ski safari 7 pro

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  • published March 2, 2022

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ski safari 7 pro

A Review of SkySafari 7 Pro

ski safari 7 pro

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ski safari 7 pro

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ski safari 7 pro

The power of mobile devices means that you can carry around a portable planetarium in your pocket and though it’s not quite the same as a dome, it can give you an immersive experience that helps you find your way around the night sky . In this review of SkySafari 7 Pro we look at what we think is the best mobile app for stargazing . Our starting point for reviewing this app is that we know quite a bit about the night sky already, we can find our way around and find about 100 objects without needing to use a map.

Starting the App

The app opens to a view of the sky at the current time, if it happens to be day time then you get a a view of the sky as if there was no atmosphere. For those who are familiar with previous versions of Sky Safari they will see that version 7 has quite a few different updates to the app and the way that users drive it. One of the first things to do is to set up you location in the settings menu and location tab. You can use your current location (if you have enabled location services for the app) or you can manually set the location you want, either from a list or from a map. If you travel around a bit there’s the option of entering a number of your favourite sites so it’s easy to change them.

The next thing you’ll want to set up is how the sky looks and what extra features you want displayed. There’s pretty everything from constellations, grids, satellites, planets, asteroids etc and they’re all accessed in the setting menu. This new version has really tidied up the screen, which is fantastic. By tapping the time at the top left of the screen you open the menu for time control. There’s a lot of fun with this setting as it’s great to look at the night sky back in history or a few years into the future. Unfortunately it won’t show the proper motion of stars so you can’t go back in time 100,000 years to see what Orion looked like – but you have to keep your expectations realistic.

ski safari 7 pro

The Range of Versions

Simulation Curriculum Corp is the developer of the app and they offer three choices for their app. The basic model is simply called SkySafari and will set you back $3.49. The features are basic ones but still very powerful and suitable for what most people would use. You can use it to point directly at the sky by tapping the icon in the upper right of the screen, which puts it in compass mode – as long as you phone is accurate where it points, which mine is not. But if it is, it can help you navigate your way around the sky easily.

The next version up is SkySafari Plus, which sells for $16.99 at the moment. This adds some extra features for connecting to telescopes and connecting to other night sky observers. For the serious amateur astronomer, the next is SkySafari Pro, which will set you you back $89.99. The only difference between that and the plus version is that you get the Gaia star database, the PGC galaxy database and pretty more of everything, more stars, more asteroids, more comets etc etc etc. The extra price of the pro version is not worth it unless you’re a real enthusiast or you have big telescope that can see all of the extra objects. The pro version is a very powerful app for stargazing. It also has a high resolution Moon map which is fantastic you’re into imaging and take close ups of the Moon (from Earth obviously).

Another cool feature of the update in this review of SkySafari 7 Pro is that if you hold your fingers on a star – or object, another menu pops up. One of the icons is a rocket ship and pressing that will fly to app to where the object is. So you can fly to Suhail al Muhlif to see what the sky would look like from there. This is a very cool feature and a great way to explore the solar system and the galaxy.

Review of Sky Safari 7 Pro

On the basic version there are descriptions for around 600 objects and these descriptions are very good, with a nice image and detail about the object. By swiping to the left or right you can see further information such as rising and setting times, distance, angular size etc. Their descriptions are great and up to date.

ski safari 7 pro

One of the cool features of the app is that you can plan your observing session by building observing lists and recording what you saw. They have a live sky feature where you can share your observations on OneSky. This is an awesome feature where you can see what other people are looking at in real time. It’s great for ideas on what to look at and it’s possible to export what people are looking into your own observing list. Other features include a night mode that makes the display red, this is to preserve your night vision, though it gets ruined if notifications pop up from other apps or your lock screen comes on – if you keep SkySafari the focus it’s all good.

One more feature to glow about in our review of SkySafari 7 Pro is the second button from the left on the main screen called “tonight”. This tells you where the planets are, rising and setting times, details of the Moon and any deep sky objects that are in favourable viewing positions. This is a great feature for an observing session and a good way to learn more objects rather than just sticking to your favourites.

