15 Best Free Star Tracker Software For Windows
This is a list of best free star tracker software for Windows. These software help to locate stars in the space, and provide their exact coordinates (in any of the supported celestial coordinate system). Also, you can have information about deep space objects, planets, comets, solar system, and galaxies. You can have information about their type, constellation, coordinates, right ascension (RA), declination, azimuth, altitude, etc. They also point out magnitude, color index, distance from earth, parallax, mean/apparent sidereal time, etc. information about the selected star.
Almost all these star tracking software provide space view with many types of grids. In most of them, you will get equatorial, horizontal, elliptic, etc. grids. Many of them even provide you guided tours to the star, planet, and other celestial elements. Also, you can run animation of movement of space elements with adjustable time (past/future) and speed. All in all, these software provide high quality imagery of the universe.
If you want to save the sky map, many of them provide this feature also.
My Favorite Star Tracker Software For Windows:
Stellarium is one of my favorites. It is one of the most feature rich software in this list. Packed in an attractive interface, it provides information related to celestial objects just by a single click on them. It provides high quality imagery of the Universe. Unlike other software, it runs smoothly even on a system without graphic card. Most importantly, it provides most of the information a knowledge seeker needs to know.
StarCalc is also software I like a lot. Besides providing information about stars, it also lets you save sky map in BMP, WMF, GIF, etc. formats. Also, it lets you visualize bustling in space in current time, past, or future.
Apart from these two software, this list contains many other software which have some unique features. So, go through the list to grab a desired star locator software for you.
Stellarium is an open source star tracking software for various platforms including Windows, Linux, and Mac. It is basically a sky visualizing tool, that helps to have the same view as you get using a telescope in night or day. It lets you manually toggle between day and night view in order to perform star tracking, no matter it’s day or night at your current location.
As you open this software, you will get a 360 degree animated landscape view of the earth. For your convenience, this software automatically fetches your coordinates using location services, so don’t bother about feeding your location. But in case you wish, it lets you set location manually too.
As you toggle the view to night mode, you will be able to visualize moon, stars, solar system, galaxy, and even many more extraterrestrial objects. You can scroll your mouse to zoom in/out in the respective viewing mode.
Once you are able to see stars in the sky, just click on the desired one to have information about it. Using this software, you can have star name, type, magnitude, absolute magnitude, color index, distance, parallax, azimuth/elevation, RA/Dec, HA/Dec, mean and apparent sidereal time, etc. information about the selected star.
To access its various options, hover the mouse cursor on bottom, right top corner, or left bottom side on its interface.
In addition to aforementioned features, this software even lets you analyze space with equatorial/azimuthal grid, deep sky objects, and visualize meteors, exoplanets, constellations, etc.
This star locating software has attractive and high quality graphics, still it runs quite smoothly in a system which doesn’t have any additional graphic card. That’s a great feature of this free star tracker software.
There are a lot more things to explore about this star tracking tool. You can check out all about it by visiting its home page.
StarClac is a free star tracker software for Windows. It is a sky mapping and free planetarium software in this list. It is one of the easiest to use star tracking tool.
As you open this star tracker, it shows you an attractive space visualization with sun, moon, planets, stars, constellation, etc.
In order to track a star, just go to its ‘Services‘ menu and search the star by its proper name. You don’t need to remember names of stars as it has a list of star names arranged in alphabetical order. There is another easy way to grab this information. Just double click on any star visible on the screen and the respective information will pop up on its interface. This information contains name of star, apparent equatorial coordinates, parallax, transit time, rise time and set time, etc.
It also includes many viewing modes, which enables you to visualize bustling in the space in current, past, or future time.
From the bottom of its interface, you can easily access options to customize the animated space graph view. To do so, you can select/deselect stars, constellation lines, constellation boundaries, constellation names, solar system objects, deep sky object, etc. items to appear in the map.
It also lets you save the space map as BMP, WMF, EMF, and GIF formats, which is a desirable feature. It lets you maintain the aspect ratio of output image same as the original map with adjustable color scheme.
KStars is one of the best free star tracking software for Windows in this list. Also, you can use this software for space visualization, and to get information about various objects revolving in space.
To track a star using this free and open source star locator, you need to firstly specify the star. For this purpose, go to ‘Pointing‘ menu and select ‘Find Object‘ option. Now, you will be able to access a variety of space objects categorized in stars, solar system, open clusters, galaxies, comets, satellites, etc. categories. As you select a star from the list of stars, it will appear on the space map and by right clicking on it, you can have information about its rise time, transit time, set time, magnitude, distance, positional coordinates, including azimuth, altitude, hour angle, right ascension, declination angle, etc. Additionally, you can also find out angular distance between two stars or space objects. To keep an eye on the selected star, you can add a flag to it with personalized label and label color.
You can not only visualize space in current time, but also in future or past time. It also lets you specify the viewing direction as zenith, north, south, east, west, or set coordinates manually to get visualization of space from that direction.
When you are done with visualization, you can save the sky image as PNG, JPG, BMP, GIF, and SVG.
