If you’re into your astronomy, then CyberSky could well be the application for you. It promises to deliver a view of the night sky from any location and just about any time, letting you peer all the way back to 15,000BC or take a peek into the far future up to 15,000AD.
Once launched, you set your location, choose a time and then view the night sky from any vantage point. Zoom into the picture to reveal more depth, use the mouse to change vantage point or switch on the animated feature to see how the sky changes as time passes – you can control the speed of this process to view days, weeks or even months of celestial activity at a time.
The program aims to appeal equally to amateurs and professionals, children and adults. It shows all of the night sky’s objects, from stars to planets and moons to meteor showers, and you can choose exactly what gets shown on-screen. It’s all relatively straightforward to control, with options for quickly switching locations, jumping to specific time points like noon or sunset, and being able to change your vantage point swiftly and with the minimum of fuss.
The program is also capable of exporting maps as images or providing printouts for reference, and there’s a comprehensive help system for those who need it, although much of the program’s functionality can be worked out through trial and error.
This trial version allows you to test the program on up to 30 separate days before registration is required. Other limitations are that fewer stars and deep sky objects are displayed, and that all printouts are watermarked.