I could go on and on about this app as it’s that good, the best thing to do is give it a go yourself – well worth the $3.49! As a disclaimer we have no commercial arrangement with Simulation Curriculum Corp other than we purchased this app and use it heaps.

Join us in Wairarapa for stargazing

ski safari 7 pro

Sirius A And Its Companion White Dwarf

This post explores the star Sirius A and its companion white dwarf, Sirius B. Discovered in 1862, Sirius B is a dense remnant of a larger star. The post discusses mass transfer between the two stars and explains the formation of white dwarfs. Sirius B’s density, surface temperature, and estimated age of 150 million years are also highlighted.

ski safari 7 pro

Know the Moon – Plato

In this video we fly down to the surface of the Moon and have a close look at the crater called Plato.

ski safari 7 pro

Know the Moon – Vallis Schroteri

This video is about exploring the Vallis Schroteri, or Schroters Valley on the Moon.

SkySafari 7 Pro

Give yourself some space

ski safari 7 pro

Fancy being an armchair astronomer? Join Slooh

Milky-Way.Kiwi is a social enterprise for quality and affordable access to the night sky run by professional space science communicators. We provide educational services for teachers and schools – Spaceward Bound NZ, stargazing and astronomy and space courses and programmes for the public – Star Safari and we write about space and astronomy with a New Zealand perspective. 

At Star Safari, everyone 15 and younger is FREE because we believe that young people should not pay for inspiration.

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Up to 50% OFF  The Ultimate Astro App for Android & iOS!

Read, simulate & share on LiveSky.com or in SkySafari "Tonight" panel.

Why SkySafari 7 Pro?

- Massive database w/ 100 million+ stars 

- 3 million galaxies  to 18th magnitude

 - 750k solar system objects 

- Dynamic observing lists

- Simulate 5MM years past or future

- State of the art mobile scope control

- INDI & ASCOM Alpaca protocols

- AR & Voice Control (iOS)

- AstroBin.com Integration (V1.0)

- Powerful event finder & custom alerts

- Social stargazing modes

- StarSense Explorer Technology*

- Featured Event Content*

- Version 7 Comparison Chart

ski safari 7 pro

SkySafari PRO

ski safari 7 pro

$50 $34.99 USD

ski safari 7 pro

$60 $29.99 USD

ski safari 7 pro

SkySafari PLUS

$20 $12.99 USD

ski safari 7 pro

$30 --> $29.99 USD

ski safari 7 pro

SkySafari Basic

$5   $2.99 USD

$10   $4.99 USD

ski safari 7 pro

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"Unveiling the Sun's Corona" "Catch a Comet Before the Eclipse" "Seeking a Clear Eclipse Day" "Shooting the Sun in White Light" "Tips for Observing the Total Eclipse" & "2024 Top 10 Celestial Sights" recently publ ished in SkySafari Premium .

Sign up for a free trial in any V7 app today to sample content and features...tap the "Tonight" button.

*SSE Integration for Android releasing in Q2.

"The new events section & observation planner tools along with the search & filter functions provide an amazing level of control, while the innovative social stargazing features provide a new level of community to our hobby. SkySafari 7 is a huge upgrade!"

Dave Farina

CosmosSafari.com

Every single night our operators, in a matter of seconds, can use SkySafari Pro to look up answers to obscure questions posed by visitors about the object being viewed, share the iPad’s screen view, pull up professional images of the targets and show the object’s location in the Milky Way using the galactic view. Visitors love the technology...

Lowell Observatory

© Simulation Curriculum

Flash sale: SkySafari 7 astronomy app is up to 60% off on app stores

SkySafari 7 stargazing app is as low as $2.99, giving astronomers savings of over 50% on the 'Plus' and 'Pro' versions of the app which is available for iOS and Android.

Product image of the software on an off-white background

SkySafari 7, an app that locates millions of planets, stars and constellations at the tap of your screen, is now up to 60% off on different app stores. 

The 60% discount means you can save up to $40 and browse a database of over 100 million stars, three million galaxies and 750 thousand solar system targets. This is the perfect app for anyone interested in the night sky and astronomy, but the sale ends March 4 2023 so you'll have to hurry. 

