History part 2 of the HNSKY planetarium program.

2004-3-10   HNSKY version 2.2.2j update or complete basic package 2.2.2.j Very small update night vision for Windows XP classic colors. Nightvision does not work for standard XP color schema. Updated Large asteroid file containing 10000 asteroids/minor planets (Version March 2004)

2004-2-15   HNSKY version 2.2.2i update Now the pointing circles and other markers can be removed by a second click on the object. Additional they can be saved in the settings file default.hns or any other *.hns file if selected.

2004-1-26  Added Exoplanets supplement conversion from by Matthias Greiner-Petter.

2004-1-22:  HNSKY version 2.2.2h update or complete basic package 2.2.2.h  Fixed a severe problem in plotting supplements in version G !!. Improved syntax check in editor.

2004-1-21: Upgraded the basic package to version 2.2.2g and included the images of the Moon, Mars, Jupiter, M81 and M82.

2004-1-14: HNSKY version 2.2.2g  The worldmap supplement is now rotated such that the object in the zenith is above your home town. Secondly new intermediate UCAC2 supplement to +90 degrees based on GSC_ACT !!

2004-1-10: New intermediate UCAC2 supplement/extension to +90 degrees based on Tycho-2 !! Size 6.5 Mbytes. HNSKY v 222e Fixed geocentric indication.

2003-11-29  Updated HNSKY v 222d (500 kbytes) for non-Ansi fonts in Windows (Japanese and others). Please report any font problem.

2003-11-26 (56 Kbytes) Dutch module, dated 2003-11-26. . Translation by Fred van Gestel.

2003-11-25 (56 Kbytes) Japanese module with constellation module, dated 2003-11-25. Prelimenary. Translation by Seiichi Horie.

2003-11-11 Minor update HNSKY version 2.2.2c (500 kbytes) indicated UCAC2 star number was oft one number too low. fixed.

2003-11-10 Very minor update HNSKY version 2.2.2b (500 kbytes) Star number search routine finds now all GSC and UCAC2 files even when limiting magnitude is set lower then star magnitudes.

2003-11-9 Download the UCAC2 from internet. Instruction how to reconstruct  USNO UCAC2  astrometric star catalog containing 48,330,571 stars from Vizier input files (internet download, 1.6 Gbytes).

2003-11-4 very minor update HNSKY version 2.2.2a (500 kbytes) Small correction in size of planetary moons. Allowing in all cases stars labels on/off. Fixed a non-english label in settings.

2003-10-23 Final version basic package HNSKY 2.2.2  (2 Mbytes) or update HNSKY version 2.2.2 (500 kbytes)

- Comet and asteroid label colors adjustable.

- Improved FITS routine including new colored deepsky fits images. If you place them in the your existing FITS directory, Remove manually your old monochrome M16, M20 and NGC2360 files. The last is identical to M16. The images are from Chris Deforeit homepage Wonderful good ! His images are copyrighted but "Non profit use welcome if credit given."

- Support for the new UCAC2  support see screenshots UCAC2

- New boldness routine for the GSC, USNO-A and UCAC2. It looks more natural however the boldness factor jumps if these catalogs are selected. So instead of reducing the contrast, the boldness is increased. The magnitude differences between the stars is now more easier recognised.

- Moon_map (B&W 1000x500 pixels) and medium maps of Jupiter and the Jovian satellites, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and  a large Mars map (Color 1000x500 pixels) and large Jupiter map (Color 600x300 pixels) . The planetary FITS files should be placed in your FITS directory. The FITS directory can be set in the menu SETTINGS, shortcut CNTRL-E  (The Moon map is now renamed to MAP_MOON.FIT so you could rename your old one. The new Mars map MAP_MARS.FIT is a COLORed version. Reports are welcome. Activate the FITS images (cntrl-F) to see Moon/Mars.

Conversion of maps was done with new HNS_FITS version 1.4.0 which can now produce RGB color fits. Maps are modified JPL/Nasa compilations from: James Hastings-Trew.  . See also

The optical libration of the Moon is included. The rotation of Jupiter's is based on red spot rotation info from Bill Gray's Web page about Great Red Spot transit times.  The mathematics are simple linear functions of time but a lot of vector based rotations in several x,y,z planes are required (one day I will maybe will write something about that). The orientation of planetary axis and rotational elements of satellites can be found in the following  IAU-IAG report


2003-10-15  GCVS 4.1 variable star supplement.  7800 brightest star version and 37382 star version  In these supplements the the GCVS are displayed as labels so you can easily cross check with Tycho or UCAC2. To get Tycho star info switch of supplement.

2003-10-8  Updated italian help file at non-engl.htm

2003-9-8  Basic package HNSKY221e (2 mbytes v2.2.1d) or update 221e (500 kbytes) Bugfix for problems with "pull zoom box" while repainting is not finished.

2003-8-30  Basic package HNSKY221d (2 mbytes v2.2.1d) or update 221d (500 kbytes) Bugfix for sometimes missing planet magnitude.

2003-8-29   HNS_FITS version 1.3.1. Bugfix for FITS utility HNS_FITS version 1.3.0

2003-8-15  Brazilian version of the Portugeuse language modue

2003-8-6  Updated the Help file in the Basic package HNSKY221c (2 mbytes v2.2.1c) or update 221c (500 kbytes)

2003-7-25 Fixed a severe bug in the HINT system !! download  Basic package HNSKY221b  (2 mbytes v2.2.1) or update 221b (500 kbytes)

2003-7-19 Basic package HNSKY221(2 mbytes v2.2.1)

2003-7-6   HNSKY v2.2.1ß11  Improved Saturns ring: sat_ring.gif  and switching on "North always up" keeps objects in the view.

