This is definitely off topic for RV’ing, so you can be forewarned and skip it if you like.
I have more time on my hands than is good for me, and I have been getting re-interested in astronomy. Not that I’ve ever lost interest – even subscribed to a year of Astronomy magazine, but that’s another story in frustration.
When my ex husband gave me a telescope for Christmas 2000, there was software included that I can’t find, but it is no doubt only for Windows based computers and I need something for the MAC. I want a simple backyard observer type program – nothing fancy or 3-dimensional. The software I had was absolutely perfect for me – you could set it for your location and time and it was set in memory until you moved or changed it. What it showed was a line depicting the horizon, and directions printed below letting you know what was in the sky to the N, NE, E, SE, S, etc. The stars were depicted in their proper location above the horizon.
You could move in any direction with the cursor and find out what stars were in view. You could even move the focus to straight overhead, and change from stars to planets only. It was absolutely perfect for printing out a section of what was up in the sky (to take outdoors for viewing).
I spent hours last night as well as a couple this morning trying to search for software that will allow me to see what’s up in the format that I want it to be. I don’t want 3 dimensional viewing; I don’t want to travel through space, go to the moon or other planets and see the sky from their vantage points. I want a backyard chart for me, right here and now. Why is that so unavailable any more?
If anyone out there knows of the kind of software I’m looking for I’d appreciate hearing from you. I am nearly certain that the computer it was loaded on was the PC before my last one which I bought in about 2003. That is long gone, so my only hope is to find my original software and maybe buy a really cheap windows based laptop to load it on. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about getting an inexpensive laptop that I can load software on that isn’t available for the MAC. Mainly games such as Mahjong and FreeCell, but also old programs that I loved and used. No web surfing, email or anything that invites scamming.
As far as Astronomy magazine goes, it drives me crazy with calling old familiar celestial objects by their numerical designation. Who the heck refers to M1 (I think that’s the Crab Nebula)? I wonder why newly found objects are given a numerical code, and how memorable is that? I prefer the beautiful old melodic sounding names, such as Andromeda, or Cassiopeia-distinctive because of it’s “W” shape formed by 5 bright stars. I would never remember that if it was called by an “N” or an “M” number.
Okay, I’m finished. Back to searching for old software depicting the night sky in my backyard. By the way, I’m desperately trying to not think about RVing or traveling until I know that I can do it in the future.