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SciTech Daily Review

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PLANETWATCH PRO AUSTRALASIAN EDITION, by Galen Raben; Addison Wesley Longman New Zealand, 1996; $49.95

An excellent piece of astronomy software well suited to the classroom. Teachers from Form 1 to 5 could make valuable use of this program. Planetwatch details the small section of the universe that we live in. It combines star and orbital maps, colour images of the planets and up-to-date information about our solar system and its planets. Features of the program include a star map showing positions of the planets and the moon as seen from earth, maps showing the planetary orbits for the inner and outer solar system, 256 colour images of the sun, the moon and the planets and phases of the moon. Other major planetary moons include Ganymede, Io and Europa as well asteroids Gaspra and Ida. The maps can be displayed for any date and time between AD 1600 and 2400. Also included is data on each planet such as its atmosphere, size and composition. There is recent data from various space probes and the Hubble Telescope.

Planetwatch Pro requires an IBM compatible PC, 386 or better; DOS 3.1, Windows 3.1 or better; VGA; at least 4Mb of RAM and 3Mb of hard disk space.

A shareware version that lacks some features is available from

When you register the shareware you receive an upgrade to the pro version. The registration cost is US$20.