2003-7-3   HNSKY v2.2.1ß10  Added "found marker magnitude". Improved the upgrade program for non-english version.

2003-6-23   HNSKY v2.2.1ß8+9  Experimental logbook function. Use "HOME" key to add entry in second supplement using the mouse position. Observations should be entered manually in second supplement using cntrl-4.

2003-6-22   HNSKY v2.2.1ß7f  Fixed more problems with the modified "pull square box by Mouse".  

2003-6-21   HNSKY v2.2.1ß7e  Fixed some problems with the modified "pull square box by Mouse".  Some small problems caused by hints have still to be fixed.

Now space ship like zooming in small steps possible. Use the Cntrl key together with PgUp/PgDn keys.

2003-6-17   HNSKY v2.2.1ß7d  Sync command for the ASCOM telescope driver.  Mouse pull square box possible without using shift or cntrl.

2003-5-11   HNSKY v2.2.1ß6  There have been two major changes in the version 2.2.1ß6:

1) If you are using a non-english version, use the attached upgrade.exe program to update since several labels in the non-English modules have been modified.

2) The shortcut labels in hns_Lmai.txt have been all changed to adapt them to the other labels in use. You have to update your personal settings completly using the attached hns_Lmai.txt file !

2003-5-5   HNSKY v2.2.1ß3  The new keyboard routine was more difficult to program then expected. Only with current version ß3 , I'more or less satisfied with the keyboard responses for the function and page up/down keys. The problem is that  I have to work around the standard key routine inside the pulldown menu.

2003-5-2   HNSKY v2.2.1ß  More internal changes in the keyboard/short cut routine. Introduced the "mouse wheel" for zooming.

2003-5-1   HNSKY v2.2.0k6  Introduced new behaviour in several menu windows. Position is now stored in  the settings file. Try also to double click on objects in the combo/list box of the SEARCH menu.

2003-4-29   HNSKY v2.2.0k4+5  Experimental version with adjustable short cuts. In the language file hns_Lmai.txt attached you find most hot keys defined. Just change the hot keys definitions as described and restart the program. Comments are welcome. New version of hns_fits  (v 1.3.0 ) which will work with images where East with West or North with South are swapped.

2003-4-26   Export.exe   Re-uploaded the 2001 GSC conversion program for conversion of the FITS to Binary GSC version since only the version was uploaded. This program will reduce your GSC 1.1 from two CD's to only 303 Mbytes.

2003-4-25   HNSKY v2.2.0k3  and HNS_REAL 1.0.3c. More adaption for the FITS format.  HNSKY accepts now the FITS files with a WCS header containing the new conversion matrix ( keywords CD1_1, CD1_2, CD2_1, CD2_2 instead of  CDELT1,2 and CROTA2 keywords). HNSKY will now work with FITS files from You can now use the batch routine of this provider to get FITS files.

2003-4-18   HNSKY v2.2.0j  Adapted for SBIG and Skyview 32 bits (-32) floating point FITS file format. Also HNS_REAL and HNS_FITS adapted for SBIG FITS files. Swapped the function of the left and right arrow for southern hemosphere users. Seperate update file (March 2003) for  the 2003 deepsky database files.

2003-3-26  Improved deepsky databases version 2003-3-26   based on 2003 NGC IC data of Wolfgang Steinicke. Number of objects will stay at around 26000 but more objects will get a magnitudes and surface brightness value

2003-3-11   HNSKY v2.2.0i  Fixed problem sending object info to Windows clipboard after mouse click.

2003-3-2   HNSKY v2.2.0h  New deepsky level 3 database HNS_SAC3.DAT !! Corrected position for several faint IC objects.  For HNSKY additional correction in the automatic suppression faint deep sky names. The help file is updated in the basic package hnsky220.exe version h

2003-2-23   HNSKY v2.2.0g  Automatically suppresses faint deep sky at wide field views. 

2003-2-8   HNSKY v2.2.0f  Fixed a missing repaint after changing AZ/Alt  to  RA/DEC grid is selected. Upgraded HNSKY, HNS_FITS and HNS_REAL for signed 16 bit FITS instead of un-signed 16 bit FITS. Not relevant for 99.5 % of the users.

2003-2-3  Korean sky map now with constellation names phonetic written in ASCII.

2003-1-25   HNSKY v2.2.0e  Problem with adjusting FONT family fixed. Now it works as in version 2.1.4. If any other problem arises, please report.

Auto adjust of brightness/background for HNS_REAL 1.0.3 the realsky/DSS viewer any many small but important inprovements. You have to own the Realsky or DSS cd's to be able to use this program.

2003-1-16  Korean Skymap "ChunSangYeulChaBunYaZiDo (B.C.100 ~ A.D.100),

2003-1-11  FITS images: Small update for supplementary fits images M11, M27, M57, M18, M42, M31, LMC, SMC in HFITS1.ZIP . The first three images are by made by myself. Some images where overexposed in the DSS. If you can provide other improved images, please inform me.  

HNS_REAL: Small update in the Realsky viewer version 1.0.2. Allows saving 8 FITS images with current brightness and background settings.

Hint: For Orbital Elements for comet C/2002 X5 (Kudo-Fujikawa) download:  

For info look to:

2002-12-30   HNSKY v2.2.0d  Fixed a small problem with the ASCOM tool bar. It became visible when loading an *.hns file where it was not docked. Secondly Cntrl-R made exclusively for cross hair.

2002-12-28   HNSKY v2.2.0c  Accuracy of rise/set times slightly improved.

