Using SGP with Planetarium Software?


Is anyone successfully using SGP and Planetarium software, such as Stellarium?



I use it with Cartes do Ciel just fine. What kind of mount do you have?

Jared Wellman
Co-Owner and Developer
Main Sequence Software


I’m not exactly sure what you mean, since SGP and Stellarium work
independently of each other, but yes I am using SGP and Stellarium. I
connect my mount to Stellarium for the initial mount slew (or for visual
observation), but then after that I don’t really use Stellarium from that
point on. I do a solve and sync in SGP to get accurate mount coordinates
and synced to my mount pointing model and SGP does everything from then on.


Thanks Jared and Joel for your replies. So far I have gone without using any planetarium software at the mount although I make considerable use of Stellarium in deciding on targets, measuring lunar angular distance and the like. I was just concerned that having two programs “talking” to the mount simultaneously might make for conflict. I am using an AP1600 mount.



Shouldn’t be any problem at all. I have PHD, SGP, CdC all connected and it
works well. It’s really more of a question of your ASCOM driver being able
to handle it. The AP one most certainly can.

Jared Wellman
Co-Owner and Developer
Main Sequence Software


No issues connecting to it via Sky Safari on my iPad or just using my ancient copy of TheSky6. I can either connect directly to it via the G2 or using SGP as the hub. I usually use the Framing and Mosaic Wizard for framing targets. Or, just go on Astrobin, find a picture I like, and create my target list from there.


Terry, the astro physics ascom driver doesn’t have any issues to handle
multiple programs. I’m using my mach1 mount with SGP, phd2 and TheSkyX



Thanks for the replies to this thread. I think I really pushed Terry into posting the question due to our discussions via email.I am happy to hear that folks are successfully using planetarium software with SGP already running the mount. I have an AP1100, so similar control situation to Terry. One question to MarkS, do you find the SkyX to be a huge resource hog? I have Starry Night Pro and even on a Core I5 laptop with 4GB of RAM running Win7 x64 it seems to have a big impact on system resources. I know Stellarium is much better behaved, but I am not sure its object catalogs are complete enough. That may be my perception.



Kirk, I’ve been using Stellarium for several years and it has slowly gotten better as far as object catalogs. You are right though, its object database is not as complete as other programs, and you need to download add-ons etc. I’ve found the Messier, NGC and IC catalogues to be good, and even searching for sharpless objects usually turns up results. But with SGP I hardly ever really use a planetarium anymore.

I’d be very interested to hear from others how user friendly CDC is. I tried it once a long time ago and felt that the interface was a bit clunky, but we each have our preferences.


I may be a creature of habit, but I am still partial to starry nights. The Tak Temma driver also allows connections from multiple sources. That said, SGPro has features in it that, when used, I never really have to open a planetarium anymore. SGPro is pretty self sufficient these days.


Thanks Joel. I do use Stellarium for sky reference at the mount. The last time I used it for telescope control was back in 2010 when I first got my G11/Gemini 2 and I found that having to use Stellarium Scope was a bit clunky and a hit or miss setup. I hope it has improved. I do like it’s low resource profile.
I too tied CDC and was not happy with the interface. The mouse did not control the screen like other planetarium programs IIRC you needed to use the keyboard arrows, so I abandoned it at that time. That was also circa 2010. Again maybe it has improved. I can try downloading it again and giving it another shot.



Ken, I too like Starry Night. I just find that in order for it to be so pretty, it uses too many system resources. I do appreciate that SGP is very self-sufficient. If I plug in a set of RA/DEC coordinates on the Target Settings screen, does it expect J2000 as opposed to say… JNOW coordinates? Sorry if that is a dumb question, but I have seen both formats presented by various programs.


Hi Kirk,

No, I haven’t noticed any impact from TSX - but I have 8GB ram and an i7
laptop. Yes, its object database is hard to beat.



Hi Mark,
Are you using the Pro version of TSX? It is a bit pricey at $329 and I noticed TSX Serious Astronomer Edition is less than half the Pro price at $144. SB did offer me a $50 coupon towards Pro because I have demo version of TheSky v5 LII that came with both my ST8300M and my STi from SBIG.



Just to add to the types of planetarium programs that can be used. I use ECU and C2A with SGP and find them excellent.


Yes, I’m using the Pro version. But only because I bought it before using
SGP when I wanted to make TSX my main image acquisition program. Today I
would just buy the Serious Astronomer version.



Mark, thanks for the feedback!


I apologize for bringing this back from the grave.

I recently purchased Starry Nights Pro 7 Plus. I enjoy using a good planetarium software to better visualize the night sky and see where targets are, where they will rise and set, and with my field of view indicators displayed I can see how they will frame.

To that end I would like to be able to find a target in Starry night and transfer the RA/DEC coordinates to SGP. I’ve recently learned that through Stellarium I can do this pretty easy by simply selecting a target and pressing control-C to copy and then in the target menu I can control-V to paste and it fills it all in for me.

I have not yet found something similiar with Starry night. If you are still a fan of Starry night perhaps you will know if there is a way to copy paste or export this info. I assume you no longer need to do this but I still find it helpful. Hopefully you have some ideas for me.


There is no cut and paste option, but we do support direct import:


I agree with Michael - I often start with Starry Night to identify target (has a photo realistic panaromic photo of my back yard which outlines multiple obstructions I have to deal with).

SGP is a great program with efficient access to many features and equipment options. As a relatively new user, I have found the input of target, in comparison, to be relatively “clunky”. For now, I usually Google my target and copy/paste the RA/Dec from the wiki page. However would prefer to either (i) find target via planetarium such as SNPP, CdC, Stellarium and then push to SGP (button, not cut and paste) or (ii) have search option right in SGP

I guess these would be considered nice-to-have options and not in the core scope of SGP function. Perhaps this should go into the “Feature Request” section.

My $0.02

PS. I’m very happy with SGP to date - still climbing the learning curve …