This deal is a good one, not just because the saving is big but because the app itself is one of the best on the market, in fact, the previous version ( SkySafari 6 which we reviewed ) features on our best stargazing apps guide. Using the database is cool for looking at the night sky but can also enhance your experience if you're already using one of the best telescopes or best binoculars out there. 

SkySafari 7 Pro stargazing app now 60% off.

SkySafari 7 Pro stargazing app now 60% off .

The saving varies based on which app store you get it from and what version of the app you purchase. However, the 'Pro' is 60% off on the App Store and Google Play while it's over $40 off on the Mac App Store. The 'Plus' version is 50% off and the 'Basic' version is 40% off. 

Note: There's also a one-week free trial of SkySafari Premium. The deal ends on March 4.

There's no getting around the fact the 'Pro' version of the app is the most expensive, but it also comes with the biggest saving and it offers you the most. As mentioned, its database holds over 100 million stars and 750 thousand solar system targets - which is seriously impressive.

We gave the previous version, SkySafari 6 (Pro version), four out of five stars in our full review and we were impressed with the option to create a detailed observing list so that you can come back to your favorite objects time and again. For the uninitiated astronomers, there are helpful audio tours that give insight into popular stars, planets, constellations and more.

  • SkySafari 7 Pro: iOS $19.99 / Android $19.99
  • SkySafari 7 Plus: iOS $9.99 / Android $9.99
  • SkySafari 7 Basic: iOS $2.99 / Android $2.99

SkySafari 7 also offers social stargazing, so you can see what others are looking at in real-time, event finder and notifications for shadow transit, solar eclipses, etc. It also has an improved interface, tilt-to-slew scope control and augmented reality voice control.

Sure, finding the best telescope deals or even the best binoculars deals is worth doing, but if you don't want any additional kit right now or you simply want to enhance your stargazing experience, then getting 60% off SkySafari 7 Pro is definitely worth considering.

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Those using the Mac App store can only take a discount offer on SkySafari 6 versions, prices are: SS6 Pro: $19.99 / SS6 Plus: $14.99 / SS6 Basic: $4.99

Follow Alexander Cox on Twitter  @Coxy_97Official . Follow us on Twitter  @Spacedotcom and on  Facebook .

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at: [email protected].

STAFF WRITER, E-commerce — Alex joined Space.com in June 2021 as staff writer covering space news, games, tech, toys and deals. Based in London, U.K. Graduating in June 2020, Alex studied Sports Journalism in the North East of England at Sunderland University. During his studies and since his graduation, Alex has been featured in local newspapers and online publications covering a range of sports from university rugby to Premier League soccer. In addition to a background in sports and journalism, Alex has a life-long love of Star Wars which started with watching the prequel trilogy and collecting toy lightsabers, he also grew up spending most Saturday evenings watching Doctor Who. 

Contact Alexander: E-Mail   Twitter

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  • OldDogZeroOne Sounds great. Except when I follow the links to the Google app store it says, "this app is not available for your device". (A Samsung Galaxy 8) It says it for all three versions, basic, plus and pro. Guess I'll just keep using Stellarium Plus. F.J.Cernik Reply
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  • Mar 8, 2022

Sky Safari 7 Telescope Control for iPhone and iPad

Updated: Mar 12, 2022

ski safari 7 pro

Over the last 14 years, I have been a fairly active member of the astronomy community. I have run countless star watches as an advisor for students of mine, as well as public star watches as the president of my local astronomy club. Star watches are challenging things to plan, as many of our community knows, due to the all so disruptive cloud cover, cold weather conditions, and global pandemics. So finally you get that clear night under the stars. You and your fellow astronomers all start to look at each other as you start to get ready for the night. "How long has it been since we had a clear night like this?" someone asks. Dumbfounded by the truth in this statement, you all start to realize it has been many months since you had such conditions. This is NOT a night to be wasted. "Awesome.", you think. This is your chance to do some real astronomy.

Unfortunately, you are rusty. Not like, just a little rusty, we are talking full-fledged falling apart rusty. You didn't even realize how much you have forgotten since you were last out under a clear night sky. "Which star is that again?", you ask. "What constellations are up this time of year?", someone else says.