2002-12-20  Updated the large asteroid file (0.5 mbytes) with the data of 10000 asteroids for december 2002.

2002-12-16   Conversion tools for original MPC, minor planet center files to HNSKY format. 50000 or all 187000 minor planets (could be slow) available.

2002-12-15   HNSKY v2.2.0b  Improved fix for FITS repaint problem after mouse click on zoom in/out buttons.

2002-12-12   HNSKY v2.2.0a  Fixed a FITS repaint problem after mouse click on zoom in/out buttons.

2002-12-11   HNSKY v2.2.0  Final version including december 2002 asteroid and comet file.

2002-11-12:  HNS_FITS version 1.2.1  Improved accuracy in case the image is streched. Added two more info fields and fixed a bug in the import routine for FITS files (resulting in harmless double entries). Several internal improvements.

2002 September, Oktober, November   HNSKY ß versions  Modified error messages for missing FITS and USNO files. Combined access of the GSC and USNO (SA) is now possible.  Mouse click finds USNO stars. The CCD measuring grid was 10 ,20 % wrong in size. Also the telrad size had to be slightly adjusted and fixed. HNSKY has now an ASCII default.hns file instead binary. Conversion goes automatically. This allows future changes in settings file without loosing you old settings. If required you can also modify the *.hns files yourself manually or by an external program. HNSKY can use the ASCOM  telescope driver directly ! You have to download and install the program from ASCOM too (7.2 mbytes). Secondly, many small internal changes in supplement interpretator. Now magnitude filtering for deepsky and stars works as desired. Found and fixed a position pre-filtering function in the supplement read routine. Large supplements such as Leda should now plot much faster. This bug was there for a long time. Also introduced magnitude filtering for deepsky and stars in supplement. Small correction in the pre-selection of FITS files so the FITS image corners are also visible wenn using high zoom factors. Secondly, smoother display of moon phase curve. Tiny correction in HNS_FITS for saving Fits files. Thirdly, renamed the 255 deep sky FITS files extension from .FIT8 to .FIT. Very small correction in repaint after switching on/off  "found instruments" "pointing circles."  Secondly "deepsky contours only" is switched on automatically if FITS images are enabled.

2002-9-11: For historical and scientific purposes, the complete Bonner, Southern and Cordoba Durchmusterung of the 19 th century in a HNSKY database:  Size 10 mbytes containing more then 1.000.000 stars.

2002-9-6:  HNS_FITS version 1.1.0 Introduced scroll bars, stretching image  (like zooming) and improved star locking. 2000-9-8 version 1.1.0a b. Small fix for disturbing white bars occurring outside images if previous reference stars where outside range. v1.1.0b, small fix for calculating mouse position in stretched images.

2002-9-4 : 1) Added batch routine for converting multiple FITS to BMP. 2) Added to the conversion tools a program to convert the 19 century Bonner, Southern, Cordoba Durchmusterungen to HNSKY format, equinox 2000.

2002-8-24 :  HNSKY 2.1.4d (950 Kbytes) Increased adjustable star boldness range with factor 2.

2002-8-23 :  HNSKY 2.1.4c (950 Kbytes) For FITS images improved square pixels (rotated). Looks much better.

2002-8-22 : Excel table for some people interested in changing the equinox of databases: Equinox routine in Excel implemented in visual basic using the rigorous method, so the accuracy around the poles is optimum.

2002-8-21 :  HNSKY 2.1.4b (950 Kbytes) Tiny correction. Asteroid magnitude calculation is updated after closing the editor.

2002-8-19 : Update in the Korean language module.

2002-8-11 :  HNSKY 2.1.4a (950 Kbytes) improvement in asteroid magnitude calculation.  Large asteroid file containing 43000 asteroids/minor planets  for year 2002.

2002-8-11 :  Conversion version 1ß4. Corrections

2002-8-7 :  Conversion utility for Skymap asteroid file to HNSKY format, experimental. Polish language module corrected.

2002-8-2 :  New Polish language module. See non-engl.htm .

2002-7-28 : HNSKY to ASCOM interface Allows use of the standard ASCOM telescope drivers for LX200, LX200 GPS Autostar, ACL based telescopes, Astro-Physics GTO mount, Nexstar 5,8,11 GPS, 114GT, Ultima 2000, Skysensor 2000-PC and TheSky-controlled telescopes . Supplementary program HNS_ASCOM.EXE using the DDE interface. Size 180 Kbytes inclusive source code, version 0.2 dated 2002-7-28. You have to download and install the program from ASCOM too (7.2 mbytes).

2002-7-20 :  Increased number of  hand made drawings as FITS file to 45.

2002-7-13 : Update for M24 position in database and FITS images.

2002-7-12 : For new users only,  new basic package  HNSKY214.EXE  (4 Mbytes) using the modern installation program Inno. Contains SAO star database and deepsky databases.

2002-7-8 :  After searching for a way to implement a Moon map in HNSKY, I found the following MOON MAP  (1000x1000 pixels JPEG file, 550 Kbytes), excellent painting by Don Davis for viewing, printing and so on. One of the best Moon overviews available. I did some experiences with implementing a Moon map in HNSKY but the quality is always lower then a fixed size image, so for the time being I have given up.

2002-7-7 :  Korean language module and help file. See non-engl.htm .

2002-6-26 :  Second set of  hand made drawings as FITS file bringing total at 16 pieces,

2002-6-16:  Oooeps, the LEDA supplement was damaged at my computer !  Now corrected. The original file unpacked should be about 4.4 Mbytes and contain 71357 lines. If not download this one HNS_LEDA.ZIP  (1.5 Mbytes). Updated two hints of the the non-English modules for the new deepsky database.

