TheSky Professional

TheSkyProfessional — Your Observing Foundation

Whether your interests involve scientific discovery, astrophotography, or the simple pleasures of observing objects through eyepieces, make TheSky™ Professional the heart of your endeavors.

  • Great for aspiring and experienced astronomers alike.
  • Choose Windows, macOS — or Linux with Multi-OS+ option.
  • Change your mind? The Multi-OS+ option lets you run TheSky on every operating system you need.
  • Want to grow into imaging later? Just add an option or two and watch some new menu items appear.
  • (If you want to start imaging soon, check out TheSky™ Bundles.)
  • Extensive databases and catalogs including Gaia DR3.
  • 13,000 astrophotos at your fingertips.
  • Controls most commercial telescope mounts.
  • Integrated functions make for an easier learning curve.
  • After the first year, optional 1 year software subscription.

While many professional astronomers use TheSky™ Professional for controlling their observatories (sometimes from halfway around the globe), amateur astronomers at all levels of proficiency also rely on it.

For detailed information, please see the Description below.

Select the operating system (OS), then click Buy Now add TheSky to your cart. After checkout, you can download the full installer by clicking My account, My Downloads. Click My account, My Serial Numbers to view your TheSky serial number.


SKU: TheSkyX-Pro-Parent Category: Tag:

Details how to upgrade to TheSky Imaging from all other editions are here.

TheSky Professional has integrated telescope mount control and can operate these supported telescope mounts out of the box.

Click on the links below for details about additional equipment supported by the Cameras+ and Domes modules.

Note that TheSky Imaging bundle includes the Cameras+ module.

TheSky Professional edition offers optional software and database modules that can be used to extend its functionality.

The following optional modules are available on the Software Bisque Store:

Visit TheSky Change Log page for a list of all the improvements, changes and fixes in each release.

If your software subscription is active, download the latest TheSky™ Professional update by logging in and visiting My account > My Downloads, then downloading and running the update installer.


TheSkyProfessional invites exploration.

If you live in city or suburb, chances are good that light pollution prevents you from knowing what your overhead sky actually looks like. If that describes you, you’re in for a spectacular treat!

TheSky’s planetarium functions allow beautiful views and can display amazing detail. Its renderings are lightning-fast thanks to its multi-threaded software architecture and utilization of hardware-based graphics acceleration and multi-core processors.

TheSky’s representations of relative astronomical object-sizes and positions is extremely accurate — so much so that a leading monthly astronomy print-magazine licenses TheSky™ to help create its charts.

TheSky™ Professional arrives with very comprehensive databases including a portion of the relatively new Gaia Star Catalog. You’ll also have access to 13,000 astrophotos of various objects.

You might enjoy its ability to show you what the night sky looked like for any historical date up to 4,000 years ago and from any point on Earth — all manner of literature and historical texts reference objects in the sky and now you can view it yourself! You can also do the same for future dates up to the year 10,000 AD.

From its sky chart, point to the object of interest and your mount will acquire it and begin tracking. TheSky™ Professional supports nearly every mount manufactured. While controlling your mount is obviously important, that capability only scratches the surface of TheSky™ Professional’s capabilities.

Choose a foundation that lets you grow.

TheSky™ Professional lets you gradually add features as you need them which makes for an easier learning curve.

You can add functionality à la cart over time with available options (or modules). While that might sound complicated, it’s simple. After adding some options, the only change you’ll notice will be the addition of some menu items.

Available options include the world’s finest telescope analysis and pointing software (TPoint™), the ability to control cameras and other devices (Cameras+), dome control (Domes), and the flexibility to switch operating systems along with a six-computer license (Multi-OS+).

TheSky™ Professional includes 90-day free trials for several software modules including Cameras+, Domes, and TPoint™. At the end of each trial period, these modules are individually available for purchase should you wish to continue using them.

Planning to become involved with astrophotography sooner rather than later? If so,  consider TheSky™ Bundles as you’ll save you around 25% over purchasing all the components separately. TheSky™ Professional is at the heart of all bundles.

The flexibility to choose Windows, macOS, or Linux.

You might not care so much about the ability to switch operating systems today but that could change in the future. Why paint yourself (or your institution) into a corner?

TheSky™ Professional is offered with a choice of Windows or macOS versions. You can later change to Linux by purchasing the Multi-OS+ module (and that option lets you switch operating systems whenever you like while licensing you to install and run running on up to six different computers).