CNebulaX is next in this list of best free star locator software. This software is helpful to give you a complete sky view, information about planets, solar system, and most importantly about ‘Stars’.
This software has categorized stars in various constellations. Some of these constellations are Andromeda, Antlia, Apus, Aquarius, and Cancer. You can choose stars from these constellations and have information about their right ascension (RA), declination, type, HBC, magnitude, etc.
Instead of collecting information about stars, you can also use it to acquire general information about rise time, transit time, set time, RA, distance to earth, distance from sun, phase angle, etc. for any planet of our solar system.
In this star location finder software, you get options to see the visible sky map from different viewing angles: 120 degree, 40 degree, 10 degree, 4 degree, and 1 degree. All these options are accessible from a small window available at the left bottom corner of the interface.
Celestia is another good star location tracking software for Windows, as well as Mac and Linux. It is basically a software that provides a view of the Universe that includes clusters, stars, solar system, deep sky objects, earth, and other planets. To get a better analytic view, you can choose various grids to appear on the sky map, such as equatorial grid, horizontal grid, galactic grid, and ecliptic grid. Also, you can select stars by applying a distance filter.
To have information about any star, you need to click on any visible star and the associated information will be displayed on the screen. This information will include distance from earth in light years, magnitude, luminosity, surface temperature, rotation period, etc.
Besides locating stars, you can do many more things by using this planetarium software. It includes a tour guide option, that lets you set a destination (planet, asteroid, stars, comets, etc.) to have a tour of it. At the same time, it gives you a summarized information about that destination.
Also, you can use capture image option to save the image of sky map in JPEG or PNG format, or create a video of your Space activities, using ‘Capture Movie‘ option.
You can perform all these activities in real time/manually set time mode with 10 times faster or slower rate.
By visiting ‘Help’ menu, you can run a demo video of Celestia to visualize earth, moon, sun, other planets of our solar system, stars, Milky Way, and many other elements of the Universe.
Hallo northern sky
Hallo northern sky is another feature rich star locating software. It is available for free for Windows and Linux platforms. As you open this software, it lets you have a view of the Universe with planets, comets, stars, natural satellites, constellations, etc.
To get information about any star, just click on it and respective available information will be displayed on its interface, including RA, Declination angle, magnitude, name, set and rise details, etc. There is another way to get the same information that is, go to ‘Search’ menu and select ‘Stars’ option. Now, you can access a list of stars to choose the desired one. Using the same search option, you can also have information about comets, asteroids, planets, and other deep sky objects.
Like some other software, it also lets you save the map, but in its own HNS format.
Asynx Planetarium is another star position locator software for Windows. It is one of the easiest to use software to have star location and related information. Using this software, you can analyze space movements in real, and non-real time as well.
It supports multiple views to render galactic objects in a suitable style. As you launch this software, it displays the space in default viewing style i.e. ‘Horizontal view’. Other viewing styles are Geocentric, Heliocentric, and Intro screen mode.
In order to locate a star, you need to change the viewing mode to Geocentric style. Now, you can click on any visible object to have information about it. If you choose a star, you can have information about it’s name, constellation, spectrum, magnitude, right ascension, altitude, azimuth, etc. From the bottom of the interface, you can have a summarized information of RA, declination, distance, etc. about sun, moon, and planets of our solar system.
It also has a feature to run animation of movements in space with adjustable speed in real time, or in past/future.
Skychart is another one of open source star locating software for Windows. This software helps to find the location of stars, planets, sun, and many other elements of the Universe as per your current location and time. Also, you can specify a different location, if needed.
As you launch this software, firstly, you need to configure your location settings. After that, it shows the sky map as per your location in one of the supported coordinate systems, that are equatorial coordinate, ALT-AZ coordinate, ecliptic coordinate, and galactic coordinate.
From the sky view, you can select any visible star and by right clicking on it, you can have its coordinates and other details in a new application window. It displays information about star name, color index, spectral class, blue magnitude, visual magnitude, distance (in light years), radial velocity, and other general information for the selected star. Apart from that, it also displays apparent RA, hour angle, azimuth, altitude, transit, rise, set time, etc. information. You can also checkout information about neighbors of selected star.
It’s not just about tracking stars, but you can also look for other space objects, such as deep sky objects, comets, solar system, asteroids, constellations, etc., using its advanced search option accessible from ‘Edit’ menu.
If you want to save the sky map as image, you can use PNG, JPEG, or BMP image format.
C2A (Computer Aided Astronomy) is another free star monitoring software for Windows. This software provides a sky map view of various space objects, such as stars, comets, sun, planets, asteroids, Milky way galaxy, constellations, etc. It has a vast database of star and deep sky objects. Like some other software, it also lets you visualize space activities with equator and ecliptic view.
To track the location of any star, you can click on any of the visible stars of the sky map. Now, it will display information about the selected object (star) at the left side of the interface. It provides information about RA, Declination, Azimuth, Altitude, constellation, distance (in light years), hour angle, magnitude, and many other parameters.
