Frequently-asked questions

The most frequently-asked questions about purchasing CyberSky, upgrading to the latest version of the program, installing CyberSky, and using the software are answered below. If you have a question that isn’t answered here or elsewhere on this website, please write to sales@cybersky.com or support@cybersky.com.

Purchasing CyberSky

What are the differences between the full and trial versions of CyberSky?

The trial version of CyberSky can only be used on up to 30 separate days to evaluate the software. The other major differences between the full and trial versions of the program are that the trial version includes far fewer stars and deep-sky objects, and all maps printed by the trial version are watermarked. For a complete description of the differences between the full and trial versions, see Benefits of the full version.

What’s the fastest way to get the full version of CyberSky?

The easiest and fastest way to get the full version of CyberSky is to order through Share-it’s secure online store using a credit card, debit card, or PayPal. Share-it is a leader in secure online order processing and online software delivery. Share-it accepts Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Diners Club, and JCB credit cards, as well as Maestro and Solo debit cards issued in the U.K. You’ll receive a download link immediately after your order is processed. The setup program for the full version of CyberSky is 66.5 MB in size. You can have the full version of CyberSky running on your computer in minutes.

I’m having trouble ordering from Share-it. What can I do?

If you have any trouble ordering through Share-it, you can order through SWREG’s secure online store instead using a credit card, debit card, or PayPal. SWREG accepts Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, Diners Club, JCB, and Delta credit cards, as well as Maestro and Solo debit cards issued in the U.K. SWREG offers the same license options, prices, and delivery options as Share-it, including immediate online delivery.

I don’t want to send credit-card information over the Internet. Is there another way to order?

Ordering through Share-it’s secure online store is completely safe, but you can also phone or fax your credit- or debit-card information to Share-it if you’re not comfortable sending this information over the Internet. For Share-it’s phone and fax numbers, see Ordering information.

Is there a toll-free number I can call to order CyberSky?

Yes. If you’re in the United States, you can call Share-it toll-free at 1-800-903-4152 to place your order.

Can I order your software without using a credit card?

Yes. You can wire transfer your payment, mail a check or postal money order, or mail or fax a purchase order to Share-it. You can also mail a check, money order, or international postal money order directly to the program’s author. For postal-mail addresses and phone and fax numbers, see Ordering information.

Do you accept purchase orders?

Yes. Both Share-it and the program’s author accept purchase orders from corporate clients and accredited educational institutions. We don’t accept purchase orders from private individuals. For instructions on placing your order, see Ordering information.

Upgrading to CyberSky 5

I bought a previous version of CyberSky. Can I get CyberSky 5 at a reduced cost?

Yes. If you purchased CyberSky 1, 2, 3, or 4, you can upgrade to CyberSky 5 for about half of the regular price. Upgrade prices are available for both single- and multiple-user licenses. For upgrade prices and instructions on placing your order, see Ordering information.

Can I upgrade to CyberSky 5 if I got CyberSky 3 with a telescope or planetarium I bought?

Yes. If you received the full English, French, German, Italian, or Spanish version of CyberSky with a telescope or planetarium you purchased, you can upgrade to CyberSky 5 for about half of the regular price. However, note that CyberSky 5 is only available in English. For instructions on placing your order, see Ordering information.

Installing CyberSky

Do I need to uninstall a previous version of CyberSky before I install CyberSky 5?

No. There is no need to uninstall CyberSky 1, 2, 3, or 4 before installing the latest version of the program. CyberSky 5 will be installed in a different folder than a previous version of the program, and won’t affect the older version at all. You can choose to keep the previous version of CyberSky on your computer or remove it.

Do I need to uninstall the trial version of CyberSky 5 before I install the full version?

No, you don’t have to uninstall the trial version first, but it is recommended. The full version of CyberSky 5 can be installed over the trial version. This means that the trial version’s files will be replaced by the full version’s files. However, you may see a Program Compatibility Assistant message stating that “This program might not have installed correctly.” In that case, it’s safe to click “This program installed correctly.” If you uninstall the trial version of CyberSky 5 before installing the full version, you won’t see that message.

Can I use CyberSky on both my desktop and portable computer?