In the meantime, TheSky™ Imaging Bundle is immediately available for macOS, Windows, and Linux. TheSky™ Universal Bundle includes the Dome and Multi-OS+ options the latter allows switching between operating systems while licensing you to install and operate TheSky™ Professional on up to 6 computers).

64-bit performance is fully supported for Windows, macOS, and Linux. That’s especially important should you find yourself imaging with larger cameras.

The largest investment you’ll make with astronomy software involves your time, not your wallet.

When it comes to astronomy software, none of the various packages are especially easy to use as they involve the need to learn some basic functions.

With that said, a consistent user-interface across multiple functions will shorten your learning curve and save time.

The alternative is to string together various software packages from different developers which can make troubleshooting exponentially more difficult and time consuming.

The same principle applies for support. Please register and sign-in so that you can see visit TheSky’s User Forums (see here). You might also like to view TheSky™ Professional’s 800+ page user manual (see here). Please don’t let its size bother you as it includes every software product we have. Start with its table of contents and go from there.

We strive to minimize (if not eliminate) the need for support by continuously updating our software with new and improved features, support for new devices, bug fixes, and support for several operating systems. We provide multiple software updates throughout the year so that you’ll have the best possible experience (see here). Your first-year subscription is included in the price.

Afterwards, you’ll have the option to renew your annual subscription and enjoy another twelve-months of access to software updates. In most cases, your software should continue to operate normally should you elect not to renew your subscription.

We invest our resources in updating our software so that you’ll have a more uptime, night after night.

Learn more >

Additional information

Weight N/A
Dimensions N/A

TheSky Professional User Guide

Related Documentation

Standard Features

TheSky™ Professional, on macOS, Windows, Linux ARM64, ARM32, and x86_64 architectures, is your astronomy toolkit and is loaded with features you need.  The table below lists most of TheSky™ Professional’s standard feature set.  In addition to these standard features, TheSky™ Professional offers optional modules that extend the standard feature set.


Sample Screen


Display an Interactive

Looking up at dusk.

Looking North.

The flexible interactive Sky Chart shows you the simulated sky.

  • Input any date from 4,712
    B.C. to A.D. 10,000 and any time of day to show the simulated
    star chart for your location.

  • Click the North,
    South, East, West or Look Up
    buttons to orient the chart
    as it would appear from your backyard.

  • Change the magnification to
    show any field of view, from 235°
    down to 30 arc seconds across.

Databases of Celestial Objects
and Photos

Large databases of pictures and

Photos tab

TheSky is packed with information on millions of objects and thousands of fascinating astronomical photographs.

View and find the planets, dwarf planets, the Moon, comets, asteroids, satellites, and thousands of the most popular non-stellar objects from the Messier, NGC and IC catalogs and approximately 1 million stars from the Hipparcos-Tycho star catalog (complete to about 12th magnitude).

Databases of Objects and Photos

Solar System

  • Sun
  • Mercury
  • Venus
  • Earth (in 3D Solar System)
  • Earth’s Moon
  • The Moon
  • Mars
  • Mars’ Moons
  • Io
  • Europa
  • Ganamede
  • Callisto
  • Jupiter
  • Jupiter’s Moons
  • Saturn
  • Uranus
  • Neptune
  • Pluto
  • Comets (up
    to 1100 at a time)
  • Asteroids (just shy of 1 million)
  • Satellites (up to 10,000)

Non-Stellar Objects

  • 7,431 objects from the New General Catalog (NGC)
  • Index Catalog (IC)


  • Hipparcos/Tycho Catalog, 1.2 million stars
  • Hubble Guide Star Catalog,  14 million stars
  • TheSkyX Professional Edition distributes a subset of the UCAC4 star catalog that contains approximately 30 million stars more or less evenly distributed across the celestial
    sphere.  This catalog is ideal for determining the astrometric solution of photos with moderate to wide fields of view using Image Link. The limiting magnitude of the UCAC4 Subset catalog is approximately 14.

Optional support for:

  • The complete UCAC4
    star catalog.
  • The complete NOMAD
    (80 GB) star catalog.

TheSkyX also includes:

  • Over 13,000 images from the
    NGC and IC Catalogs.

  • Photos of every object in
    the Messier catalog.