You would think after over a decade of doing this that more things would have stuck in that brain of yours, but, alas, you cannot remember. By this point, you have fumbled your way through a rough three-star alignment process and have started to show members of the public some of the bright objects. The moon, planets, maybe some of the famous or brighter nebulae or globular clusters. Your "favorites". The ones you like the most. "That's cool." a member of the public says unconvincingly. "I just saw that in the other guy's scope a few minutes ago."

The Astronomy Enthusiasts of Lancaster County Star Watch - Photo Credit Joe Ulrich

Great. the guy next to me overheard that I was slewing to the Ring Nebula so they decided to go there too. After a few minutes, you realize your favorite objects just so happen to be the EXACT same objects as every other telescope at the star watch. You end up putting on a decent star watch, the public loved it! But you walk away feeling that you've not fully enjoyed the evening. Nothing new. Nothing interesting. Just another star watch that provided others enjoyment, but didn't get you the wow factor astronomy used to have.

M1 Crab Nebula - by David Farina 2022

For the past 6 years, I have been getting relatively advanced in astrophotography. Astrophotography is awesome, and I truly get a rush from getting that first exposure of a new object on my screen. Nothing is quite like it. Once you have got a bunch of good data, then comes the fun part, processing loads of data into a masterpiece that wows you, your friends, and your family. You post it up on social media and get a bunch of likes. You have got the "bug". Watch your wallet carefully, astrophotography now runs in your blood.

Chwrry Springs Black Forest Star Party - by Dave Farina 2018

However, much of the astrophotography experience has left me jaded towards introducing new technology into my nights when I want to observe visually. Visual astronomy still is exciting for me, and I am saddened by other astrophotographers who cannot find joy in visual observation. For me, visual observation is a cathartic experience. A form of meditation that centers me and soothes my soul. I feel like visual astronomy, especially in a dark sky site, connects me to the universe in ways that astrophotography cannot. I want to be in the moment, and potential distractions and technical difficulties are not permitted to interrupt my moment of zen.

ski safari 7 pro

A few days ago I had the pleasure of using the Sky Safari 7 software for telescope control. I've been using Sky Safari and Starry Night software for the last 14 years, but I've never actually tried to control a telescope from start to finish. I have to say, for someone who has done this the manual way, including using a non-goto Dobsonian scope much of the time, the ease of the

SkySafari 7 software to search for, locate, and slew to objects has the potential to really increase your chances of learning something new and observing objects that bring that excitement back to those rare clear nights under the stars.

Sky Safari 7 Telescope Control Options

The process of hooking up the telescope to Sky Safari 7 was extremely straightforward. I nearly called my YouTube video on it "STUPID EASY Telescope Control". The setup process to connect Sky Safari 7 to the telescope was to simply connect to the telescope's WiFi, go to settings, telescope, and set up a new preset for the telescope. In this case, I was using the Celestron Evolution 8 Telescope and Celestron StarSense AutoAlign.

Celestron NexStar Evolution 8 WiFi Telescope

The Celestron StarSense AutoAlign had me automatically up and running producing perfectly executed go-to slews to objects of interest in less than 5 minutes. The process was incredibly simple. On Sky Safari 7, I simply looked around the sky using the highly intuitive user interface, chose an object from the huge object database, and chose "Slew to". Within seconds I was actively observing the object.

ski safari 7 pro

The potential for this technology to increase the efficiency, enjoyment, and learning during your next star watch or personal observing session is extremely likely. Even with my years of experience, I find Sky Safari 7 to be one of the most powerful and important tools in my astronomy kit. The ability to perform automatic alignments, quickly identify and choose objects, perform flawless go-to slews, and learn fascinating facts and figures from the enormous amount of highly detailed scientifically accurate information provided within the Sky Safari database is priceless.

Considering the large cost of quality optical and imaging equipment, the cost of this software is a bargain to say the least.

To download Sky Safari 7 for iPhone or iPad, visit www.skysafariastronomy.com .

At your next star watch, you will be the one who finally walks away having had that same enjoyment and wow factor that got you excited about observational astronomy in the first place.

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SkySafari 7 Pro 4+

Astronomy guide to night sky, simulation curriculum corp., designed for ipad.

