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NexStar Observer List
Version 2.6.4
Released July 4th, 2004

What's New in Current Version

If you are using XP, Vista or Windows 7/8/10/11, after download, right-click the file and select EXTRACT.  Run the SETUP program AFTER you extract.

Owners of the newer scopes from Celestron (CPC, LCM, CGEM, CGE Pro, SE, SLT, Evolution, etc.) 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 available here.

NSOL is written for Windows but will run on most Mac and Linux systems by using Wine.

Additional Info

Pocket NSOL for Pocket PCs (not iOS/Android)
NexStar Control Pad
Register your email address for update announcements
Screen Shots and Additional Details about NSOL 2.6
Download the Manual
The NexStar Observer List Database
MDAC Fix for Windows 95, 98 and some XP Machines
DCOM Fix for Windows 95 and 98
Download Pre-built Observer Lists
Catalogs for Import to User Supplied Objects
Troubleshooting Serial and USB Connection Problems
Hand Control USB Cable
Hand Control RS-232 Port Cable

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 II, via the link at the advertisement at the bottom of the page :-)

Click here to start the download process.

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 ( 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 ( database including supplemental names for Struve catalog stars contributed by Thomas Kovacs.  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 Celestron scopes driven with a NexStar, NexStar+ or StarSense hand control. It also works with all Tasco StarGuide telescopes and the first generation of the Orion StarSeeker telescopes. I also included support for the Celestron Ultima 2000 telescope. For new Celestron models not specifically listed in the Setup screen, select NexStar GPS as the telescope model.

NSOL 2.6.4c ships directly from Celestron with all NexStar SLT models which is functionally equivalent to version 2.6.4 (the latest currently available).  NSOL 2.0.2c ships directly from Celestron with all NexStar GT models.  For those with version 2.0.2c, the current version, 2.6.4, adds several new features.

Your computer must be running Windows 95/98/ME/NT/2000/XP/Vista or Windows 7/8/8.1/10 and have at least 30MB of free hard drive space.  Even an older, modest laptop will provide good performance with NSOL.  NSOL will also run on most Mac and Linux computers by using Wine.  To use the telescope control feature (optional), you will also need the correct cable to connect to the port on the bottom of the hand control - see the PC Control section of the website for more details on wired connections.

Click here to start the download process.

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 ( 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)

  • Observer List, Hyper Hand Control and list building windows are now user-sizeable to take advantage of higher resolution computer displays.
  • Easier list building with improved keyboard-only search and add.
  • Easier 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.
  • Enhanced 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.
  • Enhanced interaction with hcAnywhere (from Astro Geeks - - 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.
  • Updated 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 (  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 StarGuide.
  • Added export to Planetarium for Palm ( - 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 ( 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 download process.


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Michael Swanson
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