2002-6-14:  Corrected some open cluster FITS images. See 

2002-6-13:  Uploaded again HNS_LEDA.ZIP. Also some correction in the new hnsky deepsky  (HNS_SAC1..3.DAT) database. Still corrections for Messier possible. See erratta.htm

2002-6-11: Finally the new version  HNSKY 2.1.4 (950 Kbytes) for the updated deepsky database format. Introduced a new type IV deepsky database HNSKYD4.ZIP containing HNS_SAC1, 2 and 3.DAT database with 25.500 objects instead of the normal 10.000. Also the database format has changed, so this new deepsky database works only with this version 2.1.4. Numerical accuracy is now much better. The database is based on SAC72, Wolfgang Steinicke's REV_IC and Leda. Till magnitude 15.5. GX>=1 arcmin. Old deep sky databases are supported for some time as long "type III" is in the first line. Also introduced a HNS_LEDA.ZIP supplement with 71000 galaxies extraxted from the Leda database.

2002-6-4 : HNS_FITS 1.01a  On some computers/Windows versions a part of the large image was lost. Fixed.

2002-5-31 :  First set of drawings as FITS file, made by Todd Nowlan. (7 pieces.)

2002-5-26 : Added Chinese star supplement. See non-engl.htm

2002-5-18 : HNSKY 2.1.3e  Changed the color of the "found marker telrads".  Removed // by / in RC3 supplement.

2002-5-10 : HNS_FITS version 1.0.1. The  two reference stars are now marked and the North pointer is now updated after the WCS calculation.

2002-5-9 : HNSKY 2.1.3d  Made the found markers  "telrad" and "object name" resident. So you can print now maps with up to 12 telrads.

2002-5-7 :  New Portuguese and Hungarian language module. Small update in German one. See non-engl.htm . Updated  Milkyway supplement for new supplement standard of 2.1.3. So colours are now again medium and faint deepsky.

2002-5-3 : Fixed a bug in the copy to clipboard function. See HNSKY 2.1.3b  After second copy and paste, a message occured "clipboard not available". Fixed.

Secondly Comet 96P/Machholz 1 caused a floating point error in the year 1960. Error is now ignored and displayed in the status bar when stars are switched off.

2002-5-2 : Introduced German translation of constallation names. See non-engl.htm

2002-4-26 : Small improvement in the  lx200.exe program (Version 1.00b ). Added the # sign in the beginning of the instructions to the LX200, which should solve problems some users have. Updated the German language module. You will need HNSKY 2.1.3a since one text window was longer then foreseen.

2002-4-22 : Small correction in Resizing FITS windows after sampling change works now better.

2002-4-17 : Update most non-English modules with two additions.

2002-4-15 : Release HNSKY 2.1.3  Fixed a major accuracy problem with eclipses. Accuracy should be better now. Added the possibility to add an "user-defined-horizon". See attached supplement example hns_hori.sup. More flexibility in color selection. Now you can set the colors of inner, outer planets and moons different then stars. Introduced azimuth grid lines and modified the minimum size of planets for wide field views  to get same impression as bright stars.

Added a short article about averted vision in the v3.2.1 file.

The LX200 program version 1.0 is re-issued instead of version 1.1. As soon my LX200 is again back, more testing will be done.

Languages modules should be upgraded by downloading the latest versions, type 2131.

2002-3-23 : HNS_FITS 1.0b  Fixed a bug resulting in a major error when using small fonts in Windows 95 98.

2002-3-22 : French and Chinese language module.

2002-3-19 : HNS_FITS 1.0  Final version. Fixed a major bug of version 0.99

2002-3-9 : HNSKY 2.1.2c  Small improvement for  a better interpretation of comet files from

                  Secondly updated comet file for bright comet C/2002 C1 (Ikeya-Zhang) 

2002-3-5 :  Third party support. Fully translated Catalan help file, thanks to Xavier Peña i Antoni Clavell. Great job.

2002-3-4 : HNSKY 2.1.2b Improved night vision colors for the two FITS trackbars. I missed it while my telescope is already 7 months away for repair.  Secondly, corrected an DEC sign problem for stars with a negative declination.

2002-3-3 : Updated the HNSKY.HLP file for the new features. 1) Projection method, 2) Saving and loading program status, and new 3) Non-English, The help source hnsky.tpc file is available at www.hnsky/

2002-3-1 :   HNSKY 2.1.2  New version with the "AZIMUTHAL EQUIDISTANT PROJECTION" method. Hope you like it. I had to modify a lot in the very heart of the program to  make this happen. So it is possible I have missed something, so please report any abnormalities. Download the latest language module if your using a non-English version. 

2002-2-23 :   Recompiled  version 2.1.1 so the hint of the font button is now on. Uploaded Romanian module.

2002-2-16 :  HNSKY Final version 2.1.1 with seperate Italian, Spanish,  Russian, German and Czech versions. See non-engl.htm

2002-2-14 : Supplement Bright quasars and BL Lacertae objects  compiled of list from Wolfgang Steinicke webpage (02-2-14) by Graham Furstenberg

2002-2-11 : HNSKY v 2.1.0.o. Version 15, new color routine for displaying FITS. Now white FITS on blue background possible. Based on a idea (Alpha blending) of Leandro Rios.

2002-2-5 : Small change HNSKY v 2.1.0k. Fixed rise time of the moon if close to 23:59 hours.