  • #56 in Reference
  • 4.7 • 421 Ratings
  • Offers In-App Purchases

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Description.

SkySafari makes stargazing a simple pleasure. It has the largest database of any astronomy app, includes every solar system object ever discovered, offers unparalleled accuracy, advanced planning and logging tools, flawless telescope control, and provides the very best experience under the stars when you depend on it. Don’t postpone joy. Discover why SkySafari is the #1 recommended astronomy app for serious amateur astronomers since 2009. Here's what’s new in version 7: + Complete support for iOS 16 and iPhone 14. Version 7 brings a new and immersive stargazing experience. + Events Finder - go to the new Events section to unlock a powerful search engine that finds astronomical events visible tonight and far into the future. The finder dynamically generates a listing of moon phases, eclipses, planetary moon events, meteor showers and planetary phenomenon such as conjunctions, elongations and oppositions. + Notifications - the notifications section has been completely revamped to allow you to customize and manage which events trigger an alert notification on your device. + Telescope Support - telescope control is at the heart of SkySafari. Version 7 takes a giant leap forward by supporting ASCOM Alpaca and INDI. These next generation control protocols allow you to effortlessly connect to hundreds of compatible astronomical devices. Stargazing is often done on your own but looking up at the stars reminds us that we are all part of a larger interconnected universe. SkySafari 7 brings social stargazing to mobile devices with two new features to help you connect with other like minded people. OneSky - allows you to see what other users are observing, in real time. This feature highlights objects in the sky chart and indicates with a number how many users are observing a particular object. SkyCast - allows you to guide a friend or group around the night sky through their own copy of SkySafari. After initiating SkyCast, you can generate a link and conveniently share it with other SkySafari users via text message, apps or social media accounts. + Sky Tonight - jump to the new Tonight section to see what’s visible in your sky tonight. Expanded information has been designed to help plan your night and includes Moon & Sun info, calendar curations, events and the best positioned deep sky and solar system objects. + Improved Observation Tools - SkySafari is the perfect tool to help you plan, record and organize your observations. New workflows make it easier to add, search, filter and sort data. + Home Screen and Lock Screen Widgets keep your favorite astro information at your fingertips. The Small Touches: + You can now edit the Jupiter GRS Longitude Value in the Settings. + Better Moon Age calculation. + New grid & reference options allow you to display Solstice and Equinox markers, Orbit + Node markers for all solar system objects, and tick marks and labels for the Ecliptic, Meridian, and Equator reference lines. + Previous In-app Purchases are Now Free - this includes the H-R diagram, 3D Galaxy view, and the PGC galaxy and GAIA star catalogs. Enjoy. + Many more. If you haven't used SkySafari 7 Pro before, here's what you can do with it: + Hold your device up, and SkySafari 7 Pro will find stars, constellations, planets, and more! + Simulate the night sky up to 100,000 years in the past or future! Animate meteor showers, conjunctions, eclipses, and other celestial events. + Control your telescope, log and plan your observations. + Optionally backup all of your observing data in our secure cloud storage and make it easily accessible to multiple devices as well as from our new web interface, LiveSky.com. + Augmented Reality (AR) mode + Night Vision. + Orbit Mode. Leave the Earth’s surface behind, and fly through our solar system. + Galaxy View shows the position of deep sky objects in our Milky Way! https://www.apple.com/legal/internet-services/itunes/dev/stdeula/ https://www.livesky.com/privacy.html

Version 7.3.5

In this update: + Timezone fixes. + DST fix for Chile region.

Ratings and Reviews

421 Ratings

Stunning app

It’s rare to find an app this good. I do have a small wish-list. When controlling a telescope it would be nice to have the slew controls positioned on the screen to support single handed control rather than either side of the display. Also from the observing list it would be nice to long press an object and invoke go-to. But minor quibbles aside, magnificent.

Brilliant program if one looks at all the features, but..

