Released July 4th, 2004
What's New in Current
If you are using XP, Vista or Windows 7, after download, right-click
the file and select EXTRACT. Run the SETUP program after you
If you are having problems installing the
program with any version of Windows, visit
http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com and install all "critical"
Owners of the newer scopes from Celestron (CPC, LCM, CGEM, CGE
Pro, SE, SLT) can
select NexStar 8/9.25/11 GPS in the Setup dialog box.
The "CDC" feature only works with Cartes du Ciel
version 2.76c or lower (NOT version 3.x). CDC version 2.76c is
If you are using Windows 95 or 98 and are
experiencing problems, download and install the appropriate DCOM
patch to the right and try again.
NexStar Observer List (NSOL) is entirely free, but if
you like the program and feel guilty about using it free of charge,
order a copy of my book, "The NexStar User's Guide", via the link at
the top of this page :-)
Click here to start the
NSOL allows you to more easily GoTo objects not in the NexStar
database, such as objects you learn about in magazine articles and
books. NexStar Observer List (NSOL) allows you to create Observer Lists that are
automatically saved to the hard drive of your computer. You build the lists by choosing
from tens of thousands of deep-sky objects and stars. You can create as many Observer Lists as you like,
highlighting objects of interest to you. For example, you might
create a list of double stars and globular clusters for the month of
May to provide enjoyable viewing during a full moon. Or a list of
galaxies in Virgo and Coma Berenices for a dark-site trip in April.
And you can exchange your lists via email with other NSOL users or
submit your favorite Observer Lists to me here (email@example.com)
and I will post them for others to download and enjoy. These
additional pre-built Observer Lists are found at the link above.
NSOL also features a Hyper Hand Control (HHC) that gives
you direct access to its entire database. The HHC is easier to
use than the real hand control, allowing sorting, searching and
filtering of all lists. Consider
the ease of using the Messier catalog if you are presented with a
list of only those objects above an altitude of 15 degrees, sorted
by constellation, with magnitude between 6 and 10.
The NSOL database consists of over 47,000 objects including the entire Messier,
Caldwell, NGC, IC and Abell (galaxy cluster) catalogs. The
database also includes more than 11,000 double stars from the
Saguaro Astronomy Club (www.saguaroastro.org)
database including supplemental names for Struve catalog stars
contributed by Thomas Kovacs (firstname.lastname@example.org,
www.haliburtonforest.com). And, you can add or import as
many additional objects as you would like. Click
here to see more details on the NSOL database.
NSOL works with all NexStar telescopes (including the reportedly
non-functional GT hand control shipped with the original NexStar
GTs) as well as StarSeeker, CGE, CGE Pro, CGEM, AS-GT (Advanced Series with GoTo) and Ultima
2000 telescopes. NSOL also works with Tasco StarGuide
telescopes. For the CPC, LCM, SE, SLT, CGE Pro and CGEM scopes, select
NexStar GPS as the telescope model.
NSOL 2.6.4c ships directly from Celestron with all NexStar SLT
models. NSOL 2.0.2c ships directly from Celestron with all NexStar GT
models. For those with version 2.0.2c, the current version, 2.6, adds several new features.
Your computer must be running Windows
95/98/ME/NT/2000/XP/Vista or Windows 7 and have at least 30MB of free hard drive
Even an older,
modest laptop will provide good performance with NSOL. You will also
New in Version 2.6.4/2.6.4c:
(released July 4th, 2004)
- NSOL now exports files for use with Pocket NexStar
Observer List (PNSOL). PNSOL is available free and runs on
Pocket PCs with a free serial port. Now you can control your scope
with a Pocket PC rather than taking your laptop out to the field.
New in Version 2.6.3:
(released April 5th, 2004)
- NSOL now supports NexRemote from Celestron (www.celestron.com)
allowing direct communication between NSOL and NexRemote, even on Windows
95/98. NSOL also exports Tours for use in NexRemote.
- Improved hyperlink help system.
- Added NexStar 76 and 102 GT to model selections.