2002-1-26 : HNS_DEEP.HLP 3.2.0. Added latest files of Steve Gottlieb for NGC5500 till NGC6500. 200 Kbytes more object info.. Update in , Italian, Spanish, Catalan,  Russian, German and Czech versions. See non-engl.htm

2002-1-13 :

- HNS_REAL  Final version 1.0.0. Added info "bandpass" and fixed a program crash problem.

- HNSKY 2.1.0f Improvement for repaint of the screen for FITS images. Small correction for hotkeys N,S,E, W with respect the North-up option.

2001-12-28 :   Added fits supplement containing large and small magellanic cloud. Also updated the size and orientation of the large megellanic cloud (LMC) in the deepsky  databases

2001-12-22 :Important: For HNSKY 2.1.0a or later, download the version II (5 mbytes) of the deepsky FITS files. (FITS files created 2002-12-22). Otherwise they will be about on image pixel shifted. There was a double but partly compensating error in the first versions. About one pixel in the FITS files and one pixel in HNSKY. The Fits files had 0.5 pixel shift to the WEST and 1 pixel to the North. HNSKY had 1 to the East and 1 to the South so total effext was only 0.5 pixel.

- HNSKY v2.1.0 b Added re-draw function by space-bar.

-  Version II of 253 deepsky FITS images  (5 mbytes)  Indentical as I, except for one pixel shift to the North and  0.5 pixel West correction. Use this version for HNSKY v2.10.a or later.

2001-12-19 :

- New program HNS_FITS to convert BMP files to FITS files with a WCS header. The right size and orientation is determined by entering two star positions. So now you can blend you own picture inside the map of HNSKY. See example files added.

- HNSKY v2.1.0 A very very small correction (one pixel) in the display of  the FITS files in HNSKY.

There is still 1 x0.5 pixel shift bug in the sub smapled FITS files produced by GET_DSS of HNS_REAL and therefore also in the FITS files provided.  

2001-12-11 : Final release of HNSKY version 2.1.0  Also added the possiblity to change to grid step.

2001-12-7 : 253 Deepsky images mainly from Realsky for use with HNSKY. A total 5 Mbyte  Delete your old FITS files !!

2001-12-4 : Almost final  HNS_REAL  v0.999 and HNSKY v 2.099 Check your brigthness/background settings in this version when you use your old default.hns

2001-11-17 :  HNSKY v 2.09ß8 and HNS_REAL  v0.995 These two you have to download to be able to view pictures from . This server produces 32 bit floating point FITS with adjustable resolution and size. First load the downloaded FITS pictures in HNS_REAL and then save them to 8 bit integer FITS. In the following package some nice high resolution example pictures of M8, M20 (0.3x0.3 degrees), M31 (2x2 degrees) and M42 (2x2 degrees) are included.:   Messier objects from Realsky North a total 1600 Kbytes, subsample 5 equals 8.5 arcsec/pixel plus 4 high resolution pictures from skyview.  The skyview converted pictures only work with Hnsky 2.09ß8

2001-11-07 : HNSKY v 2.09ß5  and all messier objects  Improved wild cards selection for FITS files. FITS sizing is now correct for files from:


2) This one allows subsampling and can therefore  produce small overview files of 90x90arcminutes. Select  pixel size a factor large then 1.7 arcsec/pixel. So 1.7 or 3.4 or... 17 arcsec/pixel.

Other DSS servers will not work. See below:

To get it running do not forget:

1) Set "Path to FITS files" in menu settings (cntrl-E)

2) Enable FITS in main menu "SCREEN"

I'm currently struggling with the two FITS format. There are many different FITS headers. HNSKY uses the WCS factors to decode the image. I have looked to all DSS servers and only the ESO server provide FITS file which can be read by HNSKY. Others do not provide a WCS plate solution or the RA/DEC position is missing.The standard DSS FITS header has 20 x,y polynom factors such such as AMDX1, AMDX2. I never read a FITS manual but by what they call backwards engineering,  I did found out how the decode the additional WCS headers. They are also much easier to decode. The DSS file produced with HNS_REAL has the the DSS FITS header plus the WCS (or also called IRAS which is a subset). At this moment only the ESO server produces DSS files with this addittional newer WCS header for encoding. One or two others do the same but do not provide a pixel reference or RA/DEC reference. That's why HNSKY can only read DSS FITS files from HNS_REAL and the ESO. Anyhow at this moment I will leave it as it is since the WCS is the new standard and used for many other surveys such as Sloan .

For cases that HNSKY becomes too slow due too many FITS files (100 files is no problem) wild cards such M_6*NGC4*.fit* could be used.

So to get FITS files inserted you can use :

1) HNS_REAL program to extract them from the DSS/Realsky. Here you can subsample them

2) You can download them from the ESO. Unfortunally only 1.7 arc/pixel. So large.

3) Download them from my webpage. See: software.htm

These files contains keywords such as CROTA2, CDELT1, CDELT2 and the position of the reference pixel. If anybody can or has a conversion FITS program to convert the other FITS files, please inform me !! Also detailed info regarding DSS polynom decoding is welcome. I have search ed through internet but this is complicated.

2001-11-05 : Experimental HNSKY v2.093. This version blend-in all available *.FIT FITS pictures. About ten *.fit pictures added to above file. This time I could test this version with a laser printer here. After some tricky try-outs ,it is now printing here correctly .

Tip: You can also download your own FITs pictures from the DSS online such as and just put them in your HNSKY directory. HNSKY will examine any FIT or FITS and blend in if required.

