Hallo Northern Sky, or HNSKY for short, is a planetarium software tool capable of displaying stars up to magnitude 16 in high-quality graphics. With extensive databases containing data on comets, asteroids, 30,000 deep sky objects and 4.5 million stars, this free application is fully compatible with any telescope connected to an ASCOM-compliant interface, and it is can greatly help amateur and semi-pro astronomers.
HNSKY offers you an accurate and precise view of the sky at any point in time. You can then customize how many orbits, stars, planets or comets are displayed, as well as zoom in and out on any element for a closer or a more global examination, respectively. You can search the program’s databases for specific constellations, asteroids, comets or planets and define the magnitude thresholds that will determine the number of objects to be displayed. You can also customize the boldness and density of the stars, hide or show their names and define the depth of the search. You can also create animations to follow the movement of stars and constellations, set a custom time step and period of time, show the planetary and moon tracks, even find eclipses or occultations, both lunar and solar.
As if the already highly comprehensive databases that come with the program were not enough, HNSKY supports integration with a long list of external resources that will surely enrich your user experience. You can download and import databases from the Minor Planet Center containing 700,000+ asteroids and minor planets, additional UCAC4 star databases with 113 million stars, catalogues of stars up to magnitude 15 and the HyperLeda databases for galaxies. You can also download and view unlimited DSS images from the Web, as well as extra FITS image files with large maps of Mars, Mercury, and Jupiter.
This overwhelming amount of information, the databases and the high-quality graphics that HNSKY puts at your service will allow you to display, study, and enjoy faithful and customized renditions of the night sky at any time. The possibilities that this comprehensive planetarium offers for free are endless, both from a professional and an amateur point of view.