If you purchased a single-user license for the full version of CyberSky, you can use the software on one or more computers you own, provided the program is only used on one computer at a time. If more than one person will be using CyberSky on different computers at the same time, you must purchase a multiple-user license.

Using CyberSky

How does CyberSky handle Julian and Gregorian calendar dates?

CyberSky uses the Julian calendar for all dates up to October 4, 1582, and the Gregorian calendar for all dates from October 15, 1582 onward. If you enter one of the ten dates that were eliminated by the introduction of the Gregorian calendar, it will be converted to a Gregorian calendar date for you. For example, if you enter October 5, 1582, the program will convert that date to October 15, 1582.

How does CyberSky handle daylight-saving time?

When you run CyberSky, the program checks your computer’s clock settings to see if daylight-saving time is currently in effect. If it is, the program automatically adjusts its calculations to take this into account. The rules governing the use of daylight-saving time are complicated—they vary from location to location, and even from year to year. CyberSky therefore doesn’t attempt to automatically adjust for daylight-saving time every time it draws a map. You may have to turn daylight-saving time on or off yourself if you change the viewing location or the time.

Why does CyberSky draw maps with east and west switched?

The reversal of east and west on maps drawn by CyberSky is not a mistake; it’s normal for maps of the sky. When you look at a map of the Earth’s surface, your viewpoint is far above the planet and you’re looking down at the ground. If you want to see the sky, you need to turn around and face the other direction, which causes east and west to switch places.

If you picture yourself outside looking south, east will be on your left and west will be on your right. This is exactly what you find on a map of the south horizon drawn by CyberSky; east is on the left side of the map, and west is on the right. This makes perfect sense, but we’re so used to seeing maps of the Earth’s surface, with west on the left and east on the right, that maps of the sky drawn by CyberSky can initially be confusing.

For a detailed explanation of the relationship between maps of the sky and your view of the real sky, see the topic “Understanding maps of the sky” in the program’s Help file.

Why does CyberSky show the Sun in the wrong place?

One of the most frequently-reported bugs in CyberSky is that the program shows the Sun in the wrong constellation on a specific date. For example, if you were born between July 23 and August 22, your astrological sign or “Sun sign” is Leo, which means that the Sun is in Leo on your birthday. Yet, CyberSky shows that the Sun is in Leo from about August 10 to about September 15, which doesn’t make sense. This confusion arises because astrological signs and astronomical constellations aren’t the same thing.

The area of the sky through which the Sun, Moon, and planets move is called the zodiac. It’s centered on the ecliptic, the Sun’s path across the sky. Several thousand years ago, the zodiac was divided into twelve parts, each exactly 30° wide, called signs. Although each of these signs corresponded to a group of stars at that time, the signs were fixed to the ecliptic rather than to those stars.

Since the time the astrological signs were invented, the gyration of the Earth’s axis of rotation has caused the ecliptic, and therefore the signs, to shift about 30° west with respect to the background stars. The positions of the astrological signs therefore no longer correspond to the groups of stars they were named after.

Another difference between signs and constellations is that the modern astronomical constellations have irregular boundaries and varying widths. They’re not each exactly 30° wide, so they can’t possibly correspond exactly to the ancient astrological signs. In fact, the astrological sign in which the Sun is located on a specific day of the year corresponds to the astronomical constellation of the same name only about one in seven times.

How accurate are the positions of the Sun, Moon, and planets?

The accuracy of the positions of the Sun, Moon, and planets calculated by CyberSky is discussed in the topic “Accuracy of calculated positions” in the program’s Help file.

Publishing and using maps created by CyberSky

Can I publish maps created by CyberSky or use them on my website?

You can use map images and printed maps created by the trial version of CyberSky only for evaluation and review of the software. You can use map images and printed maps created by the full version only for non-commercial purposes. You must clearly credit CyberSky as the source of any maps that you display or distribute to the public. A link to www.cybersky.com is appreciated.

Can I use maps created by CyberSky for commercial activity?

You can’t use map images or printed maps created by CyberSky for any commercial purpose without the prior explicit permission of Stephen Michael Schimpf, the program’s author. To inquire about using CyberSky for commercial activity, please write to stephen@cybersky.com.