Night Deluxe versus Starry Night Pro
an owner of Starry Night Deluxe, you would probably like to know
what is new in Starry Night Pro. We have
designed Starry Night Pro to maintain all the functionality which you
enjoyed in the Deluxe version, while adding many new features which will
make Starry Night Pro an even more useful and enjoyable tool for finding
your way around the heavens.
As a courtesy to our customers, we offer upgrades
to existing owners of Deluxe. Deluxe owners can order
an upgrade online, or order by phone at 1-800-252-5417 (U.S. and Canada
only). Please have your Starry Night Deluxe registration number handy
when you order. If you order the upgrade, you will receive a complete
printed Starry Night Pro User's Guide and the Starry Night Pro CD.
The new features in Starry Night Pro can be split into three major
Please read on for a description of the new features in each of these
New & Better
Starry Night Pro includes the complete 100 000 star Hipparcos Catalog
and the 1 000 000 star Tycho catalog (in addition to the 19 000 000 object
Hubble Guide Star Catalog included in Starry Night Deluxe). These new
catalogs have far better data:
- Accurate distances to stars. This is perhaps the coolest new
feature about Starry Night Pro. Because we now know the distances to
about 100 000 nearby stars, Starry Night will now allow you to view
the night sky from anywhere within 20 000 light years of Earth! See
the 3-dimensional structure of the solar neighbourhood or blast off
Earth and head to Sirius (or any other nearby star) to see how the night
sky & constellations look different from there.
- Excellent colour & luminosity information. This allows Starry
Night Pro to generate dynamic H-R (Hertzprung-Russell) diagrams for
any region of the sky. Just open the H-R window and Starry Night Pro
will plot an H-R diagram of those stars displayed onscreen. Options
allow you to plot B-V color, spectral type or temperature, and mark
the main sequence and white dwarf and supergiant regions. You can also
choose to graph only those stars within a certain distance range, allowing
you to produce an H-R diagram of a specific star cluster.
HR diagram of a
Starry Night Pro sky view
- Proper motion. Starry Night Pro can display proper motion markers
for stars on the screen or on printouts to indicate their speed and
direction as they move across the celestial sphere. This proper motion
is now also accounted for in the calculation of star positions, so you
can view from far in the past or future to see how the nearest stars
have moved relative to us.
- Variable & binary information. Starry Night Pro can now mark
binary stars distinctively on the screen and on printouts, and can also
mark variable stars in one of four categories, depending on how variable
Deep Space Objects
In addition to the new star catalogs, Starry Night Pro includes the 60
000 object PGC catalog of galaxies (not in Deluxe) and better information
for the NGC/IC catalog. For both these catalogs, you can:
- use the "Find" feature to locate these objects
- show correct angular size and shape of object
- set magnitude limits for display purposes
- automatically download a Digitized Sky Survey image of the object
of the proper size and orientation. You can then "paste" this image
in the program, and it will be there anytime you open the program from
Comets, Satellites & Asteroids
Starry Night Deluxe allowed you to add your own comets, satellites &
asteroids using the Orbit Editor, but devoted hobbyists found it quite
time-consuming adding new objects one-by-one, and editing the elements
of satellites as they changed over time. Starry Night Pro solves these
problems. It ships with text files with data on 200 prominent asteroids,
75 comets, & 150 satellites, which are then automatically read into the
program. SPACE.com maintains up-to-date versions of these files on our
website, so you only need to download these files every so often to update
the positions of these objects. As a bonus, any prominent new comets or
spacecraft will be in the newer files. Users can still add special objects
not in these files using the Orbit Editor, or by appending their own text
documents of orbital elements to those that ship with the program.
Export Sky Data
With this new feature you can automatically export data on all objects
displayed on screen in a convenient text format. Combine this with Starry
Night Pro's custom controls to create datasets for almost anything you
can think of. A few examples:
- All stars within 100 light years of Earth.
- All satellites above the horizon from your current location.
- All open clusters in the NGC/IC catalog.
Starry Night Pro adds two new Internet features:
- "What's Up Tonight?" Clicking this menu option in Starry
Night Pro will transport you to a special page on our LiveSky website
which is updated daily with tips and information on objects which are
currently prominent in the night sky.
- Enhanced LiveSky support. Choosing the "LiveSky" option for
a star in Starry Night Pro now offers you information about the star
from the Aladin Previewer, the HEASARC astrobrowse service, and the
online Hipparcos, Tycho or Guide Star Catalog (if applicable).
Starry Night Pro lets you make the sky look even better and more realistic
than did Starry Night Deluxe. The new features include:
- Editable Horizons. You can now add hills and trees of any shape and
size to mimic your own viewing location. Paste your own images of the
house, backyard or family pets into the program, or create multiple
horizon files for your favourite different observing locations!
- Image Editor. Starry Night Pro adds a powerful Image Editor feature
which allows you to add images for any object or portion of the sky.
Add images of NGC objects you have found on the Internet or replace
some of the Messier images with shots from your own camera! Once you
have added an image, it is there everytime you open Starry Night Pro,
and will scale properly as you zoom in and out. The Image Editor also
has tools to resize, rotate and slide your image to align it with background
stars, so you know that you have it in exactly the correct place in
- Heads-Up Display (HUD). This feature will automatically bring up information
about an object when you hover the cursor over it, saving you the trouble
of switching tools in the Tool Palette. You can choose which information
(i.e. name, constellation, magnitude, distance, etc.) you want the HUD
- More realistic-looking stars. Choose from several levels of light
pollution to add a glare and more closely resemble your own sky, or
define a specific limiting magnitude. Use sliders to set the color levels,
brightness and contrast of the stars.
- Night vision mode (graphics card-dependent). Take your copy of Starry
Night Pro outdoors and run it in this red-screen mode to preserve your
night vision! To make this feature work correctly, you need a video
card which supports "downloadable gamma ramps". All Macintosh cards
should work, but some older Windows cards will not (in addition, computers
running on Windows NT do not support night vision). Check out a
list of cards which do and do not support night vision. If your
card is not on this list, you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org
to find out if night vision will work on your computer.
- Export as image feature. Now that you can make Starry Night look so
great, you might want to save some colour screen images to print out
or post on your website. Starry Night Pro allows you to save screen
images in a variety of popular graphics formats, such as PICT and JPEG.
Starry Night Pro provides the ultimate level of customization. You can
"tweak" almost every label, colour and setting in Starry Night to arrange
your screen and star charts exactly the way you like. A few examples of
new custom controls:
- A "centre" feature which allows you to type in co-ordinates
in any co-ordinate system and have Starry Night Pro centre the sky on
- Customizable time steps. Define your own time units, for example,
you can define a "Martian day" and step through time one Martian day
at a time using the time controls to see how the planets change day-to-day
as seen from the red planet.
- 3-Dimensional markers to celestial objects which indicate their
alignment relative to the equatorial, ecliptic, or galactic planes.
- Custom field of view indicators. Create outlines for each of
your eyepieces or your CCD camera and add to the screen or your printed
- NGC filter. Choose which types of NGC objects to display (galaxies,
open clusters, nebulae, etc).