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Starry Night FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions For Starry Night

Starry Night Backyard 4.0 FAQ

This FAQ answers questions about the CDOM version of Starry Night Backyard 4. If you have a different version of Starry Night, please return to the software support page and select the FAQ for the appropriate version of Starry Night.

This FAQ assumes that you are running the most recent version of your Starry Night product. Please visit our updates page to ensure that you have the latest version of Starry Night and download any update patches, if necessary.



Search the FAQ:

  1. QuickTime - Information about the multimedia program QuickTime needed to run Starry Night

    1. What is QuickTime and why do I need it?
    2. Where do I get it and how do I install it?
    3. When I install QuickTime, what type of installation should I choose?
    4. I get an error message when I try to install QuickTime.
    5. I am trying to install QuickTime, and it asks me to enter a registration number. Why doesn't my Starry Night registration number work?

  2. Registration Number - Questions about the Starry Night Backyard registration number

    1. Where do I find my registration number for the program?
    2. How do I register my copy of Starry Night Backyard?
    3. I want to move my copy of Starry Night Backyard to a new computer. How do I retrieve my registration number?
    4. I am trying to install QuickTime, and it asks me to enter a registration number. Why doesn't my Starry Night registration number work?

  3. Installation Problems - Installing Starry Night Backyard on your computer

    1. How do I install Starry Night?
    2. I already have Starry Night Basic/Beginner/Backyard/Deluxe on my computer. Do I need to remove them before I install Starry Night Backyard?
    3. I already have Starry Night Backyard (version 3) on my computer. Do I need to remove it before installing the new version of Starry Night Backyard?
    4. When I try to install the program, I get an "Unhandled Exception" error message. (Windows only).
    5. The installation seemed to go OK. How do I run the program?

  4. OpenGL - For high-end 3D Graphics

    1. What is OpenGL?
    2. Do I need an OpenGL graphics card to run Starry Night?
    3. What differences can I expect if I run Starry Night on an OpenGL compatible graphics card?
    4. What do the various OpenGL options in the Preferences window mean?
    5. What is the Video Test application and what does it do? (Windows only)
    6. I have an OpenGL card but things are still choppy. How do I improve performance?
    7. What can I do if images in Starry Night look too dark or bleached out?
    8. I'm getting an error message when I turn OpenGL on. What should I do?
    9. How do I upgrade my graphics card video driver?
    10. The planets look like black sphere's when OpenGL is enabled.
    11. When I turn on object labels, such as star labels, they tend to flicker or flash on and off?

  5. Support - Where to turn for more help with the program

    1. My questions aren't answered in the manual or this FAQ. Who can I contact?
    2. Are there any other support resources?
    3. Where do I download the latest version of the User's Guide?
    4. How do I open the Starry Night files mentioned in the book Starry Night Companion?

  6. Updates/Upgrades - Updating to the latest version of Starry Night Backyard, or upgrading from/to another version of Starry Night

    1. How do I find out if I have the latest version of Starry Night Backyard?
    2. Are updates free to owners of an earlier version of Starry Night Backyard?
    3. I own Starry Night Basic / Deluxe/ Backyard or Pro(version 3). Can I upgrade to Starry Night Backyard 4?

  7. General Run-Time Problems - Problems with the way the program runs

    1. The installation seemed to go OK. How do I run the program?
    2. I get an error message when I try to run Starry Night Backyard.
    3. What are the system requirements for Starry Night Backyard?
    4. Starry Night Backyard runs very slowly on my computer.
    5. When I run Starry Night, it will slow down after about 10 seconds if I am not doing anything. I need to use the mouse or keyboard to speed it up again. (Macintosh only)
    6. When I exit Starry Night, the following error message pops up: "Unhandled Exception c0000005 at Address 005abe4f" (Windows only).
    7. When I click on a saved Starry Night File (SNF), Deep Space Explorer comes up instead of Starry Night. How do i make it so Starry Night opens my saved files?