  • Photos of solar system objects,
    including images from the Mars Rover and other space missions.

  • Over 1000 high-resolution
    photographs of the moon.

What’s Up Tonight

Up? Report


chart showing the location of Saturn tonight.

The simplified observing list includes a What’s Up? query that lets
you specify the viewing time, your optical aid (naked eye, binocular,
or small telescope) and which objects you’re interested in seeing
tonight; TheSkyX’s What Up? command generates a report for you, complete with fascinating descriptions about many deep-space objects, sample photographs of the object (when available), and Hertzsprung-Russell (HR) diagrams for stars.

You can scroll through each object in the report and watch the Sky Chart update to show you exactly where to look for the object.

Create and Show Field of View Indicators (FOVIs)

around the Horsehead nebula

Choose your equipment from a database of hundreds of telescopes, eyepieces and cameras or define your own, then show an overlay on the Sky Chart.

and Watch Iridium Flares

Flare Report

Predict and watch simulated Iridium Flares directly from TheSky.

Animated Tours

showing the Sun’s analemma

TheSky includes animated tours that you can watch, learn, or show others basic astronomy concepts.

Supplied Tours include:

  • Sun’s Analemma

  • Angular Size of Mars

  • Equatorial Coordinates

  • Horizon Coordinates

  • Mercury Evening

  • Mercury Morning

  • Moon Cycle – Size and Phase

  • Motion of Barnard’s Star

  • 24-Hour Motion of Saturn’s Moons

  • Rotation and Phase of Mercury 2008

  • Rotation and Phase of Venus 2008

  • 10-yeaar View of Saturn from Earth

  • Venus and Mercury Annual Paths

  • What was that? Iridium Flare Sample

  • Winter Constellations

Tabbed/Dockable/Floating Windows

Tabbed windows on the Sky Chart.

By default, commonly used features can be accessed by clicking the
appropriate tab on the left side of the Sky Chart.

List of the standard docking windows:

Tours window – Watch animations related to many interesting astronomical concepts.

Find window – Easily locate any object by name, catalog number and many other designations.

Chart Elements window – Lets you turn on and off, or filter by
upper and lower magnitude or angular size, elements on the Sky
Chart, including:

    • Non-stellar objects (Type C, elliptical, lenticular, spiral, irregular galaxies and clusters of galaxies; bright, dark and planetary nebulas; open and globular clusters and clusters plus nebulosity; probable NGC stars, other NGC objects)

    • Solar system objects (the Moon, planets, small solar system objects including Pluto, comets and asteroids, the Sun, and planets’ moons) and satellites.

    • Stellar objects (stars, double stars, suspected variables and variables).

    • Date & Time window – Includes controls to specify the current date and time, including a calendar control showing the phases of the moon, a context menu button to set specific times (now, sunrise, noon, sunset, midnight, morning, new moon, first quarter, last quarter, full moon, moonrise, moonset, vernal (spring) equinox, summer solstice, autumnal equinox, winter solstice or any Julian date), advance/retreat time controls and more.

Labels window – Turn on and off the names of objects, including:

  • asterisms
  • asteroids
  • comets
  • common non-stellar
  • direction markers
  • Messier objects
  • meteor shower
  • planets, dwarf
    planets, the moon, planets’ moons, and the sun
  • stars, including the Bayer designation, Flamsteed designation, and common names

window – Show color or black and white photographs for thousands of deep-sky objects.

Each tab represents a separate window that can be moved and sized to your liking.

Find Objects


A list of common names that match the letters you type appears automatically.

Advanced tab

All object in TheSky’s
databases can be found in the Advanced list.

The friendly, powerful Find command lets you easily locate any object in TheSkyX’s astronomical databases.All objects in the databases are listed in a “tree list” and sorted by type (star, double star, galaxy, cluster, etc.). Just double-click on the name to find it, or specific classification,

Finding Stars by:

    • Common name (a list of common names that match the
      letters you type appears automatically)
    • Bayer designation
    • Flamsteed designation
    • General Catalog of Variable Star (GCVS) designation
    • Non-stellar variable star (NSV) designation
    • Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) Catalog
    • Struve designation
    • Washington Catalog of Double Star designation

Finding Non-stellar objects by:

