MegaStar5 Manual and Program CDROM
By today's standards MegaStar5's system requirements are quite modest, in fact just about any computer purchased in the past 10 years will run it: Pentium Processor or better; Windows 98, 2000, ME, NT 4.0, XP, Vista or Windows 7; 32 MB RAM; CD-ROM drive (2x or faster); Minimum of 40 MB hard disk space; and a display resolution of 800 by 600. So you do not need a fire-breathing laptop to take this program out under the stars. The CDROM includes 78,000 non-stellar object images from theDigital Sky Survey that closely approximate what you will see in today's current Dobsonian telescopes.
If you are a MegaStar4 owner upgrading please provide your registration number in the Comments Section of Step 4 (Review and Submit your order) of our On-line shopping cart.
MegaStar 5.0 Upgrade - $39.95.
NEW MegaStar5's Supplemental Image CD-ROM with 129,354 additional DSO images. MegaStar5 comes packed with data plus images for 78,800 objects. In fact there is so much data that the program CD is completely full! Now, in response to popular demand Emil
Bonanno, the creator of MegaStar5, has produced a supplemental CD with images for 129,354 more objects. With this new CD you can display images for all of MegaStar5's 208,000 non-stellar deep sky objects!
MegaStar 5.0 Supplemental Image CD (PC) - $39.95
Special Offer—Purchase both MegaStar5 and the Supplemental images together and save $20.00
It's intuitive, it's easy to
use and unbelievably
Excerpts from Sky & Telescope's Review
. . . MegaStar is unashamedly targeted at deep-sky observing with, out of the box, data on more than 200,000 objects. Its primary database has around 90,000 deep-sky objects assembled from a wide variety of catalogswell more than 100 of them. Nowadays object databases are easy to come by via the Internet, but a unique feature of MegaStar is that many of the objects have had their positions and orientations manually correctedtens of thousands of improvements are claimed. Included catalogs that caught my eye were the less well known Tersan Globular Clusters and the Zwicky Compact Galaxies, as well as a new one to me: 2MASS Globular Clusters, a catalog with (currently) just two entries. In addition to the primary database, MegaStar also includes the 117,000 objects of the Mitchell Anonymous Catalog. This database comprises mainly galaxies and was compiled by experienced deep-sky observer Larry Mitchell. If that isn't enough, the software also has an option for a user-defined database.
To compile an observing list, MegaStar features a good selection of filters, accessed through a pop-up window. They include the obvious ones such as type, magnitude, and size, selected by constellation or with RA and/or declination limits. The tally can't have more than 5,000 objects, but it's hard to imagine the need for a larger one. A neat tough is that the entries in the resulting list are hot linksclick on an item and the sky chart jumps to that object.
The charts themselves have a few extremely useful extras over some other charting programs. First, nearly 80,000 deep-sky objects have their pictures built in. These are not just pop-up photographs but also ones overlaying the star chart in correct registration. They appear to be low-resolution Digital Sky Survey images and are generally 12 to 15 arcminutes square. The quality and size are more than adequate and in fact yield a good visual simulation. Second, the feature that really won me over was the multiple-chart printing facility. At least I could create, without any hassle, wide-field and close-up finder charts on one piece of paper. I also used an option for four charts, making one sheet with a constellation overview and three detailed close-ups of different objects. MegaStar also supports, but does not supply, the USNO-A2.0 catalog with more than 500 million stars down to around magnitude 22. Extracts can be downloaded manually from www.nofs.navy.mil/data/FchPix/cfra.html . . . . .
. . . I have not covered all of MegaStar's capabilities. If offers the majority of what you would expect modern planetarium software to have, such as eyepiece and CCD field-of-view overlays, colored stars, and object tracking. Variable- and double-star observers are not ignored and have their own options for lists and filters. It has the inevitable telescope-control option-true to its deep-sky origins, it even supports Mel Bartels's'ATM (Amateur Telescope Making) control system.
For the dedicated deep-sky observer and CCD imager who needs a source of interesting objects and the finder charts to go with them, MegaStar is probably close to ideal.
Supercharge your telescope with the best integrated database available today. MegaStar5 interfaces with LX2000, Sky Commander, NGC-MAX, Sky Vector, Advanced AstroMaster, Sky Wizard 3, AstroPhysics GTO, Sky Wizard CTI, MicroGuider III, Bbox, Celestron NexStar/GPS.
- An extremely intuitive, user-friendly interface. MegaStar was created by an avid amateur astronomer who was an observer long before he ever sat down before a computer. The result is software that works like an observer works and not like a computer programmer thinks it ought to work.
- Deep sky objects are plotted to scale, galaxies are rotated to show their position angle. When you observe, it is a lot easier to find things if you have an idea of what to look for. Knowing how large an object is and how it is oriented can make all the difference in the world. No other computer atlas is as good at this as MegaStar, simply because only MegaStar has a database that has been checked directly against the Digital Sky Survey by Larry Mitchell and Emil Bonanno. Literally tens of thousands of sizes, positions and position angles have been improved in MegaStarís database.