It comes with many tools that helps to analyze solar system trajectories, asteroids and comets, moon phases, planet positions, and many more things.
Once you are done with tracking desired star or space object, you can save the related information in CCF files.
Aciqra is another free star locating and tracking software. It is one of the simplest star tracking tools of this list.
To use this software for star tracking, you just need to select a star. As you do that, the corresponding information will be available on its interface. You can have information about the star’s name, type, equatorial and horizontal coordinates, apparent magnitude, RA, azimuth, declination, surface brightness, size, distance from Earth, rise, set and transit time, etc. By using the same procedure, you can have all these mentioned information about other space objects also.
In addition to star tracking, you can also analyze deep sky objects, solar system, path of the selected object, etc. It also lets you search for an object. Just like many other software of this list, it lets you visualize space with equatorial and horizontal grid on sky map. You can store the current sky map as an image in BMP format.
SpaceEngine is also a considerably good star tracking software. You don’t need to go through various options to have information about stars or other extraterrestrial objects. After launching the software, just click on any visible star to get relative information, including name, type, distance, mass, apparent and absolute magnitude, luminosity, temperature, etc.
In order to provide information about stars, it contains a ‘Star browser’ menu, which provides information about stars in a listed view. Also, it facilitates you with an inbuilt ‘Search‘ option, using which you can search for any desired space element, such as stars, moons, planets, galaxies, asteroids, suns, etc., and have some information and closer look of them.
To visualize space elements, you can have projection of the object in four different styles, that are perspective, fish eye, cylindrical, and cubemap. Not only this, it also supports dual-window view of objects with same projection style.
You can build a virtual spacecraft and get a view of various space elements with respect to the spacecraft, using ‘Spacecraft manager’ menu. There is a lot more things to explore in this star locating software, which you can check out by visiting its home page.
WorldWide Telescope is another software available for free to track stars and many other space objects. Using this software, you can explore earth, planets, solar system, constellations, galaxies, black holes, etc.
In this star tracking software, you get options to look for stars as per constellation, or use ‘Search’ option to find out desired object in the universe. You can directly right click on any visible star to have information related to it. Just like aforementioned software, it also provides you information about the physical location of the star, such as azimuth, RA, declination, altitude, distance, etc. Also, it displays the properties of the selected star, such as its magnitude, rise, transit, set period, etc. If you need more information about any star, go to its ‘Research’ option and it will redirect you to many trusted sources of information, such as Wikipedia, SIMBAD, NED, SDSS, etc.
It also provides guided tours to space objects, and also you can have telescopic view of them.
This software is best suited for PCs having mounted graphic cards, since it provides high quality graphic imagery of space objects. It can run on PC without graphic card, but may lag, depending on the processor.
Night Vision is another option for free, cross platform star tracking software available for Windows, Linux, and Mac. It is another software that helps to get information about constellations, stars, deep sky objects, solar system, and other celestial objects.
To track and have information about any star, you get two ways to go through.
- First one is, just right click on any visible star, and you will get information about its name, designation, magnitude, spectrum, and various other properties. Also, it shows star’s RA, declination, azimuth, altitude, etc.
- The second way to do the same is, go to View (menu) > Find > Stars (option). Now, you can find the desired star by searching it in the list based on star’s common name and designation. After that, follow the same procedure as in above method to get information about the selected one.
You can have animated imagery of the universe in past, present, or future. All these visualizations can be done with celestial grid, constellation lines, constellation boundaries, altitude/azimuth grid, etc. on the screen.
Gaia Sky is another star tracking and locating software for Windows. As you open this software, it shows an attractive scene of the universe. Now, as you right click on any celestial object, you can access two options named Select object and Go to object. To get information about the star, click on Select object option. Now, it will display related information on the screen, such as star id, apparent and absolute magnitude, distance from earth, radius, RA, declination, etc.
By using the Ctrl+F shortcut key, you can access the search option to find any object in the space.
You can create a musical video for your space activities and save it as DAT file in your PC. It comes with some preloaded Python scripts, that lets you perform visibility test, star brightness test, text test, guiposition test, etc.
Tuba is also a good choice as free star location finder software for Windows. As you open this software, you will have a nice and clear view of the Universe full of stars, planets, comets, and other celestial objects. It also displays stars and constellations.
To get information about celestial objects, right click on the interface of this software and adjust various given sliders, that help to filter out space objects which are not in the specified range. To do filter objects, you need to specify range for RA, Declination, Field of View (FOV), Star magnitude, DSO magnitude, and constellation. Click on ‘Go to’ option to locate the star in the Space. Now, click on the star to have information about its constellation, magnitude, RA, Declination, etc. parameters. This software shows you information about only those stars which appear on its interface with their names. Also, you can plot the FOVs at 10, 7, 5, and 3 degrees at the same time.
As is with other software, it also lets you customize space view for better analysis. It lets you select/deselect ecliptic lines, constellation boundaries, Milky Way, constellation lines, etc. to appear on the map.
You can also print the sky map in this software.
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