Interactive Sky Chart is Available Again

Note: As of August 1, 2011, the Interactive Sky Chart is working again.


Our popular Interactive Sky Chart will be unavailable for an indeterminate period. The server that hosts it started to become increasingly unreliable last month, and it appears to be completely dead now.

We are looking into porting the Sky Chart to a different platform. Unfortunately, this is a complex program that's tied to some obsolete software, so it's not easy to move to a modern computer. Stay tuned for more developments, and sorry for the inconvenience.

89 thoughts on “Interactive Sky Chart is Available Again

  1. James Grose

    That sucks big time. Maybe come up w/ a standalone version that can be downloaded and installed for off-line use on a computer or a smart phone preferably w/o bugs in it so that it operates flawlessly.

  2. David K

    Just when the sky is clear and no moon!!! come on guys fix it quickly please. I agree that a stand alone version would be the way to go as the next development.

  3. Jim Holt

    As far as I am concerned the Interactive Sky Chart is the heart and soul of viewing the night sky—-it isn’t the main thing—-it is EVERYTHING !!Please get this vital Astronomical tool operational again as soon as possible.In the meantime, could you in any way give it’s information in another form, please.
    Yours disappointingly,
    J.Holt

  4. RL

    Agree with the earlier comments—S&T’s interactive sky chart is simply the best, a tremendously valuable and much appreciated resource. I already feel lost. Here’s hoping for a prompt resolution.

  5. luis-lopezluis lopez

    Very cloudy and hazy in denver the last few days,I do not know what is going on up there!! FIX IT,PLEASE!!!

  6. Compo

    There are other nealr interactive charts available, but these comments are showing how much we appreciated and relied on yours. Thanks for letting us use it, hope it returns soon.

  7. Ron Collins

    I’m here to see the interactive chart and now I’m leaving, disappointed and a bit miffed… Not sure if or when I’ll return.

  8. Lumbia

    Thatk’s OK. These things are bound to happen. I loved the interactive star chart and used it regularly. I am grateful to have had this free tool for so long. Hope things can be worked out…

  9. Juan Luis

    Hola Porque no hacen una alianza con Star Walk y montan su info en su app de ellos. esto podria acelerar su puesta en marcha del Sky Chart

    s2

  10. Michelle M

    I tried over and over again to use the interactive sky chart in the past with my laptop (over a year ago) and never could get it to work properly on my 64-bit computer….So maybe whenever the new version gets up and running it will work for me!!!

  11. Bill

    Please consider posting a message, such as the two paragraph message above, so that when a user tries to access the star chart, the message is seen instead of a timeout (at least that’s what I got). Thank you.

  12. Biddie F.

    Sorry to read about this – this kind of problem plagued us folks on our programming staff many times over the years as older computers and/or older programming languages were phased out. I do feel your pain!!

  13. LowerCal

    Sky&Telescope’s Interactive Sky Chart is an incomparable and invaluable tool for *rapidly* obtaining an accurate graphical representation of the visual sky for any desired time.

    I’m very anxious to see it return as soon as possible. In the interim I’d like to suggest redirecting all links to the Interactive Sky Chart to this page. It’s too late for me but it may save others days hair-pulling and gnashing of teeth.

  14. JP

    Should the Almanac feature be working as usual? Mine’s been appearing showing location, but nothing else, for several days. Any suggestions?

  15. Kevin Williams

    It figure’s I finally decide to sign up so I could view the chart and now it’s not even available, jeez what else is new. Sounds like it was very useful and used a lot. Hope you get it back soon.

  16. BillH

    It has been a wonderful and frequent tool for me. I hope to see it, soon. Let us know if we can help. I and many others here are expert in computations and in converting old software.

  17. Marion E

    This was my favourite chart of all times. Everything was so easy to follow.
    I do so hope it comes back. Will keep checking.Thanks for the time we had with it anyway.

  18. Marion E

    This was my favourite chart of all times. Everything was so easy to follow.
    I do so hope it comes back. Will keep checking.Thanks for the time we had with it anyway.

  19. Hector Fabio

    I’m having some trouble at the moment of launching the interactive skychart. I have been trying hard for hours but it won’t open!
    What would be the problem?
    Thanks a lot

  20. Rivillas

    Now I understand! Thanks for telling what’s going on. I’ll keep waiting to use it again, it’s a great tool!

  21. Karen

    Oh, I’m sorry to see that it’s still down. I use it quite frequently. I hope it comes back soon.

