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"Hallo Northern Sky" 3.3.1a

Search the skies with this free planetarium

by Mike Williams

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License: Freeware
Operating Systems: Linux, Windows 10, Windows 7 (32 bit), Windows 7 (64 bit), Windows 8
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Languages: English
Software Cost: Free
Date Updated: 19 March 2017
Watchlist: Add download to my watchlist
Downloads To Date: 556
Developer: HNSKY
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"Hallo Northern Sky"
Search the skies with this free planetarium

"Hallo Northern Sky" (aka HNSKY) is a free planetarium package for Windows.

Aimed at experienced amateur astronomers, the program can control telescopes via ASCOM or INDI, has a detailed deep sky database covering more than 30,000 objects, and supports searching online in various professional astronomical databases.

No use for any of that? No problem, the program can also be used by anyone who likes to browse deep space images.

Open HNKSKY and it displays a view of the sky from the default location. (You can update this to match your own, but if you just want to look at pictures that isn't necessary.)

Spin the mouse wheel to zoom in and out and you'll see labels showing you the location of various planets and stars.

If you see "Saturn", maybe, and decide you'd like to see what the planet's rings look like, you can spin the mouse wheel some more to zoom in, or click and drag to draw a rectangle around the area you'd like to view.

Alternatively, click Search, type Saturn and press Enter to go to the planet directly. Enter other planets in the Search box to take a look, or click buttons like Stars, Asteroids or Comets to see what's available.

Don't expect too much-- these starting images look reasonable, but they're not high resolution. If you want something better then in theory you can right-click, select "Get DSS image from internet" and choose a source, but for some reason this didn't work for us. One source displayed an error message, the other gave us pixelated red grids rather than real sky imagery. A pity, but we've no idea if this was an issue relating mostly to us, or the program, so it's possible you might be luckier.

Verdict:

"Hallo Northern Sky" is aimed at the experienced astronomer, but can also be used as a simple sky-object-viewer by anyone interested in the topic. We weren't able to download hi-res images, but you may have better luck, and even without that there's a lot to explore.
 

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Spotlight: Free Full Software

Windows 10 October 2018 Update (build 1809)

Free Full Commercial Software

This is the latest version of Windows October 2018 Update. it's a media creation tool that can be used to upgrade an existing installation of Windows or create installation media for another PC. Just make your choice after launching the tool and it'll do the rest.

What was new in Windows 10, when it was released? The OS brought back the Start Menu, though with a Windows 8 twist: live tiles keep you up-to-date with the latest news while also providing an easy way to launch apps. (Don't worry if you prefer the Start Screen, it's still there and you can boot into it if you prefer.)

Apps now work much more like regular desktop programs. They have minimise, maximise, restore and close buttons, and can be resized (to a degree) and organised however you like.

If you've still lost track of a program in the mass of open windows, a new Task Spaces feature can help. Click its taskbar button and you'll see thumbnails for everything running now, a little like OS X's Mission Control - just click something to switch to it.

Better still, Task Spaces also supports virtual desktops. Add extra desktops as required and it'll display thumbnails of each one, making it easy to identify whatever you're after and switch to it.

There's also smarter snapping, new customisation options, and even a bunch of experimental additions to the command prompt.

Fall Creators Update brings a whole host of new features for Windows 10. See the Microsoft Blog for more information.

The Windows 10 ISO here will give you build 1809 which is the October 2018 Update.

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