Skysafari3 plus

We recommend SkySafari3 Plus  or pro with a touch screen device (especially i-Pad, i-Phone, and i-Pod touch) as the software interface for Nexus as we think it represents a very advanced intuitive graphical interface and also the best software value-for-money on the market at this time .

You can download the software as an app directly to your Apple device from i-Tunes or for your Android device from the Android market.


Sky & Telescope Review extract

"Smart-phone and tablet-based planetarium programs are game changers... Many of these programs behave similarly and have comparable features, but Southern Stars' Sky Safari 3 stands out for its pedigree... The Pro version of Sky Safari 3 has completely replaced my desktop planetarium program. Before now, we could only watch the sky on computer screens. With SkySafari 3 we can touch the sky, and that's revolutionary."

- Joe Heafner, Sky & Telescope, December 2011 

Please Note
Some of the following text and most of the images below are reproduced from the Southernstars website :
The copyright of the original text and images rests with Southernstars, and is acknowledged, and this material is reproduced here only with a view to illustrating the high quality their software prodcuts SkySafari3 plus and SkySafari3 pro, to inform your purchase decision .

SkySafari 3 Features

The following features are shared by all three versions of SkySafari 3, Basic, plus and pro :

  • Precision Graphics - SkySafari accurately shows the sky from any location on Earth, at any time up to 100 years in the past or future.  SkySafari Plus and Pro are precise astronomical calculators, computing the positions of solar system objects to sub-arcsecond precision with the latest JPL planetary ephemerides.

  • Compass & Gyro Support - If you have an iPhone/iPad with a compass, or an iPod Touch with a gyroscope, SkySafari can help you identify stars and planets by holding your phone next to them. Tap the Compass/Gyro button (or shake your phone) to activate the compass -  as you move the phone around, the sky chart then follows your motion. Search for any object in the sky, and follow the arrow on screen to find it !

  • Night Vision - SkySafari 3 has a "Night vision" button to give a red display which preserves your dark adaptation.

  • Tonights best - SkySafari 3 will display a list of the best targets which are above the horizon at your location and time during your observing sessions.

  • Observing Lists - you can create your own observing lists as a short cut to your favourite objects, or ahead of an observing session to save time. 

  • Advanced Information Content - SkySafari is a complete astronomy handbook that fits in your pocket.  It contains hundreds of images from NASA space missions, the Hubble Space Telescope, and the world's foremost amateur and professional astro-photographers. It provides extensive on-line help, including an illustrated guide to basic astronomical concepts. Unlike other some stargazing apps, which just give you Wikipedia links, SkySafari  object descriptions are carefully researched and fact-checked - and available at the eyepiece, no internet acess needed.

  • SkyWeek - SkySafari 3 includes SkyWeek - the mobile version of Sky & Telescope Magazine's super-popular "Sky at a Glance" column. SkyWeek features interactive sky charts for each day of the week, and links to more articles on S&T's website. SkyWeek shows you all major sky events: eclipses, conjunctions, good meteor showers ( requires internet acess) .

  • Time Flow - The Time Flow feature lets you animate the night sky using simple VCR like controls - follow the motion of the stars and planets as SkySafari compresses days, months, and years into a few seconds.


PLEASE NOTE only SkySafari3 plus and SkySafari3 pro include telescope control software the basic version does not !!
Here are some screen shots of SkySafari running on the i-Phone

Left: The Orion Nebula (M 42) in SkySafari Pro,
with stars to 15th magnitude.
                 Right: Scope control interface "Night Vision" mode.


Left: SkyWeek shows simplified sky charts
for every night of the week.
                                   Right: the orbit of Alpha Centauri with
                                          components shown in mid 2010.

PLEASE NOTE only SkySafari3 plus and SkySafari3 pro include telescope control software,  the basic version does not !!

GoTo Telescope Control

SkySafari3 Plus and Pro can control  GoTo telescopes,  by using the Wi-Fi capability built into your iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch or android device and a suitable wireless relay device.
SkySafari3 has been tested with the following telescopes :
  • Meade LX-200 Classic and GPS
  • Meade LX-90, ETX, LXD, LX-400 ACF with AutoStar #497 controllers
  • Meade Magellan I and II
  • Celestron Ultima 2000
  • Celestron NexStar 4/5/8, 5i/8i, GPS, SLT, SE
  • Celestron CG5, CGE, CGEM, CPC
  • Orion Sirius, Atlas, SkyView Pro, SkyQuest XTg
  • SkyWatcher mounts with SynScan controllers
  • Takahashi Temma 2
  • ServoCAT Argo Navis, Sky Commander, Losmandy DSC
  • Astro-Physics GTO, Losmandy Gemini, Vixen SkySensor 2000
  • Tangent Instruments BBox, JMI NGC-MAX, Celestron AstroMaster, Lumicon SkyVector, Takahashi Super Navigator, Dave Ek Box



Dobsonian Telescope Control with Nexus  
By fitting one of our IDOL kits incorporating Nexus to your Dobsonian telescope you can enjoy all of the advanced features of Skysafari3 plus or pro via the Nexus wireless DSC controller device. 
Details of Nexus are HERE.
Details of our IDOL Dobsonian Kits are  HERE.
Videos of SkySafari 3 plus controlling one our IDOL equipped Dobsonians are HERE

Here are some screen shots of SkySafari running on the iPad, images copyright Southernstars, higher resolution versions are on the Southernstars website .


The Moon passes through the Pleiades star cluster (M 45).

The Object Info view shows an extensive collection of images and descriptions of more than 1000 objects.

Double shadow transit of Jupiter's moons Io and Ganymede (off screen).

The Moon passes through the Pleaides star cluster (M 45), with the Night Vision theme turned on.

Animating Saturn's moons and shadow on its rings.

SkySafari shows a winter sky scene.

The Lagoon Nebula (M 8) and Trifid Nebula (M20) in SkySafari Pro,
plotted with stars to 15th magnitude.

The heart of the Virgo Cluster, shown by SkySafari Pro with galaxies to 18th magnitude.