  22. jurbaitis

    I too am unhappy that the dandy sky chart is down,]. I am furhter annoyed that you did not post this in an obvious way, I have spent 5 minutes thrying to re-log-in before clicking on the txt list rather than the little replica of the chart.
    Come on, you guys have been at the leading edge in helping us amatueu star gazers for a long time, please keep up the good woirk!

    Balitmore MD

  23. aldone

    After multiple attempts and various browsers trying to launch the program a simple note about the problem would have been nice. Hope to see it back soon.

  24. Bob S

    The disappearance of the sky chart finally motivated me to install Stellarium (free planetarium software).

    The Interactive Star Chart was a perfect lightweight program for getting a quick view of the sky. Stellarium is more of a heavyweight program with lots of features — very useful, but not quite so handy for a quick overview.

    I hope you can bring back the Interactive Sky Chart.

  25. Chris Gionet

    Wow, that is too bad. I have web-building experience, if there is ANYTHING I can do to help let me know! I used these charts on a regular basis..love em’! Good Luck, I hope you can resolve it soon.

  26. Jorge Alberto

    Hey you guys anyone IT expert on this filed who can HELP Sky & Telescope get their sky charts on the air again!!!
    Raise your hand and e-mail them a letter of technical support that may solve their ptoblem. We need them, so we must help them. It is part of our nature!!

  27. Fernand Trepanier

    C’est dommage mais nous sommes patient et nous attendrons le moment de votre retour pour nous permettre d’avoir notre carte du ciel quand nous irons, par une belle soirée, faire de l’observation avec des amis de notre Club d’Astronomie. Merci et au plaisir de vous lire dans un avenir raproché.

  28. David

    Sorry to hear it isn’t working. It was really useful last summer and I am/was looking forward to using it this summer as well. It was a great tool and got my whole family star gazing last year!

    I’ll keep my fingers crossed that the port works out well! I still like your "This Week’s Sky at a Glance" feature!

  29. david

    yes i have noticed it seeming to get worse and worse over time. I thought it was just me. Maybe it will turn out for the best.

  30. Donna R

    Didn’t realize how much I would miss printing the Sky Chart for my weekend viewing until it went away! Thanks for making it available (and free!) in the first place… I’ve got my fingers crossed that you’ll have it back online soon.

  31. Harold Woron

    Sky Week app isn’t working lately. Is it the same problem as Interactive Sky Chart?

  32. Robert

    I discovered the joys of Stellarium which is a free sky-charting program of sorts. All good things…especially in the tech world…come to an end somehow. Hopefully you will get it back up soon. Until then, I love the printed sky chart in S&T and the Stellarium program.

  33. Jim

    Please give us frequent updates on when this will be back on. This is a very important part of Sky and Telescope and helps me coordinate remote telescope usage. Google Sky is helpful as well.

  34. Marstown

    I agree that a desktop version is more useful. Since I’ve been using the freeware program Stellarium, I haven’t missed the S&T interactive chart. Didn’t even notice it was down.

  35. Emily A. Rude

    NO INTERACTIVE SKY CHART???!!! PLEASE BRING IT BACK!!!!!! IT IS ESSENTIAL!!! I must say that I Love this Wonderfully Informative Website and Magazine. I especially have enjoyed the Interactive Sky Chart. I’ve been a subscriber for a long time, and VERY MUCH RELY on your Interactive Sky Chart. It has (thus far) enabled me to actually FIND and observe so many Wonderful things in the night sky. And now you say it is UNAVAILABLE FOR INDETERMINATE TIME. On this the eve before the Asteroid 2011 MD. It’s UNAVAILABLE?! UNFATHOMABLE! PLEASE, continue to be ‘The’ site to go to,for not only my astronomical observations, but for so many, many others. You have an Excellent Reputation, that is Very Well Deserved. Don’t let us down now. Whatever the problem(s),I have the Utmost Faith and Confidence in your teams abilities to get the kink(s) worked out.(soon?)

  36. Bryan

    As a High School teacher I have used your sky chart with many classes, and without doubt the proof of its value is when they return the next day to say that they have identified a feature in the night sky. thank you for making it available over the many years, and I do hope you wave a magic wand and bring about its return.

  37. Michael J. Hutchinson

    It is sad day that interactive sky chart is not available, though it is still on Weatherbug.com! I have several planetarium softwares on my home computer.