    • Caldwell number
    • Common name
    • Herschel number
    • Index Catalog number (IC)
    • Lorenzin Catalog number
    • New General Catalog (NGC/IC Project) number
    • Principle Galaxy Catalog number (PGC)
    • Principle Galaxy Catalog cross-reference number
    • Zwicky designation
    • Arakelian Catalog of Galaxies designation
    • Catalog of Galaxies and Clusters of Galaxies (CGCG)
    • David Dunlop Observatory Catalog of Galaxies designation
    • Fairall Catalog of Galaxies  designation
    • Karachentseva Catalog of Galaxies designation
    • Kazaryan UV Galaxies designation
    • Kiso UV Galaxies designation
    • Second Byurakay Survey designation
    • Tololo Galaxies designation
    • Uppsala General Catalog of Galaxies (UGC)designation
    • University of Michigan Catalog of Galaxies designation
    • Virgo Cluster Catalog of Galaxies designation
    • Weinberger Catalog of Galaxies designation
    • Planetary Nebula designation (PLN)
    • Saguaro Astronomy Club Deep-Space Object catalog

Finding Solar System Objects:

    • Comet’s by name
    • Asteriod by name or number
    • Moon
    • Satellites
    • Sun
    • Mercury
    • Venus
    • Mars
    • Jupiter
    • Saturn
    • Uranus
    • Jupiter
    • Saturn
    • Uranus
    • Neptune
    • Pluto

Finding the Constellations by:

  • Common name
  • Abbreviation

Find 70 Common Asterisms

The object’s name appear in green letter if it’s currently above the horizon, or in black italicized letters when it’s below the horizon.

Get Detailed Information on Celestial

Information reports are configurable to show as much, or as little
information as you need.

Click on any object, or use the Find
to show extensive information on celestial objects,

    • Object type (star, cluster, galaxy, nebula, etc.)
    • Right ascension and declination coordinates (current)
    • Right ascension and declination coordinates (Epoch
    • Altitude and azimuth coordinates
    • Object magnitude*
    • Common name*
    • Catalog number (including cross references to other
      catalogs), for example M42 or NGC 1976v.*
    • Description of the object*
    • Visual magnitude*
    • B magnitude*
    • V magnitude *
    • Parallax*
    • Proper motion*
    • Sidereal time
    • Distance from Earth (in light years or parsecs)*
    • Rise, transit, set times
    • The constellation to which the object belongs
    • Equatorial and horizon-based coordinates
    • Other object and catalog specific data
    • Position angle (as measured from the celestial pole)
      from the previously identified object
    • Phase or percent illumination*
    • Air mass

*Please note that not every database or every
object in a particular database used by TheSky contains information about every parameter listed above. For example, most astronomical catalogs do not
contain an object’s distance to Earth information.

Sample Object Information

The table below lists the typical information displayed for
different classifications of objects.

Object Type Information


SAO 308
GSC 4628:237, HIP 11767, PPM 431, HD 8890, B+88 8
Flamsteed-Bayer: 1-Alpha Ursae Minoris
Spectral: F7:Ib-IIv SB** Data from Hipparcos Catalog****Proper motion (mas/yr): RA = 44.22, Dec = -11.74
Magnitudes Bt: 2.756, Vt: 2.067
Parallax: 7.560 mas, 132.2751 pc
Distance: 431.42 light-years, 27283753.74 astronomical units
Magnitude: 1.97
RA: 02h 34m 10.632s Dec: +89°15’58.530″
RA: 02h 31m 49.084s Dec: +89°15’50.794″ (Epoch 2000)
Azm: 359°35’34” Alt: +39°05’34”
Always above horizon. Transit: 05:40
Hour angle: 10h 16m 39.2s Air mass: 1.59
Position error: 0.60 mas


Great Nebula in Orion
Orion Nebula
NGC 1976
Other description: Nebula.
Constellation: Ori
Dreyer description: A magnificent (or otherwise interesting)
object! Theta1 Ori and the great nebula; = M42.
Magnitude: 4.0
RA: 05h 35m 27.3s Dec: -05°26’49”
RA: 05h 35m 24.0s Dec: -05°27’00” (Epoch 2000)
Azm: 279°11’58” Alt: -19°16’00”
Rise: 02:56 Transit: 08:40 Set: 14:24
Hour angle: 07h 22m 24.6s
From Polaris:
Angular separation: 94°56’15”
Position angle: +134°09′

