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2013 NEWS: UCAC4 support in version 2.3.1, direct DSS access and integrated comet/asteroid update in version 2.4.0ß
Welcome to the free planetarium program HNSKY for Windows. It is complete with the SAO, PPM, Tycho-2 star databases, up to date deepsky database containing 26000 objects , Realsky (r) images and access to the external GSC and USNO CDROM star catalogs. Telescope control using the universal ASCOM interface package, a Realsky viewer (incl. source) DDE controlled from HNSKY and a BMP/JPEG to FITS conversion utility.
The next program: "Hallo northern sky" or HNSKY is a planetarium program for windows. Have a try. It is free with 26000 deepsky objects and all stars to magnitude 12 and with the original GSC CD's, GSC-ACT or the USNO UCAC4 to magnitude 16. It displays all planets, the Moon, Sun, moons of Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Uranus and Neptune and a few hundred asteroids and comets. It comes with 255 small DSS deepsky images which will blend in at the right size and orientation. It will run under Windows 95 or later. To install the program you start with the basic package or just put all the files in one directory and just run the main file HNSKY.EXE.
Download the program: (Your are invited to spread/upload free copies on the web. Please do, no permission required !)
Small basic package
|Small basic package
HNSKY231.EXE (7 mbytes v2.3.1)
Complete with the SAO star database (magn. 9.5), comet, asteroid deep sky databases, several supplements and images of the Moon, Mars Jupiter, M31, M42, M81 and M82. Including several non-english language modules.
For telescope control you have to download and install the ASCOM interface program (4 or 11 mbytes).
Large program package
|Large basic package
HNSKY231_large.EXE (41 mbytes v2.3.1)
Complete with SAO (up to magnitude 9.5, 258.000 stars), PPM (up to magnitude 10, 470.000 stars) and large TYCHO2+ (2.5 million star) database, deepsky help file, non-English menus, planetary and 255 deepsky images.
For telescope control you have to download and install the ASCOM interface program (4 or 11 mbytes).
Updated exe file
|HNSKY 2.4.0ß14 EXE file only If
you have already the program installed, the latest version for direct DSS
access and integrated comet/asteroid update.
1) In this test version, downloading DSS images via internet is more integrated. Just push the DSS button and after a few second the DSS image will pop in HNSKY. HNSKY will store up to 9 images in the FITS directory as download1.fits, download2.fits.... After 9 files it overrides the first to prevent creating too many files. As in menu SETTINGS specified, the "skyview" link works up to 10 degrees since is can increase the pixel size. This works better then the ESO link The ESO link is limited to one degrees. After one degrees tthe FITS become too large to handle and at two degrees ESO can't made made FITS images anymore. The FITS image is default requested as 1/3 of the screen size.
2) Secondly in this version the comet or asteroid database can be updated with a button click from the settings menu. The update is then downloaded from www.minorplanetcenter.net. Furthermore the editor can read and convert "mpcorb.dat" and "astorb.dat" asteroid files. Asteroid have now a size based on the absolute magnitude and standard albedo (0.15). Conversion of 30.000 object takes 5 minutes or so. Note that the complete database of 353.000 named objects will take hours!! . So first reduce "Mpcorb.dat" in a tekst editor below 10 mbytes or. You can read any *.dat file but it will assume "mpcorb.dat" unless the filename is "astorb.dat" or "AsteroidElements.dat" from Occult.
3) Introduced mouse popup menu. Note that you can also pull a rubber square with the right mouse button to size DSS download or size area Simbad search
4) Numerical integration for asteroids to achieve highest accuracy positions years in the future or past. Select in editor a number of lines and push right mouse button to select numerical integration. From version 2.4.0ß2, the error is less then 1" after 10 years !!! So a asteroid file from 10 years ago will after numerical integration be within 1" accurate!!
5) Small changes such as reverse mouse wheel action, time stamp markers, improved drawing lines, online request to Simbad and other sites.
|Asteroids/Comets updates||Latest comet update from minorplanetcenter.org Just copy and paste the data in the HNS_COM1.CMT file.|
|Latest asteroid update from minorplanetcenter.org in compatible TheSky format. Just copy and paste the data in the HNS_AST1.AST file. Note for asteroids in v2.4.0, use numerical integration for latest orbital elements. This will be more up to date and accurate then this link. See numerical integration.|
|Download and import the huge MPCORB.DAT file. For more asteroids you have to download and import this original Minor Planet Center file containing orbital element of about 360.000 numbered asteroids.|
|Additional stars databases||UCAC4: You can download the 113 milion stars, 8.5 Gbytes large USNO UCAC4 from ftp://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/cats/I/322A/UCAC4/ HNSKY can access this catalog directly. Download Z001 to Z900 from the U4b directory and add to the same directory file u4index.unf from U4i. This is the only catalog where HNSKY will use proper motion for maximum accuracy. See HNSKY UCAC screenshots.|
|GSC: The GSC catalog (15 million stars
to about magnitude 15) is available for at CDS the
GSC 1.2 (catalog
ca in the compact binary
format (303 Mbytes), the GSC
1.1 (catalog 220) mirrors at
ca or the
255) mirrors at jp,
ca in FITS format (2
full CD's !) Some servers provide them compressed by GZIP with extension
.gz . Winzip or GZIP can decompress them. HNSKY can access this catalog directly.
