Cartes du Ciel / Sky Charts 

Sky Charts 2.7
November 2001
by Patrick Chevalley 

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This program enables you to draw sky charts, making use of the data in 16 catalogs of stars and nebulae. 
In addition the position of planets, asteroids and comets are shown.

The purpose of this program is to prepare different sky maps for a particular observation. 
A large number of parameters permit you to choose specifically or automatically which catalogs to use, the colour and dimension of stars and nebulae, the representation of planets, the display of labels and coordinate grids, the superimposition of pictures, the condition of visibility and more.
These features make this celestial atlas more complete than a conventional planetarium. 
Please look at the catalog descriptions in the documentation for explanation about the catatogs used and how to obtain other catalogs for use with the program. For most of them you must use a binary version available from the web site


Why freeware?

I originally developed this program for my personal use, because I like to adapt my tools to my needs. In my opinion the functionality of Sky Charts might be of interest to amateur astronomers or students. Therefore I decided to distribute it as freeware. I feel that you should invest your money in buying a good eyepiece rather than to waste it on software!

Terms and conditions

"Sky charts" is a  freeware. You can freely install and use an unlimited number of copies for your personal use or redistribute it freely with the restriction that you must not modify it and that you include all the documentation files. 
Any commercial use is, however, prohibited. 

For the conditions and citations of the single catalogs, please refer to the original descriptions in the files ".TXT" in the  subdirectory "CAT\". 


I would like to thank the Centre de Données Astronomiques de Strasbourg as well as the Astronomical Data Center who make accessible valuable astronomical catalogs to any amateur astronomer.

Sky Charts uses catalog extracts provided by these two institutions:

5/50 Bright Star Catalogue 5th Revised Ed. Hoffleit+ 1991
5/102 SKY2000 - Master Star Catalog Version 2 Sande+ 1998
1/197A Tycho Input Catalogue Revised version Egret+ 1992
1/239 The Hipparcos and Tycho Catalogues ESA 1997
1/259 The Tycho-2 Catalogue Hog+ 2000
1/220 The HST Guide Star Catalog  Lasker+1992
1/237 The Washington Visual Double Star Catalog USNO 2000
2/214 General Catalog of Variable Stars Kholopov+ 1998
2/219 New Catalogue of Suspected Variable Stars Supplement  Kazarovets+ 1998
7/118 NGC 2000.0  Dreyer 1888, Sky Publishing ed. Sinnott1988
7/155 Third Reference Cat. of Bright Galaxies de Vaucouleurs+1991
7/119 Catalogue of Principal Galaxies Paturel+ 1999
5/84 Strasbourg-ESO Cat. of Galactic Planetary Nebulae Acker+1992
7/9 Lynds' Catalogue of Bright Nebulae Lynds 1965
7/202 Globular Clusters in the Milky Way Harris 1997
7/92A Open Cluster Data 5th Edition Lynga 1987
6/79 Lunar Solution ELP 2000-82B Chapront-Touze+ 1988
6/87 Planetary Ephemerides  Chapront+ 1996
6/49 Constellation Boundary Data Davenhall+ 1989

I would also like to mention the US Naval Observatory who kindly supplies the USNO-SA1.0 CD-ROM,  the Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams for the elements of comets and asteroids and their permission to distribute these files, and Lowell Observatory for the asteroids elements.

The Saguaro Astronomy Club distributes Database Version 7.1

Michael. G. Christensen produces the FITS table with Uranometria 2000 charts boundaries.

Eclipse Predictions by Fred Espenak, NASA/GSFC

Satellite calculations use QuickSat by Mike McCants,
Iridium flare predictions use Iridflar by Robert Matson
Thanks to both for permission to include their software and data
with this package.


This program is written entirely in DELPHI 5

Calculations of the ephemerides of planets between 1900 and 2100 are based on "Ephemerides of planets between 1900 and 2100 Chapront-Francou, Bureau des Longitudes 1996". The program serie96.f was rewritten in Pascal and included in a DLL.

Planet calculations between -3000 and +3000 are based on plan404 by Steve Moshier, a DLL interfaces this C program.

Calculations of the ephemerides of the Moon are based on "Lunar Solution ELP 2000-82B Chapront-Touze, Bureau des Longitudes 1988". The program elp82b.f was rewritten in Pascal and included in a DLL.

Planets satellites calculation between 1997 and 2020 use posxy by J.-E. Arlot, Ch. Ruatti, D.T. Vu et  W.Thuillot, Bureau des Longitudes. The program diffpos.f was rewritten in Pascal and included in a DLL.

Many calculations are based on the essential "Astronomical Algorithms by Jean Meeus".

RealSky® CD support uses a library developed by Bill Gray of Project Pluto.

Some graphic files formats use the library "NviewLib.dll" by K. Nishita.

Some graphic components use the Delphi library RXLIB.

Support for GZIP compression format uses ZLIB by Jean-Loup Gailly and Mark Adler.

I would especially like to thank all the people who translate the program into different languages.

French Patrick Chevalley
English Patrick Chevalley, Luca Crivelli
Italian Luca Crivelli, Lorenzo Lodi
German Luca Crivelli, Martin Schoenball
Spanish Enric Ollé
Catalan Antoni Clavell
Dutch Arjen Hofland
Portuguese Hugo D. Valentim
Thai Wiphu Rujopakarn
Polish Tomasz Sciezor
Czech Ondrej Subrt
Romanian Robert Panduru, Sorin Marius
Hungarian Lorant Kiss
Serbian Aleksandar Zorkic
Russian Serge Zukanov
Croatian Petar Varat
Slovak Hornak Maros
Brazilian Portuguese Kdio
Greek Andreas Papalambrou
Ukrainian Andriy Slezenko
Esperanto Ramon Perera, Antoni Clavell

Many thanks to Luca Crivelli and Greg Roberts for their help with the development of the program.