There’s no doubt that SkySafari is technically and by its features by far the best astronomy program for the enthusiast but there is the giant elephant in the room: The translations of the object information. It is anybody’s guess what the developers intended when they added the the translations of the object information, enforced the program to use the device’s language instead of English and did not allow to switch the program language back to English. But for sure they did not think about the consequences at all or just did not care. And it is also certain that they had nobody on their team who spoke anything else but English. The German translations of the object information are so poor that it is impossible to understand a single sentence. Almost every sentence is incomprehensible. Look guys. If you add translations to your program and enforce users to use them, then you must do a much better job. Telling people in your support forum to switch the device’s language to English is just appalling. Right now all you get is an F for fail and lack of effort.
Do not buy. The serious bug mentioned below has still not been fixed and has potential to break your kit. Got to say in many ways I love this app. I find it intuitive and fairly easy to use but! There is a serious bug, reported by a number of users, that has not been resolved after many months. If, while using the motion controls, your finger moves on the control touch area the button locks and your scope keeps on going. This can be annoying at the least during alignment and potentially can result the scope crashing into the mount. Support say that it will be fixed in the next release but will not indicate when that release will arrive. Until it does stay clear.

App Privacy

The developer, Simulation Curriculum Corp. , indicated that the app’s privacy practices may include handling of data as described below. For more information, see the developer’s privacy policy .

Data Not Linked to You

The following data may be collected but it is not linked to your identity:

  • User Content
  • Identifiers
  • Diagnostics

Privacy practices may vary based on, for example, the features you use or your age. Learn More

Information

English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish

  • SkySafari Premium Monthly £3.49
  • SkySafari Premium £26.49
  • PGC Galaxy Database £0.00
  • GAIA Star Database £0.00
  • Apollo Lunar Missions £0.00
  • Developer Website
  • App Support
  • Privacy Policy

ski safari 7 pro

Family Sharing

Some in‑app purchases, including subscriptions, may be shareable with your family group when family sharing is enabled., more by this developer.

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Skywatcher GTi mount with SkySafari

Astro_Dad

By Astro_Dad March 22, 2021 in Getting Started Equipment Help and Advice

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Hi, due to the long lead time on equipment at present, I’m spending  much of my Astro time planning for when I get the kit I’ve ordered... this means learning probably too much theory before putting enough into practice.  I was looking to tap into the community to learn more about using the Sky Safari app with a Skywatcher GOTO mount (GTi with Skymax 127).  I understand an update means that the two can work directly together on iOS now without requiring two mobile devices. Does anyone have any experience  of setting this up - wondering if Sky Safari with its potentially useful larger database can completely replace the Syn Scan system for aligning, finding targets and tracking?

Be good to hear any experiences,

Thanks and Clear Skies,

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Zermelo

Yes, they have apparently fixed the iOS problem so that you can use a single device.

I have an Android phone so I never had that issue, but I assume that the way SkySafari and Synscan work together functionally is the same, so I'll offer you my experiences so far. I'm running Synscan 'Pro' with Skysafari 6 'Plus' versions. The Synscan Pro version supports EQ operation, but still works with alt-az mounts. The Skysafari Plus version has some features not included in the free version, I've not checked which of those described below are in both.

I do initial alignment with Synscan after levelling and pointing north. SkySafari has an initial alignment option for Celestron equipment but not for Skywatcher. I've experimented with 2-star and 3-star alignments but not reached any conclusion about which is more successful. On some nights the initial attempt at the second/third star is very close, at other times I need to correct quite a lot. Once I've aligned, I usually do another one or two star alignments in the area of sky where I'm going to start observing. I used to do these in Synscan (Pointing Accuracy Enhancements), but I lately discovered that SkySafari does have an "Align" function that lets you correct for any pointing discrepancy by matching the current target with an object on the sky chart. I believe this is done by setting offsets internally within SkySafari rather than issuing updates to Synscan's sky model (which is what a PAE operation does), but both actions are intended to improve the pointing accuracy locally within a patch of sky, not globally.

When you connect SkySafari to your scope (via Synscan) you get additional controls that allow you to slew up/down and left/right, and adjust the motion rate. Alternatively, if you select "tilt device to slew" in settings, SkySafari will use the device's accelerometers instead (I've not tried this). You can also issue a GoTo for an object currently selected, which just forwards the command straight through to Synscan. If you need to, you can issue a GoTo for a manually entered RA/Dec position rather than an object (I'm not sure that's possible in Synscan).

