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10 hours ago, gstallichet said:

I just bought a Celestron 8se.  Which planetarium/scope control software do you recommend, Stellarium or Celestron's Starry Nights,  and why?

 

You should have received Celestron Starry Night SE edition with your telescope. It's worth trying out - it is Starry Night Enthusiast with control for Celestron Telescopes. I use Starry Night Pro 8 (upgraded from SE7) and have no issues planning my sessions and controlling my scope. If you don't have/can't find the licence, it is $149 to get the Pro version with telescope control. In that case I would definitely try Stellarium first as the price is a lot more attractive! You could also look at CPWI (free from Celestron) which provides telescope control and a small (compared to other products) database of objects.

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Other free planetarium programs are available as well. Each has it's own charm.
C2A is very extensive and professional looking with a lot of object info.
Cartes du Ciel (SkyChart) is very nice also. Personally I don't like Stellarium, but a lot of people do like it.

It always comes down on personal preference...

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Stellarium really has come of age. It's excellent and full featured andlooks fabulous. There was a Time when I preferred SkySafari (on android) and even though I paid full proce for that I think it has lost some of it's edge. 

No harm having more than one planetarium. Sometimes one will have features that the ohers don't or be better at some things. I still use skySafari on mobile devices but if I'm looking for something specific at home I'll fire up the laptop to use stellarium instead.

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I used Stellarium and Cartes du Ciel which are both excellent I find, and free or course.

I have used Starry Nights V4.5 and V5 (the intermediate level versions) and found that they were OK but did nothing more than the freeware and personally I didn't find the Starry Nights packages as intuitive to use.

 

 

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