- Fixed problem with the date/time dialog box when used on international
versions of Microsoft Windows.
- Fixed problem with arrow buttons attached to altitude settings in
Filter Settings dialog box.
New in Version 2.6.1:
(released December 29th, 2003)
- The filter feature has been greatly enhanced. You can now
specify minimum altitude, magnitude by object type (galaxy, nebula,
etc.), and separation and difference in magnitude for double stars.
Filter settings can also be saved by name for future use. See the
Screen Shots link above for more details.
- The Observer List window has been reorganized to make better use of
higher resolution screens.
- The Observer List can now be temporarily sorted on any column.
- The CDC button now finds the Cartes du Ciel window and pulls it
forward rather than minimizing the NSOL window.
- The manual has been improved with screen shots and examples of how to
use NSOL. The manual is included with the installation files, but
you can download the manual in advance via the link above.
- Additional alternate names added to the Caldwell, NGC and IC catalogs.
New in Version 2.5.1:
(released October 28th, 2003)
List, Hyper Hand Control and list building windows are now
user-sizeable to take advantage of higher resolution computer
- Easier list
building with improved keyboard-only search and add.
keyboard-only operation of the Hyper Hand Control.
- The Hyper
Hand Control and list building windows now have an "Altitude
Filter" feature. When activated, the main database will be
limited to displaying only those objects above your specified
altitude. Coupled with the ability to sort on any column, you can
now easily find objects of interest.
Alignment Star Chart now includes lists of recommended alignment
star pairs and the ability to display only the stars offered by
Auto/GPS Alignment. The Alignment Star Chart, including
recommended star pairs, can now be printed as well.
interaction with hcAnywhere (from Astro Geeks -
www.astrogeeks.com) - NSOL can now communicate directly with
hcAnywhere, even on Windows 95/98/ME computers. NSOL can also
import/export tours from/to hcAnywhere (hcTour format).
- NSOL now
shows the five most recently used Observer Lists at the bottom of
the File menu to allow easy access.
Double star list - NSOL now includes the SAC Double Star list, an
excellent hand-picked list of the best double stars.
- Added ability
to select multiple database objects in the list building window.
Sort a list by constellation or magnitude and then add several
objects to your Observer List all at one time.
New in Version 2.2:
(released July 12th, 2003)
- Now links to the freeware planetarium program Cartes du Ciel
version 2.76c or lower (http://www.stargazing.net/astropc/oldversion/index.html).
This feature centers the view in Cartes du Ciel on the currently selected
object. Now you can see what other objects are in the current area
of the sky or check what you see in the eyepiece.
- Allows selection of comm ports through 1000.
- Added setup selections for 5i/8i, CGE, AS-GT, Ultima 2000 and Tasco
- Added export to Planetarium for Palm (http://www.aho.ch/pilotplanets)
- Leave your laptop inside and use your Palm Pilot to control your scope.
- Added export to CSV - a generic file format that can be imported into
most spreadsheet and database programs.
- Added "Import to Current List" - Import from a CSV file into the
current observer list - useful for importing from say, AstroPlanner (http://www.ilangainc.com/astroplanner) or
other programs that can create observing lists (plans). Can also be used
to export to CSV from one observer list and import into another (just
inside of NSOL).
- Added "Import to User Supplied List" - Allows import of entire
catalogs into the User Supplied List in NSOL.
- Added "AutoSort" function to Edit List form. Organizes the
list into 45 degree wedges
(up to altitude of 65) working from south, through west, to north, then
spirals around the zenith, then back to the wedges below 65 degrees from
north, through east and back to south.
- Added feature to print star charts of object lists.
- Sort ascending or descending on any column in database lists in both
Hyper Hand Control and Edit List forms.
- Added "Object 1 of 99" to Current List and Edit List forms.
- Added ability to customize the color of the object in sky charts for
those that use a red filter over their laptop screen.
- Added option to select which printer to send output to.
- Updated the RS232 command routines to provide better feedback when
there are problems with the communications settings.
Click here to start the