Welcome to SKY:Lab Astronomy Software - home of STAR Atlas:PRO Planetarium, Star Atlas and Telescope Control
Welcome to SKY:Lab Astronomy Software - home of STAR Atlas:PRO Planetarium, Star Atlas and Telescope Control
STAR Atlas:PRO Astronomy Software
a spectacular Planetarium and Star Atlas
packed with features for astronomers and stargazers of all levels

STAR Atlas:PRO™ knowledge base


Welcome to the STAR Atlas:PRO™ How-To Documents

STAR Atlas:PRO™ is a program which includes many useful and powerful tools along with an amazing quantity of astronomical data containing more than 2.8 Gigabytes of astronomical data, that you can search, browse, list and sort.

The How-To Docs set out below, aim to allow both beginner and experienced users to gain full benefit from STAR Atlas:PRO. They are written (by other amateur astronomers using STAR Atlas:PRO in the field) to give examples of how to use the software in many situations.

The authors hope that this will enhance the fun of working with STAR Atlas:PRO and will allow both amateur and experienced astronomers to fully utilise STAR Atlas:PRO.

This web page is regularly updated, so you are invited to bookmark this page and return to check for updates. Readers should try working through the current list as we are sure that you will gain new insights into using STAR Atlas:PRO.

Document Categories

General program use
Locating Celestial Objects & Astrophysical Data
Double & Variable Stars
Comets & Planets
Observation Planning
Astronomical Images
Settings, Options & Configuration
Hardware & Telescope Configuration
Telescope Control
Digital Setting Circles
Importing data from the USNO A2.0 and GSC 2.2 Catalogues
Program Installation & Requirements

How To Documents

Level   General program use
Beginner   When should I use Polar and Horizon views and how ?
Beginner   When should I use the Field of View command ?
Beginner   How should I use the Magnitude Filter ?
Beginner   How do I Identify Celestial Objects and display their Astrophysical data ?
How do I Identify Stars when No Labels are displayed ?
Beginner   Can you change the Font sizes and the Size of Stars on Star Charts ?
Beginner   How Do I Turn On the Alt./Az. Grid ?
Beginner   How Do I Turn On Star Name Labels when displaying the All-Sky Chart ?
Intermediate   How do I use Colour Schemes in STAR Atlas:PRO ?
(including Day Mode & Night Mode, Chart Background Colour, and Chart Symbol Colours)
Intermediate   Can I Set the Chart Time and Date to Show the Position of Planets for January 1, 1976
or Any Other Date I Choose?
Intermediate   How much of the Sky will I see through my own Telescope, Eyepieces & CCD Camera ?
Intermediate   What is the setting "Display DSS Image Outlines" and how do I use it ?
Advanced   What is the setting "Distinguish Non-Stellar Objects" and how do I use it ?
     
    Locating Celestial Objects & Astrophysical data
Beginner   How do I find the location of a known celestial object, like Messier 42 ?
Beginner   How do I find a Star by name ?
Beginner   Was the Star Sirius Called the "Dog Star" ? How Can I find Out ?
Beginner How do I find the "Witch Head Nebula" by name ?
Beginner   How do I Identify Celestial Objects and display their Astrophysical data ?
Beginner   Can I Use STAR Atlas: PRO to List Only Star Clusters or Galaxies
in a certain Constellation and within a certain Magnitude Range ?
Beginner   How do I Print an Ephemeris of the Planets ?
Intermediate   Can I generate Lists of celestial objects ?
Intermediate   How do I find the time that Astronomical Twilight occurs ?
Intermediate   Can I locate an known object, like ESO350-40B, using all Keyboard commands ?
Intermediate   When I choose [Locate] the Astro Database Manager displays dozens of buttons with Astronomical Catalogue Designations. What are these buttons and how to I use them?
Intermediate   I understand Alpha Scorpius has a Hot Companion Star, can STAR Atlas PRO tell me if this is Correct and what Other Information can it tell me about Alpha Scorpius ?
Intermediate   Can I list the individual galaxies that make up each Hickson Compact Galaxy Group?
Advanced   I wish to chart the distribution of Galaxies across the Night Sky to assist in locating large clusters of galaxies, can this be done ?
     