Minor Planets, Satellites

Satellite: OKEAN 3 (#21397U)
Latitude: 61°15’15” Longitude: 98°01’11”
Height: 633.92
Range: 2623.0 Range Rate: 6.8134.
Phase angle: 68.4
Rates ra: 110.0274 dec:-223.6962 (arcsecs/sec)
RA: 23h 47m 16.6s Dec: +52°14’26”
RA: 23h 47m 11.7s Dec: +52°13’53” (Epoch 2000)
Azm: 09°18’05” Alt: +02°56’44”
Rise: 00:00 Transit: 00:00 Set: 00:00
Hour angle: -10h 58m 58.2s Air mass: 15.25
From Eltanin:
Angular separation: 50°38’20”
Position angle: +52°20′

Sun, Moon

Rise: 2:14 AM on 8/20/2001
Transit: 9:39 AM on 8/20/2001
Set: 5:04 PM on 8/20/2001
RA: 06h 34m 48.4s Dec: +22°58’12”
Azm: 291°37’52” Alt: +10°00’36” (with refraction:
Phase: 99.426%, Apparent magnitude: -2.06
Heliocentric ecliptical coordinates:
l: 89°19’16.1″ b: -00°15’12.1″ r: 5.122584
Geometric geocentric ecliptical coordinates:
l: +98°01’05” b: -00°13’37” r: 5.715020
Mean geometric ecliptical coordinates:
l: +98°00’56” b: -00°13’38” r: 5.714970
True equatorial coordinates: RA: 06h 34m 49s Dec: +22°58’13”
Physical Data
DE: 2.15°, DS: 2.32°, Position angle: 4.57°.
Longitude of central meridian:
System I: 72.28°, System II: 170.48°
Correction for phase: 0.33
Apparent equatorial diameter: 34.4
Apparent polar diameter: 32.2Rates RA: 0.0083 Dec: -0.0004 (arcsecs/sec)


Select Different Photographs for the
Panoramic Horizon

Bisque Observatory

Mexico Skies


Choose from several supplied custom panoramic horizons, including:

  • Cayman Island scene
  • Desert scene
  • Forest scene
  • Grand Mesa, Colorado
  • Ice Lake, Michigan
  • Mountain scene
  • Mt. Wilson Institute Observatory
  • New Mexico Skies
  • Software Bisque Observatory
  • Very Large Array
  • Winter Star Party
Quickly Set Chart Options with Chart

Elements tab.

Turning on and off individual, selected or all object classifications or “chart elements” is easy with the Chart Elements window.

Show Reference Lines and Photos

Reference Lines and Reference Photos

Show the following reference lines and reference photos.

Constellation Figures from:

  • Astronomy Magazine
  • H.A. Rey
  • Patrick Moore
  • Sky & Telescope Magazine
  • TheSky/Software Bisque
  • Will Tirion
  • Milky Way Galaxy (Isophotes,Black & white photo,Full color photo)
  • Constellation Boundaries
  • 70 popular Asterisms
  • Ecliptic line
  • Equatorial Grid lines
  • Galactic Equator
  • Horizon Grid lines
  • Meridian
  • Celestial North/South Arrow
Show Object Names (Object Labels)

Object Name Labels

TheSky can show the names and labels for the following:

  • Asterisms
  • Asteroids
  • Comets
  • Common Non-stellar Objects
  • Constellations
  • Direction Markers (NSEW)
  • Messier Objects
  • Meteor Shower Radiants
  • Planets, Dwarf Planets, Moons,
  • Satellites
  • Star Labels (Bayer Designation, Common Star Names, Flamsteed
Configure Appearance of Stars

star field

Options window

Adjust the appearance of the stars by:

  • Brightness
  • Contrast
  • Star gradient
  • Star density
  • Size of surrounding halo
  • Spectral color or custom fill
  • Spectral color saturation
Customize Tool bars to Access Commands
You Want

tool bar

tool bar

bars positioned around the Star Chart

Six standard tool bars contain buttons to access many frequently used commands.

You can also add your own custom tool bars for the commands you
use most.  The size of the buttons on the tool bars are configurable, as well as the content of the buttons (show
a graph, or text or both on the button).

The position of the tool bars can be customized.  Show them as floating windows, or drag and drop them anywhere along the edges Star Chart window.