  8. Time & Date - Time zones, daylight savings time, sunrise/sunset times, eclipse times, etc.

    1. Starry Night Backyard doesnít display the correct time when I start up. How do I fix this?
    2. The correct time is shown when I start Starry Night Backyard, but the sun rises and sets at the wrong time. How do I fix this?
    3. How do I find my Time Zone?
    4. Do the sunrise/sunset times account for the refraction of light due to the earth's atmosphere?
    5. How does Daylight Savings Time work in Starry Night?
    6. Can I get Starry Night to show the time using the 24-hour clock?
    7. Can I get Starry Night to show dates in the European format?
    8. When I view from off the Earth, the time reads "UT". What does this mean?
    9. Does Starry Night use the Gregorian or Julian calendar for old dates?
    10. How do I find the time and date of eclipses?

  9. Viewing Location - Setting or changing your home location or your viewing location, to places on and off the earth. Includes editing the horizon for your home location

    1. I have tried changing my home location, but everytime I restart the program, it reverts to the old location. How do I change my home location?
    2. My city is not in the list of cities in Starry Nightís location window, and I donít know my latitude and longitude. Where can I find this information?
    3. How do I go to Mars or another planet?
    4. How do I go to a star or Galaxy?
    5. How do I open Starry Night so that it is facing in a direction other than south?

  10. Internet Database - Starry Night's interactive Internet features

    1. When I choose "Online Info" for an object in Starry Night Backyard, it opens using Internet Explorer. How do I get it to use Netscape?
    2. The Internet features in Starry Night Backyard only work the first time that I use them. After this, nothing happens. Why?

  11. Printing & Making Movies - Printing star charts and making QuickTime animation sequences

    1. How do I print star charts?
    2. Can I print images in colour?
    3. Neither the "Export as Image" feature nor the "Make Movie" feature do anything. What's wrong?
    4. Why do the movies I made with Starry Night have distorted colors when I play them back?
    5. Why aren't the movies I made with Starry Night smooth when I play them back?

  12. Movies - Atlas of the Sky Multimedia Disc

    1. How do I install the movies?
    2. When I change the size of the media player, the original window does not close.
    3. The movies in the media player are a little choppy. Is there any way to make them smoother?
    4. Nothing happens or I get an error message when I click on one of the movies in the 'Movies' pane.

  13. Telescopes - Controlling your telescope with Starry Night

    1. Can I control telescopes with Starry Night Backyard?

  14. Constellations & The Zodiac - Finding your birth sign, seeing the sun on the Vernal Equinox

    1. How do I follow the sun's path through the Zodiac over the course of a year?
    2. The sun appears to be in the wrong Zodiac constellation on a given date.
    3. How do I find my birth sign?

  15. Solar System Bodies - Planets, moons, comets, satellites, and asteroids

    1. How do I see the phases of the moon?
    2. How accurate are the positions of the planets and moons in Starry Night?
    3. Jupiter's great red spot doesn't appear to be in the correct position. Is there someway to reposition it?
    4. When I view the solar system from above the sun by selecting Outer Solar System from the Go menu, why don't the orbits of Pluto and Neptune overlap?
    5. Why can't I find Halley's Comet at the Battle of Hastings?
    6. How do I add my own objects?
    7. Where can I get orbital elements for new objects I want to add using the Orbit Editor?
    8. Why doesn't the location of the International Space Station match what I see in the sky?
    9. The "Update data files from StarryNight.com" option is not working properly.

  16. Stars - Information on the star data in Starry Night

    1. Where does the star data in Starry Night come from?
    2. How do I search for stars in the various star catalogs?
    3. When I zoom far away from the earth, the stars all appear to group together in a ball around the sun. Is this the Miky Way?
    4. Can I add recently discovered planets around stars other than our sun?

  17. SETI@Home - The Starry Night plug-in that works together with the SETI@Home screensaver (Windows Only)

    1. What does the SETI display in Starry Night do?
    2. When I try to use the SETI plug-in, a screen pops up saying that SETI@Home is not installed properly.
    3. Why don't I see any of the "telephone poles" on my version of the SETI@Home plug-in?
    4. How can I tell if the SETI@Home plug-in is installed on my copy of Starry Night?
    5. I have a Mac computer and can't get SETI to work?

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