SkyChart III

Precision Sky Simulation and Telescope Control for Windows & Macintosh

SkyChart III screen shots

"Wow, what a beautiful screen display! Every time I launched it the beauty of the the displayed sky hit me right between the eyes. It was almost as if I was looking at an Akira Fuji photograph rather than a simple chart... The planets and moon are also beautifully rendered, further preserving the visual impression."

-- David Ratledge, Sky & Telescope, March 2003

"The price is good and the features are great. SkyChart III is one of the best astronomy products I have encountered."

-- Paul Trembly, Southern Skies: Journal of the Southeastern Planetarium Association, Winter 2002

"With its straightforward menus and screen display, SkyChart makes astronomical observation easy, allowing you to expand your knowledge of the solar system, galaxies, and deep space (rather than trying to master another computer program.)"

-- Duane Ingram, Erik Bodegom, & Sean P. Goe, Astronomy: A Beginner's Guide to the Universe, 3rd Edition, 2001

"SkyChart III is a workhorse program, lean and efficient throughout."

-- Jeff Medkeff, Sky & Telescope, June 1999, p. 79

"One of the 25 top new products of 1998."

-- Sky & Telescope, December 1998


SkyChart III is an advanced planetarium program that accurately simulates and displays the sky as it appears in the present, or from thousands of years in the past or future. With SkyChart III you can view the sky from any place on Earth, from any object in the solar system, or even from thousands of light years beyond it.

SkyChart III is also a telescope control program, supporting all of the leading computer-controlled telescopes available on the market today. SkyChart III lets you enjoy the benefits of computer-aided observing: see where the telescope is pointing on your computer screen, or slew the telescope to any object in the sky with a single click of the mouse.

SkyChart III is provided on a single CD-ROM that contains versions for both Windows 98/ME/NT/2000/XP, and Mac OS 8/9/X; the Mac OS X version is a native Mac OS X "Carbon" application. The CD-ROM also contains high-resolution images of every major planet and moon in the solar system, plus data for thousands of star clusters and nebulae, nearly a million galaxies, and more than 19 million stars from the Hipparcos, Tycho-2, and Hubble Guide Star catalogs: all in all, nearly 20 million objects!


The following list of SkyChart III's major features should give you an idea of the many things you can do with it:

Computer Requirements

The Windows version of SkyChart III has the following computer system requirements:

There are two Macintosh versions of SkyChart III: one for "Classic" Mac OS, and a "Carbon" version for Mac OS X. The Macintosh versions have the following computer system requirements:

Telescope Control

SkyChart III supports the following computer-controlled telescopes:

* The Meade ETX requires the optional Meade Autostar Computer Controller.

You will need a special cable to connect your computer with your telescope. Different telescopes require different cables; here are some dealers who can supply them:

Companion Books

SkyChart III has been selected by textbook publisher Prentice-Hall as the companion software for its college astronomy textbooks Astronomy: a Beginner's Guide to the Universe, 4th edition, and Astronomy Today, 4th edition.

Written by professors Eric Chaisson of Tufts University and Steve McMillan of Drexel University, these books are an excellent college-level introduction to astronomy. Both are lavishly illustrated, and present a broad view of astronomy, straightforwardly descriptive, without complex mathematics. Both include multimedia resources on a CD-ROM that fully integrates with the text. From the back cover of Astronomy Today:

This best-selling astronomy book reflects the most current findings in astronomy using a clear, accurate exposition, market-leading art program, and the most innovative, integrated media program available. Updated and revised content throughout, e.g. Galileo probe; Mars Pathfinder mission; Hubble Deep Field, gamma ray bursts; and new estimates on the age of the universe and controversy. For anyone interested in Astronomy.

Southern Stars Systems does not sell these textbooks directly, but you can purchase them from Prentice-Hall's online catalog. You may also purchase them from by clicking on either of the following links:

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Astronomy Today, 4th edition (hardcover, 693 pp.) is the more in-depth of these two books, suitable for both one-semester and two-semester courses.

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Astronomy: A Beginner's Guide to the Universe, 4th edition (paperback, 552 pp.) is intended primarily for use in a one-semester, non-technical astronomy course. Includes a workbook of SkyChart III student version projects.

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This page was last updated on 20 July 2004.