For me, the main advantage of using SkySafari is the ability to create observing lists when planning, and then use them to drive an observing session. I'll have a list prepared for a session, usually sorted by rise time. You can choose to display the list's contents on the sky map. I'll usually select objects from the list if my constraint is rise/set times, but sometimes from the map if parts of the sky are obscured. If it's an unfamiliar target that I might struggle to identify, I'll probably look at the SkySafari info page first (e.g. to check magnitudes and separation for double stars), and from there I can also check if I've made any previous observations. I then either use the SkySafari GoTo or else slip the clutches (I always set dual encoding 'on' in Synscan) and position/hop using Telrad>optical finder>wide angle EP. One nice feature is that SkySafari maintains an indicator of the current scope position on it's map. I've also set up a 7 degree ring to simulate my finder true field (you can also display Telrad rings, or set up and display your own oculars). So if I'm moving to an object with no obvious reference points, I'll pinch to zoom out on the map, swing the scope with one hand and follow the progress towards the target on the phone. Zeroing in on the target might require a hard-copy chart, but I find I'm increasingly using the SkySafari version, zoomed to an appropriate level for use with finder or EP. I have a RACI, but otherwise you can easily invert the SkySafari map L-R and U-D. You can adjust the star limiting magnitude to match what you're seeing. There is a red "night mode" that is implemented better than the one in Synscan, but it still can't control the display of other apps or system messages, so instead I've made a physical red screen for the phone and I use the app in b&w. Once I've definitely identified the target, I'll create a new observation in SkySafari and add some notes. Then repeat until I run out of targets, clear sky or body heat. 

By default, new observations are all assigned to an "unnamed session". I don't usually bother editing this while I'm observing, I leave it until I get back inside (or if I'm too tired, the next day). Then I'll give it a meaningful name, summarize the success (or otherwise), note any new equipment or techniques used, and record the observing conditions (I usually copy met info from two or three different sources and add my own opinion on seeing an transparency in free format; SkySafari lets you record these with each individual observation, but I think it's overkill for me).

If you set up a Livesky account (even the free one), you can link the SkySafari app to it and all your observing lists, sessions and observations get synced automatically. With a paid-for Livesky account you can make edits to the uploaded data, but I've not felt the need.

So, SkySafari has mostly removed the need for me to interact directly with Synscan after initial alignment. The only slight annoyance (nothing to do with SkySafari) is that Synscan will eventually get killed by Android when it's running in background, so I flip it back to foreground every few minutes. iOS probably behaves differently.

Like

Hi Zermelo, thanks for taking the time to write such a detailed account of your experiences here - incredibly useful and will no doubt re read a few times as I get acquainted with the set up. 

Thanks again and clear skies,

On 28/03/2021 at 14:33, Zermelo said: I believe this is done by setting offsets internally within SkySafari rather than issuing updates to Synscan's sky model (which is what a PAE operation does)

I tested this last night, and confirmed that the SkySafari "Align" operation did not add a new star to Synscan's active sky model.  I also found that SkySafari will refuse to perform the align if your current scope direction is too far away from the object you are claiming is the actual target, i.e. there is some maximum value in the permissible internal offsets. If this happens, you need to correct it with a PAE in Synscan, and the update is relayed to Skysafari.

Stu1smartcookie

Stu1smartcookie

On 28/03/2021 at 15:33, Zermelo said: (I always set dual encoding 'on'

Do you ever have any issues when the encoders are on?... I haven't touched on this facility yet but i did read that it makes slewing a little less accurate . It would be good to know your experience on this 

24 minutes ago, Stu1smartcookie said: Do you ever have any issues when the encoders are on?... I haven't touched on this facility yet but i did read that it makes slewing a little less accurate . It would be good to know your experience on this  Stu 

it's something that I do want to experiment with in the future.

I've always used the dual encoders to keep the noise down in my (rather too small) back garden, basically 95% push-to and 5% Goto.  But I have read that it can reduce the pointing accuracy.

At the moment I'm still tweaking other aspects my setup routine to see if I can see any consistency in the results (levelling or not, 2-star or 3-star, etc. ). Sometimes pointing accuracy is very good, sometimes less so. Tracking seems to be good regardless of the pointing accuracy. Last night I ended up using star-hopping on the finder to find everything - a useful exercise sometimes, but I would like to understand better why the pointing accuracy isn't always consistent.