- Selectable field size from 180 degrees to 1 arc-minute, selectable to the nearest arc-second. The 180 degree field includes your horizon line and creates a ìplanetariumî view of the sky.
- Field center selectable to the nearest arc-second.
- Options for filtering stars and deep sky objects by magnitude, type, and catalog. Also includes NGC/IC, Herschel and Messier filters. Once you determine your telescopeís limiting magnitude you can filter out all objects too faint to be seen.
- On-chart labeling of objects.
- Inverted and/or mirror-image views. Plus the field can be rotated to orient the sky as you see it through your telescope or finder scope.
- Zoom in or out.
- Adjustable field panning.
- Night vision mode for use at your observing site.
- Selectable fonts, colors object symbols and cursor styles
- Save and restore multiple configurations. With this feature you can plan out an observing run step-by-step and return to all or part of it without having to setup all the parameters.
- Coordinate readout of cursor position, and distance/p.a. readout between two points
- Status Bar readout of field size, constellation, Uranometria 2000.0 chart number (both first and second editions), altitude and azimuth
- Quickly locate deep sky objects by designation or common name
- Quickly locate stars by SAO/HD/GSC/Flamsteed number, Bayer letter, or common name
- Click on an object to display information about that object. MegaStarís database is fully intergrated to not only include such things as size, magnitude, type, etc. but designations from other catalogs and much other useful data.
- Display eyepiece field of view for up to 20 customizable eyepieces
- Movable, rotatable image framer for CCD or film. Will also show the position of off-axis guider frames, to help you select guide stars.
- Telrad and finder scope field of view overlays
- Built-in Database Utility to generate filtered list of objects or add new objects
- Plot tracks of comets, asteroids and planets. Create ephemerides. Show moon phases.
- Add new comet, asteroid elements or modify existing elements. Element data files can be downloaded from Lowell Observatory and Minor Planet Center.
- Print professional-quality charts with any Windows-compatible printer. MegaStar is renowned for its chart making capabilitiesósee examples on facing page.
- Numerous chart-printing options, such as selectable fonts, colors, star symbol sizes, legends, etc.
- Copy charts to the Windows Clipboard for importing into documents
- Meade LX2000, AstroPhysics GTO, Celestron NexStar 5/8/GT/GPS, Sky Commander, NGC-MAX, Sky Wizard, Sky Vector, Advanced AstroMaster, BBox, MicroGuider III, Mel Bartels and RXDesign ServoCAT.
- User-definable hot keys and context menus add power and versatility to the user interface.
- Stars can be displayed in color according to their spectral class.
- 78,800 objects displayed have accompanying Digital Sky Survey photographs.
- More than 208,000 deep sky objects with data: up to 13 alternate designations per object, type, size, magnitude, classification, radial velocity, position angle, etc.
- 189,500 Galaxies
- 5,250 Galaxy Clusters
- 580 Globular Clusters
- 1,420 Open Clusters
- 1,140 Planetary Nebulae
- 370 Bright Nebulae (225 displayed as contours)
- 270 Dark Nebulae
- 7,300 Quasars
- 2,200 "Unknown/Non-Existent" NGC/IC entries
- Thousands of corrections to positions and position angles have been incorporated into the MegaStar database, the result of an extensive project of comparing the catalogs against the Palomar Sky Survey. These corrections are available only in MegaStar.
- Hubble Guide Star Catalog (over 15 million stars to magnitude 15.5)
- Hipparcos Catalog (118,200 stars)
- Tycho 1 and Tycho 2 Catalogs (2,558,000 stars)
- 45,800 Variable Stars (GCVS & Suspected Variables Catalogs)
- 81,800 Double Stars (Washington Catalog).
- Pentium Processor or better
- Windows 95, 98, 2000, ME, NT 4.0 or XP
- 32 MB RAM
- CD-ROM drive (2x or faster)
- Minimum of 40 MB hard disk space
- Minimum display resolution of 800 by 600
Got questions? Download a PDF verision MegaStar5's user manual here (3.3Meg) Note: this file is fully indexed and hyperlinked.
Click below for information about MegaStar:
- Sample Screen Captures
- Version 5 Program Updates and Bug Fixes
- Download the free trial version of MegaStar 5 for a "hands-on" evaluation.
- Got questions? Download a PDF verision MegaStar5's user manual here (3.3Meg) Note: this file is fully indexed and hyperlinked.
MegaStar5 Replacement CDROM
If you are a MegaStar5 owner and have lost or misplaced your CDROM will will replace it for $10.00.
NOTE: Even though shipping and handling will be applied by the shopping car, at the time we bill your account those charges will be removed and the total cost will be adjusted to $10.00.