(c) Skyhound

Visual Observing with Small/Medium Telescopes

SkyTools provides the framework for an observing system.  First, interesting objects are discovered and added to an observing list.  Next the list is narrowed down to those objects appropriate for your telescope/location on a specific night.  Then each object is found via a star hopping chart or computer connected telescope.  Finally a log entry is made.

  • Step 1: find or create an observing list -- download one of over a hundred observing lists directly from within SkyTools.  Popular lists include the Caldwell Catalog, RASC best of the NGC/IC, Arp galaxies, objects from Burnham's, etc.  Create your own list via the Nightly Observing List Generator or Database Power Search tools.  Add your own objects from magazines or web sites by most any designation.

  • Step 2: filter the list for your conditions on a given night -- use the SkyTools Nightly Planner to narrow your list down to those visible in your telescope from your site and those best observed on a given night.  Filter out objects you have already observed.  Sort the list by the optimum time to observe each object.   Learn more...

  • Step 3: Find each object in the sky  -- use the Star Hopping Charts to easily find any object.  Learn more...  Or connect SkyTools to your telescope to go right to it.  Learn more...

  • Step 4:Create a log entry for each object -- type your observations into the Observing Log tool.  The date/time, location, telescope, eyepieces used,  and observing conditions are easily recorded along with what you saw.  Later you can recall the observation, which can be quickly recreated on a chart.  Search your observation database by telescope, observer, constellation, etc.  Learn more...