TheSky Serious

TheSkySerious — Choose Excellence

The Serious edition of TheSky™ software is for stargazers who prefer to observe with eyes instead of cameras — with or without a telescope.

  • Select Windows or macOS.
  • Controls just about every telescope made.
  • Create custom observing lists (or astronomical databases).
  • Includes an observing list manager that lets you jot notes.
  • Print or export sky charts to share with family and friends.
  • Time-skip simulations show object paths.
  • Solar and lunar eclipse viewers.
  • Field-of-view indicators show views with different eyepieces and telescopes.
  • 3D solar system viewer and solar system reports.
  • Moon phase calendar.
  • Red night-mode is easy on the eyes.
  • Optional 12-month updates-subscription is available.

If you later become involved with astrophotography and want additional features, consider upgrading to TheSky Imaging bundle.  Starting with TheSky Serious gives you a big head start because you won’t need to re-learn the software. Its basic navigation will stay the same while you’ll access the advanced features.

TheSky™ retains its familiar look and feel, regardless of the edition or operating system it’s running on.

For detailed information, please see the Description tab 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-Serious-Parent Category: Tag:

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 update by logging in and visiting My account > My Downloads, then downloading and running the update installer.


Enjoy your sky!

TheSky™ Serious edition is perfect for on-the-go astronomy. You have at your fingertips a realistic and breathtaking planetary and deep-space viewing experience. It connects to your favorite “push to” or “go to” telescope and lets you observe to your heart’s delight. TheSky™ Serious arrives with many of the same features and databases that are included with the TheSky™ Professional edition.

You’ll also enjoy its 13,000 astrophotos including a large reservoir of deep-space objects.

Light pollution?

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 offer spectacular views of the sky and reveal amazing detail. Chart renderings are lightning-fast thanks to its multi-threaded architecture when running on computers with multi-core processors, and hardware-based graphics acceleration.

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.

You might enjoy its ability to show you what the night sky looked like for any historical date up to 4,713 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.

We value your time almost as much as you do. 

The most expensive astronomy software investment involves your time, not your wallet. When you’re under a beautifully clear sky, you’ll love TheSky’s consistent reliability. When everything simply works as promised, you’ll be free to enjoy your time observing.

With TheSky™ Serious, you can add the optional TPoint™ module. TPoint™ uses the same pointing technology as many of the world’s largest professional observatory telescopes. Like magic, your object of interest will reliably appear centered in your eyepiece. TPoint™ lets you spend less time hunting and more time observing.

TheSky™ Serious arrives with a 90-day free trial offer for TPoint™ so that you can experience its magic. We think you’ll love it!

TheSky™ Serious also arrives with a 12-month software-updates subscription. That means you’ll be able to download the latest newly developed features, telescope drivers, and bug fixes for one year. Updates generally occur several times a year (see examples here). Subsequent 12-month subscriptions are optional.

Learn more >

Additional information


macOS, Windows

Standard Features

TheSky™ Serious edition is your astronomy toolkit and is loaded with features you need, whether you’re planning your next observing session or under the stars observing.


Sample Screen


Display an Interactive

Looking up at dusk.

Looking North.

The flexible and 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 Serious 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

TheSky 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; TheSky’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

Configurable 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

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

These windows appear by default as a tab and represents an independent window that can  also be undocked, 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, including…

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 command to show extensive information on celestial objects, including…

    • 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

*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.  Good news: the Gaia star catalog does contain star distance from Earth for every star!

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

Software Bisque Observatory

Mountain horizon

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

Sample star field

Star Options

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

Look tool bar

Orientation tool bar

Tool 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

TheSky Serious Astronomer Documentation