If you have the uncompressed GSC 1.1, you can compress these files to the same compact binary format (total 303 Mbytes) as used for the GSC 1.2 using the EXPORT program.
|Hipparcus star database, Hipparcos 118.000 stars file for reference purposes only. One zip file 1.2 Mbytes containing one DAT file. Version 2000-8-9.|
|Obsolete TYCHO-1 star databases, more then 1 million stars, total size 10 Mbytes, 4 Zip files containing 32 x D32 files, version 2000-8-10.|
|Obsolete, for historical and scientific purposes, the complete Bonner, Southern and Cordoba Durchmusterung of the 19 century in a HNSKY database: durchmus.zip Size 10 mbytes containing more then 1.000.000 stars.|
|Constellations in form of a supplement, Bright Quasars and BL Lacertae Objects.sup, Coordinates from 110 extra solar Planets.sup|
|71000 Galaxies supplement based on Leda data Dated 2002-6-11 (1500 Kbytes)|
|World map supplement: World map supplement version 3.0 dated 2000-10-22. World map and 2700 cities with there location and relative brightness. Scale 1 : 5.000.000. See screen shot of version 2.0. Included a conversion program to convert coastlines to a supplement.|
|GCVS 4.1 variable star supplement. Complete 37382 star version. In this supplement the GCVS is displayed as labels so you can easily cross check with Tycho or UCAC2. To get Tycho star info switch off the supplement. (The smaller 7800 star version is included to the basic package)|
|Obsolete using the Tycho 2+ database: Star supplement Tycho-2: Supplement (star) version 00-3-24 containing the 6395 in Tycho-2 omitted stars as taken from TYCHO-1-main and Tycho reference. Contains HNS_TYC2.SUP. These stars are already included in the tycho2+ star database.|
|Additional FITS images||Extra large Mars map
(Color 1000x500 pixels) , large
Mercury maps (1440x720 pixels) based on Mariner 10, SVTS
and large Jupiter map (Color 600x300
pixels) . Use the large maps only if you have a fast computer or
some patience. The planetary FITS files should be placed in
your FITS directory.
45 hand made drawings/sketches (880 Kbytes) of Bill Ferris, Todd Nowlan and Rainer Töpler as FITS files. These can blended inside the map. They should be put in an other directory as the Realsky images otherwise they are blend with the Realsky images.
|Other languages||non-English help files and language modules. If you want create a new language module start modifying the English one .|
|CD covers||Some designs by volunteers: or or or or|
|Conversion tools||Conversion programs/tools Tools for converting GSC 1.1 star database from FITS format to the compact binary format as GSC 1.2. (EXPORT.EXE program) This will compress GSC 1.1 or GSC ACT from 2 CD's to 303 Mbytes only !! EXPORT.EXE (v 2001) will also export the HNSKY databases to text files (ASCII). Utilities to export GSC 1.1/ACT and USNO A2 to TXT/ASCII files. And finally for experts some DOS programs to create new star databases for the HNSKY program. Total 273 Kbytes, version 2002-9-4.|
|DDE demo||DDE or dynamic data interface demos Excel spreadsheet for RA/DEC readout and Delphi 4 program and source code for reading and controlling.(version 2000-11-26).|
|Realsky and DSS image viewer using HNSKY DDE link (HNS_REAL) Manual or DDE controlled Realsky image viewer. Click on an object and get the realsky image (you have to own the Realsky or DSS CD's). Click on the Realsky image and to center to get cross at HNSKY at the same place. Version 1.0.3e, Dated 2003-4-28. Here are the instructions and screen shot demo's If your FITS directory in HNSKY is set to the HNS_REAL directory, you will get every result blended in the next screen refresh. HNS_REAL can also be used in batch programs to create several images. Complete with Delphi and C source. Can also batch wise convert FITS to BMP. An other possibility is to control HNS_REAL from the provided Excel table.|
|HNS_FITS version 1.4.0 dated 2003-9-19. Utility program to create FITS files from BMP files with the correct WCS header by entering the position of two reference stars. Screen shot and describtion. This is a great tools to blend your own pictures inside the HNSKY sky map. With three added example files.|
|Miscellaneous||Deepsky help file in CHM format
as standalone file. HNSKY can call only the
HNS_DEEP.HLP format file
Sky commander DDE program for HNSKY and source by Jack Patterson.
A supplement of guide stars made by a Sky commander user.
The deep sky database contains 26000 deep sky objects based on SAC 7.2, Wolfgang Steinicke revised NGC & IC, Kent Wallace SEC (PN) database and many galaxies from LEDA. They are in the standard CSV format with a comma as separator, so they can be read/imported by many programs such as Excel. They contain the latest modern data and many corrections of the last years from sources such as www.ngcic.org
If you have problems with the program or supplementary files read this: Answers to problems HNSKY version 2.0 for win95/98/NT/XP
Questions, suggestions regarding the HNSKY program you could email directly to me (in English, Dutch or German) or better post them in the Yahoo group HNSKY: