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You start off in "Atlas" mode. This gives you a moderately detailed star chart centered on the default target (the constellation Orion) as seen from the Sun (Sol).
To recenter the chart on something else: Type the name or catalog ID of a star or other object you wish to see -- such as "Polaris" or "Messier 31" -- in the "target" field (the right text box). Then either hit Enter or click "Redraw". This recenters the chart on the selected target. Once the chart redraws, you can then use the navigation tool to move the chart a small distance in one of the 4 major directions.
To get details about any object on the chart: Just click its symbol when the object's name or ID appears on screen. Detailed information will then appear for that object. Click its symbol again to hide the details.
To recenter the chart on an object whose details are visible: Click the "Recenter" (crosshair) icon in the object's details.
To see the sky from another star: Enter that star's name as the "target" and either hit Enter or click "Redraw". Alternatively, for many stars, you can go directly to that star by clicking the "Go To..." (rocket) icon in that star's details when the details are visible.
To get back to the Earth from any other point in space: Click the Earth icon in the navigation tool, or the Earth icon in any object's details near the object name.
This appears at the top of the chart, and controls most chart functions.
|Screen Mode||Toggles between regular mode (main web site layout) and full-screen mode.|
|Change Chart Type||Choose from one of several 'prefab' chart settings.|
|Increase Chart Size||Create the same chart in a larger area.|
|Decrease Chart Size||Create the same chart in a smaller area.|
|Zoom In||Increase the chart magnification.|
|Zoom Out||Decrease the chart magnification.|
|More Stars||Increase the number of stars shown.|
|Fewer Stars||Decrease the number of stars shown.|
|Labels||Switch various chart labels on or off.|
|Advanced||Change more complex (or less-often used) chart settings.|
|Download||Download a copy of the current chart.|
This appears in the upper-left corner of the chart, and enables chart location changes without entering a specific location or target.
|Back to Earth||Set the source location to the Earth. Same function as the Earth icon in the star/DSO details.|
|Up||Increase chart center declination/altitude ("look up")|
|Down||Decrease chart center declination/altitude ("look down")|
|Left||Increase chart center right ascension/azimuth ("look left")|
|Right||Decrease chart center right ascension/azimuth ("look right")|
These appear when you select a star or deep-sky object and view its details.
|Additional Information||If present, you can click this icon to launch an information page (generally from Wikipedia) about this object in another tab/window.|
|Center on Star/Object||Set the target location to this object. This leaves your source location unchanged.|
|Go To Star*||Set the source location to this object. This leaves your target unchanged.|
|Back to Earth*||Set the source location to the Earth. This leaves your target unchanged.|
|Zoom In**||Deep Sky Closeup mode|
|Zoom Out**||Deep Sky Wide Field mode|
* Stars only. The Go To Star option only appears for stars with an entry in the Hipparcos catalog. Back to Earth only appears if you are viewing from a location far from the Earth (i.e., well outside the boundaries of the solar system).
** Deep-sky objects only. In Closeup mode, the chart "zooms in" on the selected deep-sky object until the chart scale is exactly the same as the scale for the DSO image from the Digital Sky Survey. In Wide Field mode, the chart scale is the same as a medium-magnification Atlas chart.
To get a selection of other chart types, like very wide-field (naked-eye) views, or charts styled similarly to classic printed atlases like Uranometria, choose a different chart mode from the Chart Types menu.
To travel to a distant star, and see the sky from that star, either enter the star's name in the "Location" field, or click the "Go To Star" icon in the star's details. To get back to the Earth, hit the "Earth" icon in the navigation tool or in any star's details.
To customize chart labels (like coordinate grids and deep-sky objects), options, click "Labels" to show the list of options. Changes to labels take effect immediately when selected or unselected.
To customize more advanced settings, click "Advanced" to reveal the settings, or select a "Custom" chart in the chart menu. Then change what you want and click "Redraw".
To save an image file (.png) copy of your chart, click the "Download" icon.
The Chart Types menu enables various "prefab" chart settings.
The Location (left text box) and Target fields (right text box) let you specify where you're viewing from (the 'Location') and where the chart is centered (the 'Target'). You can enter a star or deep-sky object by name or catalog ID, a constellation name, or an exact 3-D coordinate value. For format details, see Location Formats.
To update your chart with any updated settings, click "Redraw".
Chart label options appear when you click the Labels icon. Any changes to the labels take effect immediately once they are selected or unselected. When you change a label, the chart type changes to "Custom", to let you know that the setting is different from any of the existing "prefab" options.
These are normally hidden. To reveal them, click the "Advanced" icon.
If one of these options is active, the corresponding icon ("target" for recentering, "rocket" for traveling to something) will not appear in the object's detailed information.
Note for the technically-minded: This setting applies stellar proper motion and radial velocity calculations, but does not attempt to correct for precession -- especially since you can have a viewpoint far from Earth, making precession irrelevant. (For the really technically-minded, the epoch for Endeavour is whatever year you specify, but the equinox is always 2000.0.) If you turn on the constellation boundaries or coordinate lines (see "Chart Labels"), they will always be drawn in their positions for 2000.0. Endeavour also assumes the velocities of the stars are constant, moving in straight lines, so this setting will be very inaccurate after several hundred thousand years. Eventually, at very large times past or future, all the stars fly away, never to be seen again. Calculating stars' orbits around the galaxy is beyond the scope of this application.