Here is a free Sky Chart Maker software for Windows. The software lets you create Sky Charts by observing the sky from any location on Earth. You can easily add various space objects in your Sky chart including Stars, Nebulae, Constellations, Planets, Comets, Asteroids, etc. You can selectively choose objects from any of these and add to you Sky chart. It lets you save the Sky chart as a PNG file and CDC3 file. The software comes with an intuitive interface and you can organize multiple Sky charts on it to work together.
If you have ever used some planetarium software like KStars, then you will find this software to be very similar. You simply start by choosing a specific location from the earth and view the corresponding Sky charts. There are a number of tools and options available in it that you can use to assist you while drawing the Sky chart.
A perfect use case of the software would be observing the locations of Sky objects. You can set a view from the earth and then include/exclude objects using the toolbox of the software. And after you are done, simply save the project or export it as an image.
Main Features of this Sky Chart Maker Software:
SkyChart software comes with various built-in tools & features that I have listed below:
- See details about any space object: The software shows you a lot of space objects on the Sky chart. If you want to know about any object from the view, then just right-click on it and choose the view details option. It will then show you details of that object.
- selectively choose what objects you want to have on your chart: The software allows you to selectively choose space objects you want to have in the chart. You can choose them from the toolbar of the software.
- View the sky from any location & direction: SkyChart freeware lets you set a view from almost any location on earth. In addition to that, you can also use the compass given in the software to set a particular location.
- View Sky chart from a specific time in future or past: The software not only lets you view the Sky chart from current date and time, but you can also jump to any date on past or future to see the sky. Use Setup > Date/Time menu to do that.
- Change the Chart Coordinate System: In the software, you can change the chart coordinate system. It supports four different coordinate systems including Equatorial, Alt-Az, Ecliptic, and Galactic coordinate system.
- Change the view of Charts: If you are working on multiple Sky charts at the same time, then the software allows you to toggle the view of the windows. You can either align them in a side by side pane or in cascade mode.
- Toggle lines and grids: The software shows various grids and lines on the Sky chart. You can toggle coordinate grids, equatorial grids, constellations grids, galactic equator, etc.
- Interactive Interface: The software’s interface is the interactive one and supports zoom, rotate, pan, hold feature to manage the view of the space objects. You can change the background color of the sky and toggle colors for stars.
- Measure Distance between space objects: The software allows you to measure the distance between various objects. It uses time and angle as the units to measure distance between two objects
How to use Sky Chart maker software to draw Sky charts?
Using SkyChart freeware to draw and export Sky chart is very simple. Just get the software using the link given at the end.
Here are the few steps to get started with this software:
Step 1: Open the software and it will ask you to enter the location to view the sky. You can specify the location by entering the longitude, latitude, altitude parameters. Alternatively, you can hit the Internet localization button to automatically set your location.
Step 2: After entering the location details, it will take you to its main interface. You will see the sky there and you can also view it from different directions. You can use the compass from the bottom left side to do that. Also, you can change the view of the sky to view it from North, South, East like directions and also via some predefined angles.
Step 3: There is a toolbar at the top of its interface. You will find a lot of options to view or remove objects from the chart. The main tools you can choose are:
- Show stars.
- Deep Sky objects.
- Nebulae outlines.
- Hide/Show planets.
- Show/Hide Asteroids.
- Toggle Milky Way.
- Show Compass.
- Show Constellation lines, limits.
- Toggle background sky color (Blue/Black).
Step 4: You can set a specific view by including the objects and other parameters. And you can save this project as a CDC3 file. Also, if you want, then you can export the current view that you have designed as a PNG file. Use File > Save image option to do that.
Using the above steps, you will easily able to use this software to make Sky charts and export them.
SkyChart is a very good sky chart maker software for Windows. You can easily make one by specifying the location and other parameters. There are a lot of options that you can choose to design your sky chart. Also, other features of the software like time jump, toggling space objects and exporting chart as an image are noteworthy. If you like software related to space and planet things, then you will like this freeware.