Sky & Telescope - January 2021 - 30

S&T Test Report by Rod Mollise

SkySafari 6 Pro
This planetarium app can
replace your star charts
and much more.

W The powerful smart-device app SkySafari
Pro 6 includes everything you need at the
telescope, including 100 million stars, millions
of deep-sky objects, and much more. With
an optional Wi-Fi adapter, it can even let your
smartphone replace the Go To controller on
most computerized telescopes and mounts.

120,000 stars and a selection of 222
of the best objects to view in the night
sky. A more advanced Plus version costs
$14.99 and includes 2.5 million stars
and 32,000 deep-sky objects as well as
7,000 asteroids, comets, and satellites.
For this review we chose to look at
the full SkySafari 6 Pro, which boasts
a lot more objects and features. So
much more, in fact, that I was initially
skeptical about how it would compare to
similar software for PC and Macintosh
desktop computers (there's also a Mac
desktop version available for $59.95). But
I also wanted to see how the app performs compared to Go To hand paddles.

SkySafari 6 Pro
Simulation Curriculum
U.S. Price: $39.99
(additional $199.95 for SkyFi III
wireless control)
skysafariastronomy.com

What We Like
Smooth operation even
with older devices
More feature-rich than
most Go To hand paddles

What We Don't Like
Additional steps required to
access information
Reconnecting to mount

30

JANUARY 2 021 * SK Y & TELESCOPE

WHEN COMPUTERIZED TELESCOPES

entered the amateur market in the
1990s, I imagined one day there'd be
a Go To telescope hand control with a
color screen and a built-in set of star
charts. Simply click on an object on a
sky map and the scope would go there.
At least one manufacturer did introduce
something like that, but it was obsolete
almost before it came to market thanks
to smartphones and tablets running
powerful apps like SkySafari.
Now in its sixth iteration, SkySafari
is available for both iOS and Android
devices as a full-featured planetarium
app that displays a fairly realistic depiction of the night sky. Publisher Simulation Curriculum offers three tiers of
the app. SkySafari 6 AR ($2.99) includes

The first thing you'll notice when you
open the app is its beautiful rendition
of the night sky. Whether on a phone
or on the larger screen of a tablet,
SkySafari's depiction of the night sky
is attractive and fairly realistic, which
is particularly helpful when observing under light-polluted skies. It even
includes about 20 different horizon
panoramas to choose from to enhance
the "real" experience.
SkySafari's sky isn't just beautiful;
it's accurate. Take the onscreen appearance of nebulae. The sky is depicted like
a deep nightscape image of the Milky
Way, with colorful nebulae visible.
As you zoom into an area, the view
transitions to red/blue color composites
of the brighter nebulae and galaxies
created from the second Palomar Sky
Survey. In addition, it also includes an
outline of the brighter extent of gas
clouds, star clusters, and galaxies. These
outlines (or isophotes) are often useful
when observing and straining to make
out the shapes of these dim objects.
Of course, excellent graphics don't
mean much if they cause performance
issues. Fortunately, that isn't a problem
with SkySafari Pro. Response is quick

ALL PHOTOS COURTESY OF AU THOR UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED;
TELESCOPE SE T UP: DENNIS DI CICCO

The Universe in Your Pocket


http://www.skysafariastronomy.com

Sky & Telescope - January 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Sky & Telescope - January 2021

Contents
Sky & Telescope - January 2021 - Cover1
Sky & Telescope - January 2021 - Cover2
Sky & Telescope - January 2021 - 1
Sky & Telescope - January 2021 - Contents
Sky & Telescope - January 2021 - 3
Sky & Telescope - January 2021 - 4
Sky & Telescope - January 2021 - 5
Sky & Telescope - January 2021 - 6
Sky & Telescope - January 2021 - 7
Sky & Telescope - January 2021 - 8
Sky & Telescope - January 2021 - 9
Sky & Telescope - January 2021 - 10
Sky & Telescope - January 2021 - 11
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Sky & Telescope - January 2021 - Cover3
Sky & Telescope - January 2021 - Cover4
Sky & Telescope - January 2021 - SA1
Sky & Telescope - January 2021 - SA2
Sky & Telescope - January 2021 - SA3
Sky & Telescope - January 2021 - SA4
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