How this all happened: Initially I worked several weeks on my new Realsky viewer. The initial idea was to keep this viewer as a separate tool for the lucky guys who owned the Realsky or DSS survey. Then two days ago, Bill Anderson told me enthusiastically about new little pictures in Guide 8ß. This kept me thinking of something simular. I have been always most impressed the way Guide 7 handles several Realsky or DSS pictures. I haven't seen these new Guide 8ß little pictures, but just as an experiment, I spend a few hours try to merge my HNS_REAL FITS routines in HNSKY and yes.......very nice pictures suddely showed up in my mionitor.

So now you can have of each deepsky a small or large picture with the right size and orientation. In principle it was very simple. Every DSS/Realsky FITS file contains the corner positions, size and orientation. So with some tricky mathematics ,it is possible to calculate the RA/DEC position of each pixel in the Realsky picture and plotting it inside of HNSKY was pretty easy. So in future, you can expect a Messier or even bigger package of small FITS pictures which will nicely blend in HNSKY.

Please send in your comments

2001-11-02 : HNSKY  v.2.085 Fixed some nasty problems and added a new DDE item "center".  If you have v 2.085 dated 2001-11-1 please download this version 2001-11-2.

First when the DDE import was on, the program could not start in the Horizon mode. Fixed a problem with the DDE controlled  telescope cross. Fixed a problem that DDE import/export was not on, after HNSKY was started from HNS_REAL. So this could solve the DDE problems of some users. And finally added a new DDE item called CENTER to control the center of the screen instead of the DDE telescope cross. See HNSKY.XLS example in DDE examples

2001-10-27 : RC3 galaxy supplement or Third Reference Catalogue of Bright Galaxies. Contains 23011 galaxies. HNSKY v2.084a, very small update.

2001-10-20 : LX200/Autostar (ETX/LX90) control program version 1.1. Please send in user report.

2001-10-19 : Constellation supplement so people can make there own constellation version. Does not change the internal constellations.

2001-09-14 : HNSKY v2.083  New "North pointing arrow". Reorganized the SCREEN menu. Hope you like it.

2001-09-13 : Proud to present the HNS_REAL  Realsky ® or Digitial Sky Survey ® image viewer. See main page or . Here a screen shot demo . This viewer can be DDE controlled from the HNSKY program and objects can be centered by clicking on them with the right mouse button. Secondly there position can be send back by DDE to HNSKY using the left mouse button. So position of the objects can be compared. You have to own the Realsky or DSS CD's to use this program. Manual or DDE controlled Realsky image viewer. Click on an object and get the realsky image (you have to own the Realsky or DSS CD's). Click on the Realsky image and to center to get cross at HNSKY at the same place. Version 0.9 2001-9-13. Here a screen shot demo

2001-09-9 : v2.082a Fixed a problem with GSC placed in directories larger then F:\GSC (did not work with directory F:\GSC_ACT !)

2001-07-22 : Tycho-2+ available. about 6000 stars more. See Tyc_eval.htm and Tycho2+

2001-07-19 : Webpage moved to The programs and help files are adapted accordingly.

2001-06-28 HNSKY 2.082, Free choice of GSC and USNO path/folder. So you can store the GSC files under C:\GSC\... but also under C:\GSC_ACT\... and so on.

2001-06-17 Proud to present: version 3.1 of HNS_DEEP.HLP. Now fully indexed helpfile, 10.000 observations !!

2001-06-15 Proud to present: version 3 of HNS_DEEP.HLP Added observations of Steve Gottlieb. Size now more then doubled !!

2001-05-28 HNSKY v2.081a  Small improvement in GSC text search. Now the routine will find any GSC star.

2001-05-17 HNSKY v2.081  Introduction of simple but effective star magnitude scale.

2001-05-4   Small change in EXPORT.EXE. The GSC directories are now adjustable and GSC conversion can run at one DISK.

2001-04-27   Correction for HNSKY v2.08c. Forgot to remove a symbol  in the menu.

2001-04-26   Hnsky v2.08c. Small Fix for statusbar. Short abbreviation was not shown after text search and moving to status bar. Cause strange compiler/window phenomna with pchar.

2001-04-25   Hnsky v2.08b. Fix for reading GSC 1.2. Some GSC files with a header shorter then 100 bytes caused an error in the program. Fixed.

2001-04-21   HNSKY v2.08

- New graphic windows for dark skies and solar system tonight. This replaces the old style with characters. The reason was both remarks from users but also my new 19 inch monitor. Using large fonts in Windows spoiled the old style info window and it was time to make it font independent.

- Fixed North function. Now you can fix the chart orientation with North, South, West or East always at the top.

- RA/DEC information area and time area are sensitive and a mouse click bring directly the required change menu's,

- HNSKY is now capable of reading the binary GSC 1.2 (303 Mbytes only). In fact I used only a small part of the GSC 1.2 for testing. This part was downloaded using my modem. I still do not own the complete GSC 1.2  If anybody can help me with a complete copy of the GSC 1.2 that would be most helpful !. It can be downloaded only by internet. See the HNSKY helpfile for the internet addresses.

- Small correction for magnitudes (about 0.3) of the main planets. (Somehow a factor changed in my source code)

- Adjustable font and individual font sizes.

- Small color improvement in printing routine.  

- Correction for lunar eclipse. Aberration correction for SUN and MOON in Earth shadow added. Eclipses should now be correct within one maybe maybe two minutes.


2001-04-12  EXPORT.EXE GSC conversion, version 2001-4-12-cThe utility EXPORT.EXE has been extended with the possibility to convert the GSC 1.1 FITS format to the same binary format as the GSC 1.2. This means the GSC 1.1 in this format takes only 303 Mbytes on your harddisk instead of the 2 CD's , 1140 Mbytes total. The quality of the GSC 1.1 stays the same. It would be still nice to have the new GSC 1.2 which has been corrected for several errors in the

2001-03-13  Release HNSKY v2.073b. Correction for lunar eclipse. Aberration correction for SUN and MOON in Earth shadow added. Eclipses should now be correct within 1, 2 minutes.

