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DSO Planner is an Android astronomical observation planning tool with excellent star charting capabilities made by active and experienced amateur observers with a passion for visual observations. It has large integrated deep sky objects databases and provides an opportunity to create any number of user own object databases. DSO Planner boasts the largest star catalog among all Android astronomy applications (USNO UCAC4, 113 mn stars)[#foot19 1]. The application excels at creating observation plans on the fly, has powerful note taking capabilities, PushTo and GoTo support and night (red) mode.

The application has several editions: Pro, Plus, Basic and Free. Plus Edition has lower UCAC4 catalog size (15.4 mn stars compared to 113 mn stars in Pro Edition) and PGC catalog size (153 000 galaxies compared to 1 600 000 galaxies in Pro Edition), otherwise it is like a Pro Edition. Basic Edition has lower number of stars and objects and some limitations in functionality (you could not create your own databases and objects). Free edition has only the brightest stars and objects and functionality close to that of Basic Edition.

Before installation please make sure that you have at least 2 GB for Pro Edition, 540 MB for Plus Edition and 100 MB for Basic Edition of free space on your internal SD card to download application databases! (Note: due to Google Play rules this data cannot be moved to your external SD card - you must have all this space on your internal SD card!).

Internal databases

Database Free Basic Plus Pro
Star Chart Layers
USNO UCAC4 (star) -- -- 15.4 mn to 14m 113 mn to 16m
Tycho-2 (star) -- 0.6 mn to 10.7m 2.5 mn to 12m 2.5 mn to 12m
Yale bright star catalog (star) 9 000 9 000 9 000 9 000
Yale bright star catalog (double star) 50 500 3 100 3 100
NGCIC/SAC (object) 230 3 100 14 400 14 400
PGC (Principal Galaxies Catalog) -- -- 153 000 1 600 000
Object databases
Messier 110 110 110 110
Caldwell 109 109 109 109
Herschel 400 219 400 400 400
NGCIC 230 3 100 12 000 12 000
SAC (Saguaro Astronomy Club database) -- -- 10 000 10 000
UGC (Uppsala General Catalogue of Galaxies) -- -- 13 000 13 000
PGC (not including NGCIC and UGC galaxies) -- -- -- 45 000 to 16m
Lynds dark nebula (Lynds' Catalogue of Dark Nebulae) -- -- 1 800 1 800
Lynds bright nebula (Lynds' Catalogue of Bright Nebulae) -- -- 1 100 1 100
Barnard (Barnard's Catalogue of Dark Objects) -- -- 350 350
SH2 (Catalogue of HII regions) -- -- 300 300
PK (Catalogue of Galactic Planetary Nebulae) -- -- 1 500 1 500
Abell (Catalogue of Abell Clusters of Galaxies) -- -- 2 700 2 700
Hickson Compact Group (Hickson Compact Group, cluster of galaxies) -- -- 100 100
Comets -- ~700 ~700 ~700
Minor Planets -- 500 10 000 10 000
WDS (The Washington Visual Double Star Catalog) -- -- 120 000 120 000
Brightest Double Stars -- -- 2 300 2 300

There are actually two types of star/object databases - usual object database optimized for efficient access and searching, and star chart layer database optimized for drawing Star Chart. Usual database could be used in [node3.html#dso_selection Object Selection] and [node15.html#global_search global search], whereas star chart layers could be used in global search but not in Object Selection. Still there are enough tools to use the latter efficiently: you could limit the stars / objects you see on the Star Chart by magnitude, object types and visibility in selected equipment.

Other databases Free Basic Plus Pro
Pre-installed NgcIc images 210 3 100 7 840 7 840
Database of cross-match names (other star / object designations) 1 700 72 000 233 000 233 000
Steve Gottlieb notes attached to NGCIC objects 230 3 100 7 900 7 900
Night Sky Observer Guide pre-compiled observation list (object) -- -- 3 900 3 900
24 000 cities worldwide
500 popular eyepieces database --

Other edition differences

Feature Free Basic Plus Pro
Creation of custom (user) database -- --
Adding a temporary user object to the observation list for a quick look up -- --
DSS download in Star Chart limited
Batch DSS download in Observation List --
Bluetooth GoTo --
Full darkness calculation --

NB: The description further provides information on full functionality (pro edition) assuming that all the difference between editions is summarised above.

Main features

  • Cross-match names database. Search objects by less common names
  • Unique visibility tool. Only objects that are visible with selected equipment in the current sky conditions could be shown on the Star Chart (for objects from NGCIC/SAC/PGC catalogs)
  • Comet support. Orbital elements of around 700 observable comets could be automatically updated via internet
  • Custom catalogs. Unlimited capability to create fully searchable own catalogs
  • Steve Gottlieb Notes. Famous notes attached to NGCIC objects
  • DSS imagery support. Download DSS images of any sky portion into offline cache and overlay it on the star chart
  • Offline images. Integrated set of images of most NgcIc objects (7 840 items), opportunity to add own images when creating custom catalogs
  • Nebula contours. Contours of famous nebulae
  • Object contours. Ellipse in real dimension and orientation
  • Night mode. Fully red screen with red keyboard and menus
  • PushTo for dobsonian mounts with setting circles. Level your dobsonian mount and perform one star alignment. The program will automatically recalculate az/alt numbers to hunt objects easily
  • GoTo for Meade and Celestron controllers with bluetooth dongle
  • Planning tool. Filter any objects database by observer location, sky condition, astronomical equipment, time range of observation and object features (type, dimension, magnitude, minimal altitude, visibility and other fields of own custom catalogs). Remove duplicate objects when searching in intersecting databases. Create up to 4 observation lists. Easily track observed and remaining to be observed objects with note taking tool
  • Import tool. Import observation lists in Sky Safari and Sky Tools format. Use pre-compiled Night Sky Observer Guide observation lists
  • Note taking. Take text and/or audio notes
  • Observing places. GPS, manual coordinates, custom lists. Database with 24 000 cities worldwide
  • Equipment. Keep track of all your telescopes and eyepieces. Use them for object visibility calculation and star charting. Use 500 popular eyepieces database
  • Twilight calculator. Sun and Moon rise/transit/set time; Moon phase; civil, nautical and astronomical twilight on any date. Calculation of the full darkness for a current night and for a month ahead
  • 2 visual themes (bright and dark)
  • Powerful share/export/import capabilities (of databases, observation lists, notes)


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Pro Edition