SkyGazer is a great application for anyone who is into astronomy or who would like to start exploring the skies. It contains a detailed database of celestial bodies, including nearby stars, nebulae, planets, constellations, comets, asteroids and satellites. It lets you view and explore this great atlas in two different ways. The default view puts you in a virtual representation of a square at night. You can click and drag to pan around this panoramic image and when you do so, in the bottom-right corner, you will see your bearings.
Unfortunately, the program didn't detect where I was when I first launched it. I had to manually select my location from the world map. The major cities are all available from the drop-down menu.
There are many features that are noteworthy, but my favorite one can be found on a little window called "Time". Here, you can set some parameters for the software to simulate the rotation of the earth. By default, the application shows this movement using 1-day increments. In this case, you see all the stars rotate quite fast and you can't really tell what is happening. If you change this value to 1-minute, you will be able to see how the sun rises from the east and sets on the west, all in only a minute, or so.
- Very detailed data base
- Nice interface
- Lots of interesting features
- A bit pricey