  38. Apbbear

    Beginner and been using Interactive Star charts to look at stars, they are the best and most helpful and I can use it when travel to other parts of the world. Please fix ASAP. Thank you so very much.

  39. Ike

    It’s okay guys, don’t feel rushed. People should learn to not rely on technology so much all of the time(no offense).

  40. Ike

    It’s okay guys, don’t feel rushed, take your time. People should learn not to rely on technology so much all of the time anyways(no offense).

  41. Rick W.

    What are the requirements for the host system? It might be possible we could find an appropriate host. I know someone in the astronomical community with a server farm who hosts sites for government and industry. Posting the requirements might get us to a solution.

  42. Rick W.

    Thanks, Marstown, for the lead on Stellarium. I’ve downloaded and installed it and all libraries. Excellent! It will become the perfect companion for my scopes. I’ve already put names to many things I’ve only stared at as mysteries in many years of nights.

  43. John

    If it weren’t for this tool I’d never know what was Arthur or Marthur in the sky. I really rely on it for my education and so very much appreciate that it’s free and available. If you can please get it back up and running you’ll be making loads of people happy.

    John, Australia

  44. Javad

    As a regular user of this service, I have enjoyed the sky chart very much! It is very sad to see it not functioning. I appreciate it if you please fix the issue so that we could use this great asset once again.

  45. Marc

    This really stinks to high heaven!!! I always use this chart. Guess I have to use your rival’s chart!!!

  46. The Bob Nebula

    Is this application so old that it was running on an 8086 or an 8088? It’s been a while now. Please get this going again as it’s one of the main reasons I visit this web site.

  47. Jorge

    If you post sky charts in PDF form that we may download according to location, which I do not think you would need more than 24 downlodable for the northern & southern hemisphere, so that we may locate ourselves within the month chart and star orientations. If someone is too eager to see these charts, write sky charts on the browser search bar and you will get quite a number of webs that provide charts and astronomy software as well. Happy searching!!

  48. Dana

    Missing it. Sorry you are having trouble and rooting for you to restore it soon. Shame on sooo disappointed. This a great resource provided free and judging by the comments very much appreciated. If SD doesn’t get that then too bad for her/him.

  49. John Engledew FRAS

    It’s an invaluable tool. I’ve had to go back to the old fashioned planisphere and I hope we can rectify it soon.

  50. Jerome

    Put it up on AWS, and you’ll never have to worry about servers borking up again.

    I miss the chart!

  51. Paul Yost

    I hope you can get it up and running again. I found the chart to be an invaluable tool for preparing presentations on the night sky, and for helping me locate interesting celestial objects, of course. The tool really is widely missed, I can assure you of that.

  52. mjb

    I appreciate the Sky Chart very much, have learned a great deal using it and look forward to it’s revival. Thank you for all your hard work at making it possible. I know a solution will appear which may be even better than before1

  53. Sue

    I hope you get the issues resolved as it really is a nice tool to have. You might want to make the fact that it’s no longer working a bit more prominent. I have been going through your help section and only found out about the issue when I searched Google for S&T Sky Chart problems.

  54. Lanny

    I miss the Interactive Star Chart as well. You state that old hardware is the issue. Have you considered seraching eBay for similar hardware? That could restore the Star Chart while you port the application over to a new platform.

  55. will

    Since a kid I’ve always wanted to spend more time watching the sky. Recently I’ve found that time and the Interactive Sky Chart has been an irreplaceable learning tool and very much appreciated. Best of luck getting it back up and running, thanks for the effort.

  56. kathy carlise

    I can’t believe you have not fixed this ,is one of the main reasons I come here. am really discouraged from using this site .

  57. Jim Stephens

    We all hope you can sort out the problems with the Interactive Sky Chart, and soon. It’s the best application of its type available, and I’m going to need it for Fall classes!

  58. Tmpp

    Even a complete newbie stargazer like me has found your starchart nigh indispensable in my nightly escapades. I hope you can find a new server or method of publishing it soon!

    Regards from Finland!

  59. John

    I agree with some of the other posts. This is a very useful tool and is greatly appreciated. Unfourtunately things like this happen. The up-side is possibly a better, more robust application on new equipment. Somenting to look forward to!!

  60. Russ Stern

    Looks like science is really.. really dying in America. The long ago days when we were actually – REALLY, an interplanetary society are over. Future generations may wonder how or WHY we just.. let it all go.. The shuttle – compromised as it was, was at least a way up to our (mostly) space station. Gone. Hubble will, soon enough, falter, then die. And now Webb. Well, no Webb. The NSF has wrought it’s ‘magic’ over our space science. They let it ALL go. WHY..!!!??

