Here is a listing of the software that I use.

Planetarium Software

The one I use the Most is Starry Night Pro Version 7.

Starry Night Pro is a powerful program designed for those with a serious interest in astronomy. Increase your in-the-field observing success with features such as the Events Finder to choose targets, or customized Observing Lists for a specific night or object of interest. Print out three-view star hopping charts customized to your equipment to effortlessly guide you to challenging objects. With extensive data sets, advanced telescope control, and comprehensive observational tools you'll soon transform your computer into a sophisticated virtual observatory.

Explore over 16 million stars and 1 million deep-sky objects
Travel through 3D, particulate galaxies
Control most popular computerized telescopes (ASCOM)
See the sky from any location in the universe up to 700 million light years away. Travel in time from 99,999 BC to 99,999 AD
View Milky Way in 12 wavelengths, from infrared, radio to X-ray
Deepen your explorations and understanding of the universe with over 100 interactive multimedia SkyGuide tours

I also sue now and then The Sky 6 by Software Bisque.

The most current version is the Sky X. The Sky 6 is no longer sold through there store.

TheSky6™ Professional Edition is used by more observatories and controls more automated telescopes than any other astronomy software. For twenty five years, astronomers worldwide have relied on The Sky for everything from a visual observation guide to turn-key telescope control center. TheSky6 Professional Edition has extensive databases that are chocked full of celestial information, all accessed at incredible speeds on a dazzling graphical display. Add to that ingenious tools like the Moon Viewer, Eclipse and Conjunction Finders, Data Wizard, Image Link, and native telescope control, and you'll understand why TheSky6 Professional Edition is astronomy’s engine.

Mount Control Interface: THE EQMOD PROJECT

The purpose of the EQMOD website is to provide an introduction to the EQMOD Project and applications. For more detailed information please consider joining the EQMOD Yahoo group.

The aim of the EQMOD project is to develop and distribute FREE Astronomy/mount control software. The majority of EQMOD software is made available as open source enabling applications to be customized to any particular users own specific requirements. By placing the source in the public domain we believe we can best ensure not only continued development but also the expansion of the project into other areas and applications.

Before purchasing commercial mount control products it may well be worth your while checking out what features the EQMOD project can deliver for free. All EQMOD applications are subject to on-going development and new features are readily added in response to user requests.

The software makes no modification to the original manufacturers firmware and can be removed at any time. Use and distribution of the EQMOD software and source is governed by the terms in the source code.

The EQMOD Project comprises of a suite of applications:
EQASCOM This application provides the mount control functionality and acts as an ASCOM server thereby allowing client applications, such as planetarium software or autoguiding software, to drive the mount.
EQMOSAIC An ASCOM client application for precise mount positioning for the managment of mosaics capture..
EQTOUR An ASCOM client application for  Sky Tour planning / navigation.
EQMODLX An ASCOM client  that allows the mount to be controlled by applications issuing LX200 protocol commands.Often used with satellite tracking applications.
PERECORDER An automated Periodic Error recording program that uses a webcam
PECPrep A Periodic Error Analysis program capable of using data captured using Perecorder, PHD, MetaGuide, MaixmDl, K3CCDTools, CCDSoft & AstroArt 
ASCOMPAD A gampad interface application for ASCOM focuser drivers, filter wheels and mount drivers (if not using EQASCOM)

EQASCOM is the mount control driver, the other applications build upon this driver platform and may be thought of as 'plugins' providing extra functionality and capabilities. The EQASCOM driver currently supports Synta EQ mounts and issues commands to the mount via a PC COM port. Either an external EQDirect level convertor or the SynScan controller (must be V3.21 or later) provides the interface to the mount itself.
Supported Mounts in the EQMOD Project

CCD Camera/Processing Control Software  

The Next Piece of software that I use now and then is MaxIm DL

MaxIm DL is the fastest and easiest way to image the night sky. Whether you want to produce stunning portraits, collect science data, or hunt for new objects, MaxIm DL has the tools you need.

Version 5 adds a host of new capabilities, to make imaging and processing faster and easier than ever before possible.

One Piece I have had for a long time is Software Bisque CCD-SOFT.


