Search Help


    The search view lets you search for objects, by typing their names, or by choosing them from lists.


    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!)

    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.

    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 Filter & Sort at the top right of the screen. 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. Under Filter By, select 'Visible Tonight' to only display objects visible during darkness.

    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, turn on the Highlight Objects switch at the top of the list. 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.

    Edit Selected Object: Opens a separate view to edit the object's in the list.

    Show List in Galaxy View: Opens the Galaxy View, showing where the list objects are located in and around the Galaxy. This feature is only available in SkySafari Plus and Pro.

    Custom Observing Lists

    In SkySafari Plus and Pro, you can create a custom observing list. To create a custom list of objects, first tap the More button (looks like 3 vertical dots) at the top of the list. Then tap a button labelled Make Into Observing List. 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 Observe button in the Toolbar, select Observing Lists and then tap the Create List button.

    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 delete an observing lists by swiping left over the list name and selecting 'Delete'.

    To move or delete items inside an observing list, 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.


    • Avatar
      Ken Griffiths

      R136 does not register. It is among the intrinsically brightest clusters. I tried hiding the nebula images so NGC2070 does not obscure the cluster. I use SkySafari 7 Pro. Surely it is referenced? As HD38268 (simbad ) its text info in SS is out of date since Hubble!.

      Edited by Ken Griffiths