    The ‘Atomic Scientists’ did their part.. over the decades. After JFK was murdered.. the rats behind the scenes.. went to work. Welcome to America’s ‘new’ dark age.

    PS – Don’t forget the Skylab the SSC etc.. & even our space station is on the hit list. The anti science warriors are hopeful it will be in the Pacific within 9 years..

  61. Paul

    Please excuse my curiosity, but what is the software that it is tied into?

    Thanks froa GREAT site.

  62. Terry Douglas

    Have you considered virtualization of your "Obsolete Software" on a modern platform?

    It’s still possible to run DOS, or Windows 3.1 on a virtual machine via virtual machines! (although I don’t expect this is even that obsolete).

  63. Rachel McMann

    I was looking at the sky before. I am tring to see it in details, so should I look for details?

  64. David Rae

    My kids have grown up on sitting out under the stars, with my laptop, using the map to understand what they are looking at.

    As I write, they are waiting down at the rocks waiting for me to bring my laptop down so that we can sort out what we are looking at (they are always faked out by "", which they think is Orion’s Belt)

    Let’s hope you can revive this site, its an important part of our family’s summer experiece.

    – Dave

  65. David Rae

    My kids have grown up on sitting out under the stars, with my laptop, using the map to understand what they are looking at.

    As I write, they are waiting down at the rocks waiting for me to bring my laptop down so that we can sort out what we are looking at (they are always faked out by "", which they think is Orion’s Belt)

    Let’s hope you can revive this site, its an important part of our family’s summer experience.

    – Dave

  66. Terry Bridges

    It is too bad about the loss of the server… Sure hope you can port this app and get it back on the air…I miss it a lot.

    Thanks and Good Luck

  67. Don

    I have been recommending your site to all my "star gazing" friends (or is that "space cadets" wanna-bes)…

    Hope you fix the problem soon… Thanks for the great service for so long… You have been my map to the solar system, the galaxy and the Universe… Your site has complemented the books I read nicely(physics, astro-physics, astronomy, etc…). You have made my retirement in the country (forest), very interesting indeed …

    Thank you…

    Don (from the Pacific Northwest, Canada)

  68. Don

    I have been recommending your site to all my "star gazing" friends (or is that "space cadets" wanna-bes)…

    Hope you fix the problem soon… Thanks for the great service for so long… You have been my map to the solar system, the galaxy and the Universe… Your site has complemented the books I read nicely(physics, astro-physics, astronomy, etc…). You have made my retirement in the country (forest), very interesting indeed …

    Thank you…

    Don (from the Pacific Northwest, Canada)

  69. Charles Wilkinson

    I have just recently been upgraded to a new 64bit computer. since the up grade i have not been able to access the interactive sky chart. Every time I try I get an error.
    Error type:
    ClassNotFoundException
    SkyChart.class

    Error Details:
    CacheEntry[http://skychart.skyandtelescope.com/skychart.jar]: updateAvailable=true,lastModified=Fri Jun 03 15:01:51 CDT 2011,length=669374
    CacheEntry[http://skychart.skyandtelescope.com/skychart.jar]: updateAvailable=true,lastModified=Fri Jun 03 15:01:51 CDT 2011,length=669374
    Java Plug-in 10.5.1.255
    Using JRE version 1.7.0_05-b05 Java HotSpot(TM) Client VM
    User home directory = C:Userscwilkinson
    —————————————————-
    c: clear console window
    f: finalize objects on finalization queue
    g: garbage collect
    h: display this help message
    l: dump classloader list
    m: print memory usage
    o: trigger logging
    q: hide console
    r: reload policy configuration
    s: dump system and deployment properties
    t: dump thread list
    v: dump thread stack
    x: clear classloader cache
    0-5: set trace level to
    —————————————————-

    Please help!

    cgwilkinson@hotmail.com

  70. joe gulish

    Why cant’ I connect to the chart? I am a subscriber to your
    mag and on my old pc (gone) I could get the chart. However
    now I can’t get it on my new lap top. If it has anything to do with my new pc, What can I do to solve the problem of connecting? I am including my email address if you need to
    instruct me… But, you should know that I’m not very computer savvy. Any help would be welcome. Thanks Joe
    zippy719@verizon.net

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