    Comets & Planets
Beginner   How Can I Obtain Information about Planets to Enhance My Viewing ?
Beginner   Can I print a list of the Planet Rise and Set times ?
Beginner   What time will the Great Red Spot on Jupiter be visible ?
Beginner   How do I Print an Ephemeris of the Planets ?
Intermediate   I'm going planetary observing next week, where will the Moons of Jupiter be ?
Intermediate   What can I learn about Comets in STAR Atlas:PRO ?
How to Find the Brightest Comets
How to Plot the Path of a Comet
How to Download the latest Comet Orbital Elements
Intermediate   How do I update the Longitude of the Great Red Spot on Jupiter ?
Advanced   How do I Print an Ephemeris for the Comet of my choice ?
Advanced   Can I display the positions of Jupiter's Moons in real-time ?
Advanced   Can I animate Jupiter's Moons back and forward through time ?
     
    Double & Variable Stars
Advanced   How do I search for Double & Multiple Stars that have a particular brightness range ?
Advanced   Can I search for Variable Stars that exhibit particular brightness ranges and variability periods ?
Advanced   Can I list the Stars discovered by Hipparcos to be Variable, and can I list only ones in a certain Magnitude range ?
     
    Observation Planning
Intermediate   How do I add objects to the Observation Planner ?
Intermediate   How do I use the Observation Planner to find Target Objects for tonight's Observing?
Intermediate   How Can I Use The Observation List Generator And What Can I Obtain From It ?
     
    Astronomical Images
Intermediate   Can you add your own Images ?
Intermediate   How Do I Attach My Own Pictures To Celestial Objects And How Many Can I Add ?
Intermediate   How to use the Palomar Digitized Sky Survey (DSS) Interface ?
Intermediate   How do I download DSS Pictures of objects that interest me and make them the size that is best for me ?
Intermediate   Can I have more than one DSS picture of an object attached to that object ?
     
Telescope Control
Beginner How do I setup the Telescope driver for my automated Telescope ?
Beginner How do I setup the Telescope Driver Options - Comms Timeout, Chart Update Interval ?
Beginner How do I setup the Telescope Driver Options - COM: Port, Baud rate ?
Intermediate How do I control my automated Telescope using STAR Atlas:PRO ?
Intermediate If I know the designation of an object, can I get STAR Atlas:PRO to slew my scope straight too it ?
Intermediate How can I slew my scope to individual objects when they are clustered together ?
Intermediate Can I slew my telescope with it's own controls and Track where it is pointing ?
Intermediate   I have entered all my Eyepieces with their respective Apparent Field of Views.  
How do I get the chart to display the actual FOV where the Telescope is pointing ?
     
    Digital Setting Circles (DSC)
Beginner   How do I set up and use the Argo Navis™ so it will work with STAR Atlas:PRO and what can I expect to see ?
Intermediate   How Do I display the Argo Navis™ Internal Temperature & Encoder Step Positions ?
Advanced   I’ve Stored Dozens of Objects in the Observation Planner, Can I Download Them into my Argo Navis™ ?
Intermediate   I have entered all my Eyepieces with their respective Apparent Field of Views.  
How do I get the chart to display the actual FOV where the Telescope is pointing ?
     
    Importing data from the USNO A2.0 and GSC 2.2 Catalogues
Advanced   How do I use the On-Line Data Menu – the A2.0 Catalogue & the Guide Star Catalogue 2 (GSC 2.2 )
     
    Settings, Options & Configuration
Beginner   How do I setup the Geographical Location and Time Zone that I am in ?
Beginner   When I installed STAR Atlas:PRO said I need to install SAP / INET
Beginner   What is Pixel Mode and How do I use it ?
     
    Hardware & Telescope Configuration
Beginner   How do I set up and use the Argo Navis™ (NGC-superMAX™) so it will work with STAR Atlas:PRO and what can I expect to see ?
Beginner How do I setup the Telescope driver for my automated Telescope ?
Advanced   Where do I find details on making a cable to connect my computer and telescope ?
     
    Program Installation & Requirements
Beginner   Is 800x600 the best screen resolution to run STAR Atlas:PRO ?
Beginner   What type of computer do I need to run STAR Atlas:PRO ?
Beginner   What type of computer do I need to run STAR Atlas:PRO ADVANCED Edition ?
Beginner   How much Hard Drive space do I require to install STAR Atlas:PRO ?
Beginner   Does STAR Atlas:PRO run on a laptop computer ?
Beginner   Does STAR Atlas:PRO work when it's installed on a compressed hard drive ?