Chart Status window

Chart Status window with configurable report

The Chart Status window shows a continuously updated information about the current chart. Choose from the following list of status report options:

  • Date
  • Time
  • Julian Date
  • Universal Time (UT)
  • Local Sidereal Time (LST)
  • Location Description
  • Latitude
  • Longitude
  • Time Zone
  • Elevation
  • Screen Center Right
    Ascension (RA)
  • Screen Center Declination (Dec)
  • Screen Center Right
    Azimuth (Az)
  • Screen Center Altitude (Alt)
  • Screen Field Width
  • Screen Rotation
  • Cursor X position
  • Cursor Y position
  • Cusor Constellation
  • Cursor Right Ascension/Declination (RA/Dec)
  • Cursor Azimuth/Altitude
Show/Hide Scroll Bars

Chart with optional scroll bars turned on

Show/hide horizontal and vertical scroll bars for easy chart navigation.

Look North, South, East, West or Up

Never get lost in space!

Automatically adjust the star chart for your location to look North, South, East, West or straight up (at the Zenith).

Zoom Box

Zoom Box

Click and drag the “zoom box” on the chart to magnify (or
zoom in) to this region.  The size (or field width) and the
angular separation between the corners of the zoom box is shown.

Zoom to Pre-defined Fields of View

(30 arcseconds)




Wide Field


Custom Field of View window.

Built-in command to show the following fields of view:

  • Minimum (30 arcseconds)

  • Telescope (1°)

  • Finder (10°)

  • Binocular (50°)

  • Naked Eye (100°)

  • Wide Field (180°)

  • Maximum (235°)

Or, define any number of custom fields of view using the Custom Fields of View dialog.

Navigate the Celestial Sphere

to any coordinate using the Screen Center tab on the Navigate

the Celestial Sphere.

The Navigate window let’s you:

  • Position the center of the chart at any equatorial (right
    ascension/declination/Epoch) or horizon (azimuth/altitude)
  • Center the chart on any ra/dec using a 360 degree chart
    of the celestial sphere that shows the constellation boundaries
    and figures. As you move the mouse, the current equatorial
    and horizon coordinates and constellation name are shown.
  • View the entire celestial sphere, and click on the constellation
    you want to view.
  • Rotate the Sky Chart to any orientation to match your
Control the Date and Time

Date & Time window.

Time Flow Increments and Rates window.

& Time tool bar.

Input any date from 4,712 B.C. to A.D. 10,000 and any time to show a beautiful star chart for your location.

The Date & Time tab on the Command
Center Window provides many different tools that allow you to
quickly set any date from 4,712 B.C. to A.D. 10,000 and any time,

  • Use Computer’s Clock button
    to set time to now.

  • Date & Time Control to
    manually enter any date and time.

  • Calender control to set any
    date. The control also displays the phases of the moon for
    each month.

 The Date & Time tab allows you to specify specific times, including:

  • Now (computer’s clock)

  • Sunrise

  • Noon

  • Sunset

  • Midnight

  • Morning (begin twilight)

  • Evening (end twilight)

  • New Moon

  • First Quarter

  • Last Quarter

  • Full Moon

  • Moonrise

  • Moonset

  • Specific Julian Date

The Date & Time tab allows you to control the rate that time changes, or the increment of time to advance or retreat in time. The default increments include:

  • 1x

  • 10x

  • 100x

  • 1000x

  • 10000x

  • 1 second

  • 1 minute

  • 1 hour

  • 1 day

  • 1 Lunar Month

  • 1 Year

  • Sunrise

  • Sunset

  • Start Twilight

  • End Twilight

 You can define custom increments and rates using the Custom Time Flow Increments and Rates dialog.  The Date & Time toolbar allows you to set the Date & Time as well as specify the direction
and rate of time.

Choose your location on Earth

Map tab on the Location window.

By default, your location on earth is detected automatically from the web.  Or,

  • Select your location
    from a list of over 1200 cities, star parties, observatories
    and other sites on the List of Locations tab.

  • Select your location
    by clicking on a map of the Earth. Regions of Daylight/nighttime
    are shown on this map for convenience.

  • Enter your USA zip

  • Automatically retrieve
    your location using your computer’s Internet Protocol (IP)

  • Manually enter your
    location by specifying a description and your longitude, latitude
    (in hour/minutes/seconds or decimal degrees), elevation, time
    zone and Daylight Saving option (DSO).

Create Solar System Object Paths

morning visibility in 2008.