2001-02-26  Release HNS_DEEP.HLP v2.00d, small editorial correction Herschel  observation list.

2001-02-13  Release of 2001 comet and asteroid files, included at program.

2001-02-12  LX200.EXE program v1.00 released. Indentical to previous v0.931ß.

2001-02-11  v2.073a Small correction Earth shadow for Lunar eclipse.

2001-02-09  v2.073 Final release. Fixed a small bug in the latest versions where parallax correction of the earth shadow was not implemented. Only essential for lunar eclipses.

Improved shadow calculation for moons.

New deepsky size & type filter in OBJECT menu.

2001-01-11  Release of v2.073ß2 and V1.062f. Moon empheride and orbit shadow correction for natural satellites.

2001-01-01  Release of v2.072 and 1.62e. Both version have small accuracy corrections for rise-set times and azimuth/altitude calculations in far future (2100 or so) and past.

2000-12-15  Release of updated Nexstar star and new LX200 alignment star supplements.

00-12-11  Release of HNSKY version of SAC 7.2 deepsky database.

00-11-26  Release HNSKY 2.071.

00-11-21  Release HNSKY 2.071ß5. and LX200 v0.92.Changed DDE interface, not compatible. Release SAO=>Next8 stars supplement.

00-11-18  New Milky-way supplement, first release of LX200 control program, release HNSKY v2.071ß2.

00-11-8 Improved SETUP.EXE program, all file are now installed. Re-vamp homepage.

00-11-5 Double star supplement based on SAC2.1/WDS, Sky commander program and source. Look under 10)

00-11-1  Upgrade of HNSKY.HLP help file. Included  the new features of version 2.07

00-10-24 Supplement upgrade: HN_DEEP 2.00c, very small corrections ony. New (prelimenary) variable star supplement by H.G. Lindberg.

00-10-22  Version 3.0 of worldmap supplement. Much better resolution then version 2.0.

00-10-22  win 3.1 version v1.62d. Fixed same error as in 2.07, orientation galaxies if screen vertical/horizontal flipped.

00-10-21  v2.07a   Fixed a small error in info window "dark night next days", range error could occur and wrong day.    

00-10-17  v2.07 Several improvements:

- Greatly improved color adjustment menu. See new set-up menu with all colors displayed at once.

- Possibility to copy automatically object describtion in window clipboard. So it can be pasted in a spreadsheets/word processor or so.

- Improved window, 'Dark skies next days' . The date and one day of week added.

- Improved world map. Contains now more then 2500 cities and locations.

- Azimuth/declination grid option added. 

- Undo view = CNTR-Z introduced.

- Fix in orientation. Program did not reverse orientation of  galaxies in case view was flipped horizontal or vertical.

- Fix in restoring horizontal and vertical flip. Was  reversed.

- The program accept *.hns files as parameter. Example:  HNSKY DEFAULT2.HNS. So if you register *.HNS in windows to HNSKY.EXE, you can just click on DEFAULT2.HNS or any other file.

- Supplements can have shorter names such as HNS_A.SUP.

- Several tiny text adjustments and other improvements.

00-08-29  v2.066a and v1.62c Magnitude correction for Iapetus was reversed (east/west). fixed.

00-08-28   v2.066 Wooow, everbody has been sleepy !!!!. Just found out that faint stars (one pixel format only) where plotted brigher then medium bright. Somehow this has been mixed up during testing because long time ago (before march 2000?) its was okay. Now it is fixed and  the star plots are more releastic !!!. So you have to download this version. Your default.hns is ignored to force you to use the new star colors.

00-08-26   Released deepsky help file version 2.00b. The loss of the "x" sign in the 2000 plus part off version 2.00a  corrected.

00-08-24   V2.065b, Small corection for 2.065a. Fonts where overlapping in screen for large font sizes due to using a system name for a variable. Fixed.

00-08-23   V2.065a, Small corection in font selection routine of internal editor.

00-08-21   V2.065,   A lot this time: First official release of DDE or dynamic data interface. See demo programs at 8). Fix for difference in rotation between arrow keys and mouse at corner of screen. Fix for moving mouse cursor to object (centering off in object menu). Introduced line draw mode in supplements. Existing color now showed in color dialog. WORLD map in the form of supplement. See supplementary supplements. Maybe usefull for external satellite programs using new DDE interface. Anyhow fun to create.

00-08-13   V2.064b,c  and v2.07ß3,4 Small  problem with D32 star files around M3 at high zoom factors fixed.

00-08-11   V2.064 Improved interpretation of supplement. DEC position  of  -00:19 is now correct. Problems found marker on/off fixed. Object name marker is now transparent. Time refresh updates now only Hnsky window, not full screen. (Thanks to Burghardt)

00-08-08   Story of the HNSKY program by Han Kleijn. See software page.

00-07-30   HNSKY v 2.063. Total revamp in locking routine. Still did not work proper in version 2.062. Now totally rewritten. Seperate routine for object lock and fixed ra-dec. Fix second name inner solar objects.

00-07-29   HNSKY v 2.062b. Small bug in locking fixed at high zoom factors and actual time on. Now it is possible to

move around at those conditions.

00-07-26 v 2.00a version of HNS_DEEP.HLP. Several format corrections made in SCO part.

00-07-23 Final 2.00 version of HNS_DEEP.HLP. Additional supplement with names of bright stars.

00-07-21 v2.062  Multi object marking with Telrad circles for preparing a field map. Fix of  floating point error in case planets where off.