I am going to experiment  with the encoders  and check the accuracy. But not tonight as I am trying to set up in EQ mode . 

SuburbanMak

SuburbanMak

I have an AZ GTi which I've been getting good GoTo results from via SynScan Pro App on iOS (used with both Phone & iPad). 

I've got paid versions of both Stellarium and Sky Safari on the phone both of which should in theory connect, I've been through the process of plugging in the IP address & port data and getting nothing in Sky Safari. Stellarium at least tries to connect at this point and I can see it scrolling through a script that details various mounts but it is not working. 

@Zermelo Any knack or tips on the order of doing things that you've gleaned would be most welcome as I'm not finding a lot online on troubleshooting this - would be great to make it work and very encouraging to hear that you have! 

16 minutes ago, SuburbanMak said: Any knack or tips

I'm on Android Mark, so I don't know if it's the same.

But I did have a connection problem initially, and I had to change the IP setting to 192.168.4. 2 and port 11882.  I had originally used 192.168.4. 1 , which I think was following some of the documentation, but incorrect.

Thanks

3 hours ago, Zermelo said:   I'm on Android Mark, so I don't know if it's the same. But I did have a connection problem initially, and I had to change the IP setting to 192.168.4. 2 and port 11882.  I had originally used 192.168.4. 1 , which I think was following some of the documentation, but incorrect.

Ah!a! Well that is certainly a lead and something to try, thank you  - let you know how it turns out.  I’m leaning toward Stellarium recently as the feature that lets you set up an ocular circle of a customisable fov I find really useful for prep. 

powerlord

I can recommend eq mode. Especially for photography. I was struggling to get even 10 sec subs on mine.. Seemed like elevation jumps just not smooth.

Moving to eq mode I'm now getting 120 second subs, even with a cursory polar alignment.

However if you are going to manually move it around I suppose eq mode makes it more of a pain.

11 hours ago, SuburbanMak said: lets you set up an ocular circle of a customisable fov

SkySafari can do this too (not sure if this is a basic or plus feature) :

"Observe">"Scope Display">"Add FOV indicator"  ...

Then you can either enter a FOV directly in degrees, or else select an ocular from the equipment list that you entered previously ("Observe">"Equipment") and it will calculate a TFOV based on the specs of the EP and OTA.

19 hours ago, SuburbanMak said: Ah!a! Well that is certainly a lead and something to try, thank you  - let you know how it turns out.  I’m leaning toward Stellarium recently as the feature that lets you set up an ocular circle of a customisable fov I find really useful for prep. 
  • 2 years later...

AstroNebulee

AstroNebulee

On 30/03/2021 at 14:41, Zermelo said: I tested this last night, and confirmed that the SkySafari "Align" operation did not add a new star to Synscan's active sky model.  I also found that SkySafari will refuse to perform the align if your current scope direction is too far away from the object you are claiming is the actual target, i.e. there is some maximum value in the permissible internal offsets. If this happens, you need to correct it with a PAE in Synscan, and the update is relayed to Skysafari.

Sorry to ressurect this thread. I should no more about the AzGti but this issue evades me. 

I was out with my visual set up tonight (giving up dso astrophotography, long story) on my second AzGti mount. I am just using it in left hand az mode with my ST80. I can perform the alignment in the synscan pro app version 2.4.11 easily and connect my mount to sky safari Pro 6 pro and all connects nicely. But I get the same sky safari couldn't align issue. I was using Jupiter as a test and synscan got it bang on but sky safari said Jupiter was more to the left by a fair bit. How can I get sky safari to show the same alignment as synscan does. Its just a lot easier to use sky safari to plan my observing sessions. I am using one android phone to use synscan and sky safari simultaneously. Thank you. 

Edit.. I did find this on the sky safari forum so will try these suggestions too. But my alignment in synscan was all good. 

https://support.simulationcurriculum.com/hc/en-us/articles/115008179327-SkySafari-Error-Your-alignment-target-is-too-far-from-the-telescope-s-actual-position-

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