Create a “path” that represents the future or past positions
of the Sun, planets (including Pluto), Moon, comets and asteroids. The screen to the left shows the position of Mercury each evening for one year.

Find and View Solar
and Lunar Eclipses with the Eclipse Viewer

Eclipse Viewer.

lunar eclipse view.

When is the next solar eclipse? Where it visible on Earth? You’ll be able to answer these questions, learn about the dynamics of solar and lunar eclipses and more using the Solar and Lunar Eclipse Viewer.

Solar Eclipses

TheSky shows every solar eclipse for the next twenty years (or so) from the current date (starting from any date).

Select an eclipse from the list and the three-dimensional view of the Earth gives the local circumstances:

  • Whether or not it
    is visible from the current location.

  • Annular, total central,
    annular central, partial, or hybrid designation.

  • Time
    of eclipse start

  • Time of greatest

  • Time of eclipse

  • The line of the
    central eclipse, and the rise/set curve, shadow limits, and
    eclipse shadow for the Earth’s umbra and penumbra can be shown.

You can adjust the viewing distance from Earth using the Solar Viewing Distance Slider.

Lunar Eclipses

As with solar eclipses, the next twenty years of lunar eclipses are listed. Select one from the list to view it’s local circumstances, including:

  • The type of lunar
    eclipse (partial, penumbral, total)

  • The date and time
    when the eclipse begins

When a lunar eclipse is selected,
the Sky Chart is updated to show the Earth’s penumbra and umbra
and the position of the moon at the start of the eclipse.

Find Conjunctions with the Conjunction

Finder window.

of actual conjunction.

Select any 2 or 3 planets (or the Sun and Moon) to find the future conjunctions of these bodies.  For each conjunction that is located,
the Star Chart shows a green laser pointer to help you find it
in the actual sky.

Show the Positions of
the Major Moons of Jupiter and Saturn

Jupiter’s major moons.

Saturn’s major moons.

View the positions of Jupiter’s and Saturn’s major moons.

Display or
Print Calendars showing the Moon’s Phase and other information


Show a calendar of any month with the phases of the moon, as well as sunrise, sunset, moonrise, moonset, and Iridium Flare  occurrences.  A full year’s calendar can be shown, too.  The calendar can be saved (or exported) as a PDF file.

View High-Resolution Images of the
Moon using the Moon Viewer

Photo Viewer

of Moon Viewer Photo on Sky Chart’s Moon

The interactive Moon Photo Viewer is a powerful tool that can:

  • Display photographs
    of virtually the entire Moon’s visible surface.

  • Search for lunar

  • Display the name
    of the nearest lunar feature with a mouse click.

  • Overlay text descriptions
    (labels) of many of lunar features.

  • Show the longitude
    and latitude for any point of any location on the Moon.

  • Show the longitude
    and latitude of the center of images.

  • Outline craters
    and other features.

  • Expand or decrease
    the size of the lunar image (by sizing the window).

  • Display a brief
    history of the source of the lunar feature’s name.

  • Show the macroscopic
    location of the current Moon Viewer image on the Virtual Sky’s

Identify and get feature specific
information by placing the mouse over the photo. The Moon Photo
Viewer can overlay text labels of any or all of the following
lunar features, including:

  • Craters

  • Sub-craters

  • Mare (seas)

  • Landing sites

  • Catena (crater chains)

  • Rima (rilles)

  • Lacus (lakes)

  • Mons (mountains)

  • Dorsum (wrinkle

  • Promontor

  • Vallis (valleys)

  • Other features

When the “Highlight Photo’s Location
on Chart” option is checked, you’ll see a blue region on
the Sky Chart Moon’s surface. This area represents the location
of the current high-resolution Moon image. This lets you easily
relate the position of a particular photograph its position on
the Moon’s surface.

View the Solar System in Three Dimensions
using the 3D Solar System Viewer

dimensional system simulator.

Use this command to toggle between looking at the sky from Earth or from outer space (anywhere inside our solar system). When this command is enabled, the starry background is turned off by default and only the objects in our solar system
are displayed.

The default location is an arbitrary point in space.
It’s above the plane of the ecliptic, just inside Pluto’s orbit,
looking back at our Sun.

View Stars in
Three Dimensions with the 3D Stars Tool

3D view of the

View the stars in three dimensions with the 3D Stars tool. You can zoom, pan and scroll around the universe to learn about the relative
positions of the familiar (and not so familiar) stars in the Milky

Even isolate any of the 88 constellations and view only the stars within its boundaries.

