The search view lets you search for objects, by typing their names, or by choosing them from lists. In SkySafari Plus and Pro, the Search view also lets you manage observing lists, which are lists of objects that you can create and edit yourself. Observing lists help you plan your observing sessions, and record logs of your observations.
At the top of the list view is a search field. Enter all or the first part of an object's name; then tap the Search button to display a list of matching objects. For example, if you search for "Saturn", SkySafari will find both the planet Saturn and the Saturn Nebula.
You can search for an object using any of its catalog designations. For example, the Andromeda Galaxy can be found as M31, NGC 224, UGC 454, PGC 2557, MCG 7-2-16 or CGCG 535-17. Likewise, the double star Porrima can be found as Gamma Virginis, 29 Vir, HR 4826, SAO 138917, BD -00 2601, HIP 61941, STF 1670, ADS 8630 or WDS 12417-0127.
You can find all objects in a particular catalog by entering just the catalog name (or its standard abbreviation) For example, you can find all the Caldwell objects by searching for just "Caldwell" (or "C") without a specific object number.
All of the objects matching your search will be displayed in the list of results. Objects below the horizon are dimmed, but still selectable.
Choose a specific object from that list to bring up the Object Info view for that object. If there is only one object which matches the name you entered, the Object Info will be shown immediately, without a list of search results (since that list would contain only one item!)
In SkySafari Plus or Pro, you can search for objects based on properties other than their name(s) or catalog number(s). For example, you could search for all galaxies in Virgo brighter than magnitude 10, or all asteroids more than 45 degrees above the horizon. Please Note: this feature is not available in the basic version of SkySafari.
To search for objects this way, tap the Advanced Search item below the text entry field. Then select the following:
Object Types: the kind(s) of objects you want to find - for example, Stars, Open Clusters, .Bright Nebulae, Galaxies, Planets, or Comets. You can choose more than one object type..
Range Restrictions: the limits for properties of objects you want to find. Enter the minimum value in the left, and the maximum on the right. For example, to find objects with a magnitude between 4 and 5, enter "4" on the left and "5" on the right under Magnitude. If you leave any field blank, no limit will be applied to that value. For example, you can search for all objects closer than 10 light years by leaving the left side blank (no minimum distance), and entering 10 on the right side (maximum distance 10 light years) under Distance.
Constellation: the constellation where you want to find objects. For example, to find only objects in Orion, choose Orion from the constellation list. If you want to find objects in any constellation, turn the wheel to "All Constellations" (the default).
Finally, tap Search at the bottom of the view. Your results will be displayed in an object list, just as if you'd searched for them by name.
To reset all of your advanced search parameters to their defaults, tap Reset All.
Common Object Lists
This section contains lists of the most commonly-known objects in the sky (e.g. planets, stars, deep sky objects, etc). Choose a list to display the most commonly-known objects in that category. For example, the Planets list shows the major planets in our solar system; the Brightest Stars list shows the brightest stars in the sky; the Messier Objects list shows the most famous 110 star clusters, nebulae, and galaxies, etc.
Objects currently above the horizon are listed with a brighter text color. Objects below the horizon are dimmed, but you can still select them. Choose a specific object from this list to bring up the Object Info view. This view displays basic information about the object, and contains buttons to center it in the sky chart or in your telescope's field of view.
Tonight's Best is a list of the best objects that will be visible between tonight's dusk and tomorrow's dawn. The objects in this list change depending on your location, and on the date. An object must reach at least six degrees above the horizon between astronomical dusk and dawn to be included in this list.
In SkySafari's basic version, Tonight's Best list includes only brightest stars and planets visible to the naked eye, and the brightest and best-known deep sky objects that can be seen with a pair of binoculars. SkySafari Plus and Pro add the best double and variable stars, star clusters, nebulae, and galaxies visible in small backyard telescopes. A few objects of extreme astrophysical or historical importance are also in the list, even if they're difficult or impossible to see in a backyard telescope - like Barnard's Star, Halley's Comet (at least until 2061), and Eris - the "dwarf planet" which dethroned Pluto as the solar system's outermost planet.
Objects in the list are sorted by their transit times, giving you a natural order in which to observe them. If you are viewing Tonight's Best list during daylight hours, many objects toward the end of the list may not have risen yet, and so are dimmed in the list. Similarly, if you are viewing Tonight's Best list in the early hours before dawn, objects near the start of the list may have already set, and so are also dimmed.
Custom Observing Lists
In SkySafari Plus and Pro, a button labelled Make Observing List appears below the list of search results, below all common objects lists, including Tonight's Best. You can tap this button to convert your list of search results, or the common object list, or the Tonight's Best list, into a custom observing list.
Custom observing lists keep track of objects you want to observe, and record logs of your observations. By default, SkySafari comes with a single, empty observing list called "My Favorites". To create additional lists, tap the Create New Observing List button at the bottom of the Search view.
Please Note: this feature is only available in SkySafari Plus and Pro. For more information on observing lists, see the Observing Lists Help section.
You can rearrange and delete observing lists. Here's how.
On iOS, tap the Edit button at the top of the screen. Then tap and drag the "grip" icon on the right side of the list to move it around the screen. Tap and drag the - (minus) icon on the left side of the list to delete it. Tap the End Edit button at the top of the screen when you're finished.
On Android, tap the Edit link at the top of the screen. Up/down arrows and a trash can appear at the bottom of the screen. Then tap the observing list you want to move or delete. Use the up/down arrows to move the item in the list, or tap the trash can to delete it. When finished, tap the End Edit link at the top of the screen.
To move or delete items inside an observing list, use the same techniques after you've tapped on an individual list to view the items within it.
Sorting and Highlighting List Objects
In SkySafari Plus and Pro, you can change the way objects in a list are sorted. You can do this both with common object lists, and custom observing lists.
To change the way a list is sorted, first tap the Settings at the top of the list. Then choose the value to sort the objects by. You can sort objects by their name, catalog number(s), magnitude, distance, constellation, rise/transit/set times, or coordinates in the sky.
You can highlight objects in a list, to show their distribution in the sky. You can do this both with common object lists, and custom observing lists.
To highlight a list of objects, first tap the Settings at the top of the list. Then turn on the Highlight Objects switch at the top of the settings. Objects in that list will then be highlighted with blue circles in the sky chart. The objects will be highlighted even if they are fainter than the sky chart's current magnitude limit, so you can easily find them.
Only one object list can be highlighted at a time. If you turn on the Highlight Objects switch for one list, SkySafari will turn it off for all other object lists.
When the Highlight Objects switch is turned on, a small list icon appears in the sky chart, right above the middle of the toolbar. Tapping this icon gives you the following choices:
- Show List: Returns you to the currently-highlighted object list, right at the point you last viewed the list.
- Unhighlight List: Turns off the list highlighting.
- Select Next Object: Selects and pans to the next object in the list following the currently selected object.
- Surprise Me: Selects and pans to a random object in the list that is currently above the horizon.