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Pocket Stars PC
A high accuracy ephemeris, star finder, and celestial navigation tool for the desktop PCs, tablet PCs and notebook PCs.
Pocket Stars PC is a high accuracy star chart, ephemeris, and Celestial Navigation calculator for notebook, tablet, and desktop PCs running Microsoft Windows XP, 98SE, ME, 2000, 2003 Server, and above.
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Star Chart Features
- User interface optimized for simple and fast star, planet, Messier, and Caldwell object identification. Single click on any body to get the name, designation, calculated altitude, azimuth, and magnitude. Drag the cursor to scroll the chart. Zoom in and out with a single click.
- Display of orbital paths for inner solar system bodies showing daily positions for one year centered on current date.
- Animation of the sky in increments of hours, days, weeks, or months.
- Manual or automatic control of star magnitudes. Simple control over which objects to display.
- Black, white, and red star chart colors for normal, bright, and night viewing conditions, respectively.
- Chart can be rotated to any of the 16 compass points and also flipped along the North - South axis. This allows the either overhead (East and West reversed) or non-overhead (East and West normal) viewing.
- Polar grid with hour angle and declination labels.
- Zenith grid.
- Search and scroll to constellation, body, star, or Messier / Caldwell objects.
- User location set by clicking on map, city selection, or by entering Latitude and Longitude.
- Chart can be "live, realtime", animated, or static for any user selected time.
- Core positional calculation routines based on "Novas" (Naval Observatory Vector Astrometry Subroutines Version 2.0.1).
- Star data is from the Bright Star Catalog (5th Revised Edition), comprising the 9110 brightest stars using J2000 equatorial positions and the International Celestial Reference Frame (ICRF).
- Corrections are performed for proper motions and parallax.
- Planet ephemeris data from Jet Propulsion Laboratory using the DE405 database. DE405 is JPL's latest planetary ephemeris with correction for both nutations and librations. DE405 uses the J2000 International Celestial Reference Frame (ICRF). The portion of this database provided with Pocket Stars covers the years CE 2000 to CE 2020. Other ephemeris date ranges are available for download here.
Celestial Navigation Features
- Reduction from sextant altitude to observed altitude for any of the 9110 stars, nine planets, and sun and moon. Watch this movie to see how it's done.
- Corrections for observer height (DIP), refraction (temperature and atmospheric pressure), and vessel movement.
- Position from intercept and azimuth by calculation for multiple sextant observations following procedures in "The Nautical Almanac" by the United States Naval Observatory.
- Any number of sextant observations can be individually enabled to compute a best fit when computing a FIX. Results may be plotted, showing the assumed position (AP), FIX, and observations with intercepts and amplitudes. 95% confidence ellipse shows the boundaries of the Most Probable Position.
- Intermediate calculations for each observation can be displayed, with selectable formats (DD.dddd, DD MM.mm, DD MM SS) for degrees, minutes, seconds.
- Rise, set, and meridian times for all solar system bodies.
- Lunar Phase calendar and animation showing the relative positions of the earth, moon, and sun.
- Images and physical data for planets, moon and sun. Optional display of all 110 Messier objects through separate free download.
- Calculators for Great Circle Distances, Range and Bearing, Horizon Distances, Julian Day, and degree minute seconds conversions.
- Print star charts.
- Transfer configuration files to and from a connected Pocket PC running Pocket Stars PDA.