Show Detailed Constellations Figures

Bevis Constellation

Show detailed drawings for all or selected constellations.

Simulate the Daytime

at the Mt. Wilson Institute Observatory.

The Daytime Sky Mode lets you simulate and how the sky looks during daytime, as well as dawn and dusk.

View in Full Screen Mode

screen view.

Have the Sky Chart occupy the entire desktop in Full Screen mode.

Dark Adaptation with the Night Vision Mode

Show the entire screen (and the entire desktop) predominantly red to preserve the eyes’ dark adaptation (or night vision).

Show the Chart as a Mirror

Sky Chart as a mirror image.

Mirror image reverses the Sky Chart, left-to-right. This lets you view
the sky as you would through a telescope with an erect, but laterally
reversed image.

Show Photo-Like or Map-Like
Star Charts

Chart mode displays Sky Chart to look more like what you would see in a book of star charts, or how a printed chart might look.

Create Publication-Quality
Star Charts. Graphics
PDF Output

chart (JPG)

Sky Charts can be exported in portable network graphs (PNG) format, or saved in portable document format (PDF) for publication of charts and graphics to your astronomy club newsletter or web site.*

*Please include the text “Copyright Software
Bisque, Inc.
” when publishing star charts generate by TheSky.

Print and Export Star Charts

Print high-resolution star charts on your printer for field use.

Click to Drag the Sky Chart to Change
Field of View

Click and drag the mouse and drag the sky chart to change its position.

Rotate the
Sky Chart to any position angle

rotation tab.

Use the Rotate tab on the Orientation > Navigate window to rotate the Sky Chart to any angle to match your field of view or photo’s

Database Manager to Add/Remove
Core and Additional Sky Databases

Manager window.

Use the Database Manager to:

  • Show or hide only the astronomical
    catalogs need

  • Import Sky Databases that
    are generated by TheSkyX Professional Edition.

  • Show statistics about the
    catalogs and databases used by TheSky.

and View Stellar Proper Motion

showing proper motion arrows.

Stellar Proper Motion

Stars’ proper motion lets you:

  • Watch stars move over time.

  • Show proper motion arrows
    (or proper motion “vectors” that specify the magnitude
    and direction of the star’s motion over time).

Friendly and Extensive User Guide

TheSky User Guide teaches you many fundamental principles about astronomy and relates them to TheSkyX software. This document is available in three different digital formats to satisfy any preference:

  • Portable Document Format (PDF)

  • Application Help-Based Format

  • Web-based HTML5 Format

Note that a printed copy of the 800+ page TheSky User Guide is not available. If a printed copy is required, Software Bisque can grant permission to have a copy printed and bound by your local printing shop.

235 degrees to 30 arcsecond fields of view

field showing the Milky Way

in on Jupiter and Europa.

Simulate the celestial sphere, at any magnification from 235 degrees to 30 arcseconds.

the Magnitude and/or teh Angular Size of Object Types on Sky Chart

objects by magnitude (upper and lower)…

limit by angular size.

Select any object type (or all object types) and easily adjust the upper and lower magnitudes and the maximum and minimum angular sizes of objects that are shown on the Sky Chart.

Display Small Solar System Objects,
including Comets, Asteroids and Man-Made Satellites


Asteroids (numerically integrated)

All Asteroids (over 965,000 known asteroids, and counting)


  • Show the positions of up to 1000 comets, all known asteroids (about 740,000 presently),
    and a virtually unlimited number of satellites.

  • TheSkyX can import the updated “orbital elements data sets” (the data that is needed to accurately compute the positions of these objects) directly from the web. Comets and asteroids can also be updated from the web by entering the object’s name.

Create Observing Lists


List Options

List (vertical orientation)

List (horizontal orientation)

TheSky makes generating an observing list from this complex query simple!

The Create Observing List command can perform advanced searches or database queries that can be used to generate observing lists.

The Advanced Query tab offers much more detail regarding your query of celestial objects than the simplified options on the What’s Up Setup tab.

Suppose you want to create an observing list that contains all the double stars from the Washington Catalog of Double Stars that have a spectral type of G5 in Orion.

Advanced control for your Go To or Push To


TheSky Professional Edition Download Links

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