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Software Review: SkyGlobe
by Richard Tyndall, NJ1A (nj1a @

A few folks on the SETI Email List have asked me what kind of software I use to check out the area where my Argus Dish is pointed. It's a small program called SkyGlobe.exe and ver 3.6 can be downloaded from the net. It's shareware and can be found by searching on "KlassM Software". ($20 if you register it). The zip file is 363 KB and installed it only needs 683 KB of disk space.

When you move the mouse (cursor) up and down, the elevation, RA and declination are all displayed. The old version was nice, but ver 3.6 has some new bells & whistles. You can view your own graphics files.. I copied a file (M1.GIF) into the sub dir and put the mouse on the Crab M1 location, then Right Clicked and my neat GIF file of the Crab popped up. (It was from a 1420 survey taken off the net).

SkyGlobe also has an accurately positioned, well defined Milky Way shown in the display. (This is the only software I've seen that shows the Milky Way). You can put the mouse at 180d and at your dish dec/el and watch the stars slowly move across the screen. You know what your dish is seeing in real time. Hit 0 and save your setup for the next time you use it.

I like being able to look ahead in time to see where the Sun and Moon are going to be on the weekend (and in the year 2011, That's when I retire).

Anyway, it's not near as fancy as some Astronomy programs I've seen, but it's a lot smaller, easier to use, very versatile and about 70% less expensive. The speed is very good (if not under windows), I run it on my Pentium 120. (SETIFOX is running on an old 586-133 system 24 hours a day).

I'm sure there are many much better programs out there, but this works so well, I'm not too interested in trying any more out.

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