Sky & Telescope - January 2022 - 66

S&T Test Report by Rod Mollise
Star-Hop Maker
This program lets you generate custom star-hopping charts for use at the telescope.
Star-Hop Maker v1.1.0
Price: €21 (about US$25)
starhopmaker.com
What We Like
Unique program with many
helpful features
Attractive and legible display
What We Don't Like
Program elements leave room
for improvement
Cannot print maps
App only displays lists (not
star-hop maps)
IF YOU WERE AN AMATEUR astronomer
before the advent of computerized
telescopes that point at celestial targets
with the push of a few buttons, you've
doubtlessly heard of star-hopping. If
you haven't, it's a method of finding
your way around the sky using stars as
guideposts along a path to faint galaxies,
nebulae, and star clusters. For example,
" The cluster is halfway along a line
between these two 5th-magnitude stars. "
Star-hopping isn't just about finding
objects. It also allows you to compose
your own sky tours with efficient and
easy-to-follow paths from object to
object. That sort of star-hopping is as
useful with a computerized telescope as
it is with a manual one.
In days of yore, I spent long hours
charting paths across the stars with
a pencil and a printed star atlas. That
isn't necessary anymore thanks to a
program that creates star-hops for me -
Paul Evangelopoulos' Star-Hop Maker for
Windows PCs. The software is available
as a download from the author's website
and is offered in a 30-day trial version.
A PDF document of instructions is also
provided and is invaluable for learning
the program, though it has plenty of
room for improvement.
66 JANUARY 2022 * SKY & TELESCOPE
pStar-Hop Maker is a planetarium software
program for PC computers that allows users to
generate their own custom star-hop observing
tours. Plan lists created in the program can be
exported to an Android smart device for use at
the telescope.
Getting Started
When opening the program for the first
time, a busy screen appears containing
a planetarium-style star chart and
lots of controls along its periphery. A
dropdown menu found along the top of
the screen contains most of the program's
controls. A toolbar with several
icons is also located along the right of
the display, and more commands are
found along the left. In addition, there's
a bar showing information about the
observing site and sky just below the
dropdown menu, and three small windows
titled Star-Hop Gallery, Deep-Sky
Object Filter, and Star-Hop Objects,
respectively, along the bottom. That's a
lot to take in for a new user.
After admiring the program's attractive,
though complex, display, a good
Creating a prepared star-hop involves searching the database for objects (below) and adding
them to your star-hop in the Prepared Star-Hop Creator window (far right). Each object you
add appears circled in the main star chart at right.
http://www.starhopmaker.com

Sky & Telescope - January 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Sky & Telescope - January 2022

Contents
Sky & Telescope - January 2022 - Cover1
Sky & Telescope - January 2022 - Cover2
Sky & Telescope - January 2022 - 1
Sky & Telescope - January 2022 - Contents
Sky & Telescope - January 2022 - 3
Sky & Telescope - January 2022 - 4
Sky & Telescope - January 2022 - 5
Sky & Telescope - January 2022 - 6
Sky & Telescope - January 2022 - 7
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Sky & Telescope - January 2022 - Cover3
Sky & Telescope - January 2022 - Cover4
Sky & Telescope - January 2022 - SA1
Sky & Telescope - January 2022 - SA2
Sky & Telescope - January 2022 - SA3
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