00-07-13 v2.061a Small correction in editor syntax checking for supplements. Was accidnetly dependent on magnitude settings in object menu. File filter in file menu of editor was not optimum. Now set to HNS_*.SUP instead of HNS_*U*.SUP. Issued best NGC supplement.

00-07-12 SETUP.EXE updated for new file .SUP, .AST and .CMT extensions and reporting. Small update HNSKY.HLP.

00-07-07 HNSKY 2.061 Several small internal corrections. Allows switching off deepsky, planets, comets and asteroids. New asteroid, comet and supplement extensions. The supplement files have now the extension *.SUP, comet files *.CMT and asteroid files *.AST. Just rename your old files. Fixed also update problem after entering a new supplement name. Improved plotting of solar system objects.

Warning some funny effects could occur using old default.hns files for version 2.06a,b . If any please delete the default.hns file.

00-06-29 HNSKY 2.06a. Fixed a problem with check routine in editor.

00-06-27 HNSKY 2.06. released,  New HNS_DEEP.HLP version 1.99 released (previous HNS_2000.HLP). Size is now doubled with all observation notes of Steve Coe included. This Help files contains now about 1000 pages of A4 with deepsky info. !!!!.

00-06-25 HNSKY 2.0593ß Telrad circles color adjustable. HNS_2000.HLP renamed in HNS_DEEP.HLP.

00-06-23 HNSKY 2.0592ß test version with telrad. Fixed clean up statusbar

00-06-15 the New SAC7.1. deepsky database of the Saguaro Astronomy Club implemented in the HNS_SAC1.DAT, HNS_SAC2.DAT, HNS_SAC3.DAT.

00-06-14  Update for 2000+ plus help (v1.01) file with potporri of astronomical information such as annual meteor showers.

00-06-13  Release of version 2.053ß. Improved interpretator for abbreviations.

00-06-12  Release of version 2.052ß. Allows long messages on status bar. First preliminary version of deepsky databases based on SAC70.

00-06-07  Release of version 2.051ß. Improved time update routine. Up/down key for maximum star magnitude. Overvied for dark moonless nights for the next 30 days, Up/down key readable in "night vision mode". Action Arrow key in OBJECT menu improved.

00-4-20 Release of version 2.05c. Minor change in solar movement. Names are switched off during making tracks.

00-4-17 Release of version 2.05b. Moved the MOVE TO window more to the left. Was outside 800x600 window.

00-4-14 Release of version 2.05a. Only a small change in the file filter of the file menu for supplement 2.

00-4-9 Release of version 2.05. Swapped flip horizontal and vertical. Almost indentical to version 2.0497ß.

00-3-31 Version 2.0497ß. Some minor improvements. Stars and supplement files can be selectected by double clicking on name in object menu. Small magnitude error for stars fainter then 12.7 fixed. Where 0.2 magnitudes to bright. Same error in export.exe program fixed.

00-3-25 Version 2.0496ß.  Some minor improvements. Printing of planetary tracks now possible. Small correction find/replace function in internal editter.

00-3-24 Version 2.0495ß.  New function to plot the path of solar/planetary object such as comets and asteroids over adjustable time range. New supplement introduced under 8) containing 6395 Tycho-1-main and Tycho-1 stars as omitted in Tycho-2.

00-3-18 Version 2.0494ß.  Syntax check function for supplements and asteroid/comet files. Improved supplement interpretator. ,, is interpretated as ,0, or ,999, Replace function and cursor postion indication for internal editter.

00-3-17 Version 2.0493ß. Much faster USNO access. Statusbar can be switched off now. Was not possible in version 2.0492ß.

00-3-17 Corrected export.exe program for comparing D32 files.

00-3-16 Hnsky  version 2.0492ß with USNO A2.0/SA1.0/SA2.0 access, load of time related events, adjustable supplement names. Load several color setup's, improved close button objectmenu, Adjustable startup time option (actual or 24 hours). All beta versions will be accessible from here in future. USNO see http::

00-3-14  Export program for D32 and DAT star databases under 6)

00-2-28  v 2.04,  2000+  deepsky catalog in Windows help file for direct acces via HNSKY. With friendly permission from domain

00-2-26  v2.0399b, Bug fix version for 2.0399. Mouse click on deepsky did not work proper.

00-2-17 Tycho-2  in HNSKY format on the web, 21 Mbytes so you do not have to make this database yourself.

00-2-15  Updated Tycho-2 conversion program to add the remaining 10.000 stars where no mean RA/DEC position was given. Instead the the observed measurement is used. For 25 stars the VT magnitude is missing and BT used instead. Brings to a total of 2557489 Tycho-2 stars.

00-2-13  Updated asteroid and comet file valid for the year 2000 added.

00-2-09 Release version 2.0393. SUPPORT FOR THE NEW TYCHO-2 star database (I/259, released 8 feb). 2.5 million stars. Secondly CCD measurung frame and user adjustable view size. You have to download the Tycho-2 yourself and run the conversion program under 4).

99-12-28  Release version 2.03. Improved object menu for star/deepsky boldness, density and magnitude limits. Secondly draw/pull new view with mouse. See for this 'tip of the day' in the program.

99-12-4  Release version 2.02. Direct move to north, south, east,west and zenith..

99-11-29 Major release of version 2.01 with full NGC/IC description such as NGC214 , pretty faint, pretty small, little elongated gradually very little brighter in the middle. Important you have to download the new extended deepsky databases to get the full description. Or you could rename your old databases but you will miss the extended description.

99-10-3 Release of HNSKY version 2.00.

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