Click here for a listing of all kinds of Planetarium Software


Nebulosity 3

Nebulosity 3 supports a wide range of cameras on both Windows and OS X with more often being found in pre-release versions. They are:

  • Atik Legacy (16, etc.) and current (beta-level support for all Atik cams)
  • Canon DIGIC II* / III / 4 / 5 EOS DSLRs (1D Mark IV, 1D Mark III, 1D Mark II N, 1D Mark II, 1Ds Mark III and 1Ds Mark II, 5D, 5D Mark II, 5D Mark III, 6D, 7D, 20D/Da, 30D, 40D, 50D, 60D/Da, 70D, 100D/SL1/Kiss X7, 350D/Digital Rebel XT*, 400D/Digital Rebel XTi*, 450D/Rebel XSi/Kiss X2, 500D/T1i/Kiss X3, 550D/T2i/Kiss X4, 600D/T3i/Kiss X5, 650D/T4i/Kiss X6i, 700D/T5i/KissX7i,1000D/Rebel XS/Kiss F, 1100D/T3/Kiss X50).
  • Fishcamp Starfish
  • Meade DSI, DSI Pro, DSI II, DSI II Pro, DSI III and DSI III Pro.
  • QHY 8, 8L, 8Pro, 9, 10, 12
  • QSI 500 / 600 series
  • SBIG
  • Starlight Xpress USB2 models (SXV / SXVF / SXV-R / Lodestar / etc. including those converted to USB 2 via the SX adapter)
In addition, on Windows, the following cameras are supported
  • ASCOM-5/6 compliant cameras
  • Apogee cameras
  • Atik 3xx, 4xx, 4000, 11000, 16, 16IC, and 16HR / Artemis cameras (both older 16-series and all newer cameras via their universal driver)
  • CCD Labs Q8-HR / Q453, Q285M / QHY2 Pro
  • FLI cameras
  • Moriavian G2/G3 (v3 or higher firmware)
  • Orion StarShoot Deep-Space Color Imager (original) **
  • OpticStar DS-335 series, DS-336C, DS-615, DS616, DS-142, DS-145, and PL-130
  • SAC10
  • SAC7 / SC1 long-exposure modified webcams / Atik 1 and Atik 2 cameras.

One Other piece of software I use from Stark-Labs is PHD Guiding

PHD Guiding is designed to be "Push Here Dummy" simple, yet provide powerful, intelligent auto-guiding of your telescope for both PCs and Macs. Connect your mount, your camera, select a star, and start guiding. That's it!

Despite actually having a Ph.D., I've always had a tough time figuring out which way North is in the guide frame, whether an axis is mirrored (and if so, which one), how that's affected by camera rotation, how many arcseconds per pixel I'm actually running at (especially since a "2x" barlow isn't always 2x), etc. This is especially tough when standing out in a cold field late at night when all you really want to do is stay warm and collect good images of your DSO.

There is now also PHD2 Guiding a more advanced version of PHD

PHD2 is the next generation of Stark Labs' PHD Guiding. PHD2 provides a number of new features and enhancements over the original PHD1, such as
  • A more responsive user interface, with a new multi-threaded design
  • Improved visualization tools for observing guiding performance in units of arc-seconds or pixels
  • Declination-compensated guiding, eliminating the need for recalibrating when switching targets
  • Support for guiding with Adaptive Optics units
  • Equipment profiles for managing multiple guiding configurations
  • Internationalization improvements, with a French translation available
  • A new server interface for controlling and monitoring PHD2 by other imaging applications
  • New tools, such as a polar drift alignment tool and a calibration step size calculator

ASCOM Platform for Astronomy Based Software Programs.


What is ASCOM (Astronomy Common Object Model)? is an open initiative to provide a standard interface to a range of astronomy equipment including mounts, focusers and imaging devices in a Microsoft Windows environment. An ASCOM driver acts as an abstraction layer between the client and hardware thus removing any hardware dependency in the client, and making the client automatically compatible with all devices that supports the minimum required properties and methods. For example, this abstraction allows an ASCOM client to use an imaging device without needing to know whether the device is attached via a serial or network connection. ASCOM was invented in late 1997 and early 1998 by Bob Denny

ASCOM Platform 6.1 is Current

For more information on the ASCOM Initiative, see the About ASCOM section.