, for example, to display a table showing the times of sunrise and sunset every
day for a year, or to show the coordinates and magnitude of a comet for a period of
- Accurate positions of major planetary satellites can be displayed on the map. The four
"Galilean" satellites of Jupiter, the eight largest satellites of Saturn, and
the five largest satellites of Uranus are shown. For Jupiter, the planet's
belts and zones, the position of the "Great Red Spot", and and transits,
shadow transits, occultations, and eclipses of the Galilean satellites are all
- Asteroid positions can optionally be computed using either the Lowell ASTORB database or
the Minor Planet Center's MPCORB orbit database, both of which can be downloaded free of
charge from the Internet. Both databases are updated daily and contain the latest orbital
elements for all known asteroids.
SkyMap Lite can predict the passes of, and display the tracks
of, artificial Earth satellites, using standard "TLE" (two-line element) orbital
The program can either predict the passes of a specified satellite over a range of
dates, or the passes of all satellites in its database for a single night. You can display
either all passes, or only visible passes (ie passes during which the satellite is in
sunlight and the observer in darkness).
Pass predictions are initially displayed in a "tabular" form, making it easy
to see the results at a glance. You can then select one or more passes from this table and
display them as "tracks" on the star chart, allowing you to see the path of the
satellite amongst the stars.
The program can also display the "ground track" of a satellite, showing its
path over the Earth's surface in either a tabular form, or graphically on a world map.
The program uses the standard NORAD "SGP4" and "SDP4" mathematical
models for predicting satellite positions, thus ensuring highly accurate results.
Solar and Lunar Eclipses
SkyMap Lite can predict local circumstances for any eclipse of
the Sun or Moon occuring between 2000 BC and 3000 AD. For solar eclipses, the program can
also display the track of the eclipse on a highly-detailed world map; just like a star
chart window, the map window can be scrolled, zoomed in and out, printed, etc.
Supplied Data Catalogs
SkyMap Lite is supplied with many complete data catalogs,
- European Space Agency Tycho 2 catalog, containing very accurate position,
magnitude and colour index information for 2.5 million stars. This is the primary catalog
used by SkyMap Lite for creating star maps, and is complete down
to roughly magnitude 11.5, with a limiting magnitude of about 12.5. SkyMap displays stars
from the Tycho catalog in (approximately) their true colours.
- European Space Agency Hipparcos catalog, containing extremely accurate
position, magnitude, and distance information for 118,218 stars.
- Yale Bright Star Catalog, containing extensive information and notes for
9,100 stars brighter than magnitude 6.5.
- General Catalog of Variable Stars (GCVS) containing information on all
known variable stars in our galaxy.
- Washington Visual Double Star Catalog (WDS) containing information on all
known double or multiple stars.
- Wolfgang Steinicke's Revised NGC and IC Catalogs. These are new revisions of
the NGC and IC catalogs and together contain over 13,000 objects. Each object has been
individually checked on photographic images of the sky, and its basic type, position,
magnitude, size, and position angle corrected. These catalogs form are SkyMap's primary
"deep sky" catalogs.
- Saguaro Astronomy Club (SAC) catalog, containing detailed information,
descriptions, and notes on over 10,000 assorted deep sky objects easily seen in amateur
telescopes. This is SkyMap's main deep sky catalog for objects not contained in the NGC or