This app gives you access to the Digital Sky Survey with more than 45,000 celestial objects only a click away… This is a great app for planning a night of observing." - Raymond Shubinski, Astronomy, August 2011.

Deep Sky Browser is a tool that allows browsing Digitized Sky Survey (DSS) images of various celestial objects. Deep Sky Browser also shows additional information for the selected object based on the observer's location.

Now it also functions as Digital Setting Circles. Just connect it to Astro Devices' Nexus or one of supported encoder interface boxes, do a two star alignment and Deep Sky Browser will show where to move the telescope to locate the selected object. Or use it with Nexus and ServoCAT for full GOTO functionality.

Deep Sky Browser is an invaluable tool for observations planning and identifying objects at the eyepiece.

The images are loaded from a DSS server and cached automatically. The built-in database of Deep Sky Browser contains in excess of 51,000 objects from popular catalogues: Abell Planetaries, ARP, Caldwell, Collinder, ESO, Herschel, Hickson Compact Groups, Messier, Index Catalogue, King, LBN, Minkowski, Markarian, NGC, Sharpless, Stock, Trumpler and UGC.

Object lists can be adjusted to only show objects that have magnitude brighter than the specified magnitude. Image field size can also be adjusted.

Deep Sky Browser also displays the current position of the selected object in the sky that is updated in real time. Additional information is also displayed for the selected object:
- Rise time
- Set time
- Transit time
- Today's visibility graph
- Yearly visibility graph
- Page number for Uranometria 2000, 2nd edition
- surface brightness

Proper 'night mode' can be activated during the night observing.
*Please note that an Internet connection is required to download DSS images.

What’s New

Version 1.4.1

Updated to correctly handle the location.

Ratings and Reviews

4.0 out of 5
1 Rating

1 Rating

TheKemer ,

Now a useful reference for deep sky viewing

This app was first introduced as "DSS Browser." At that time it was mildly interesting, a little idiosyncratic in its interface, but it was a little unclear as to what its real strength or value was: it didn't do any one thing exceptionally well. Was it a database, DSS image retrieval program, or a scope controller?

That has changed, although the interface is still a little idiosyncratic. It has a carefully thought out selection of catalogs, and each catalog is complete. The selection of catalogs is a complex issue: there are so many and with such large overlap. Deep Sky Browser has selected those that will be of greatest utility to the more advanced observer. Inevitably, some users will miss a favorite specialized catalog, such as the Palomar or Terzan globular clusters.

Deep Sky Browser will download and save images for each entry. The user can initiate a bulk download for each catalog, but should recognize that gtheir device memory will be easily consumed and exceeded by the larger catalogs.

So, it this app a database, DSS image retrieval program, or scope controller? The answer is “yes” to all, but I find it most useful as a large reference database of deep sky objects with the ability download and store associated DSS images.

2boldlygo ,

It Leaks! Still!!

I complained about this two years ago with a different device! It hasn't changed! See prior review below - It still will not save data long term. Please fix or tell me what I'm doing wrong! I'm tired of reloading everything!

This is a handy app for those with a deep sky telescope. Unfortunately, it's not as good as it could or should be. The worst problem is that the downloaded object images don't seem to consistently be saved or stored, but instead are volatile, and many must be downloaded again after a power down/up cycle. There are thousands of deep sky object images available, and downloading them can require lots of time, personal involvement, and bandwidth, so this is quite a problem, especially if you have no internet source available at your telescope location.

Dalagra ,

Great tool

This is just a magnificent astronomy application for any observer who is hunting all those faint galaxies, globulars and nebulas!

It is very simple and easy to use - you see the object image in just three steps!!!

I used it a few times already and I just love to have images of all (that I need) deep sky objects in my pocket or on my new iPad. :-)

Be prepared, because It takes a bit of time to download all the images but the application has a batch download mode, hence no user interaction is required - just leave it downloading, preferably over WIFI.

It is great to use at the eyepiece. The application has a night mode, just make sure you set the brightness of your i(thingy) to the minimum and it will not affect your dark adaptation.

The application has a magnitude filter so you can reduce the objects list to just objects visible in your telescope.

Overall I am very happy with the application.

The developer seemed very knowledgeable and willing to improve the application.

(this is my very first review on the app store)


Astro Devices
14.9 MB

Requires iOS 11.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.



Age Rating
Rated 4+
© 2011 Astro Devices


  • Family Sharing

    With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.

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