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Celestia is a 3D astronomy
Astronomy is a natural science that deals with the study of celestial objects and phenomena that originate outside the atmosphere of Earth...

 program created by Chris Laurel. The program is based on the Hipparcos Catalogue (HIP) and allows users to travel through an extensive universe, modeled after reality, at any speed, in any direction and at any time in history. Celestia displays and interacts with objects ranging in scale from small spacecraft
A spacecraft or spaceship is a craft or machine designed for spaceflight. Spacecraft are used for a variety of purposes, including communications, earth observation, meteorology, navigation, planetary exploration and transportation of humans and cargo....

 to entire galaxies
A galaxy is a massive, gravitationally bound system that consists of stars and stellar remnants, an interstellar medium of gas and dust, and an important but poorly understood component tentatively dubbed dark matter. The word galaxy is derived from the Greek galaxias , literally "milky", a...

 in three dimensions using OpenGL
OpenGL is a standard specification defining a cross-language, cross-platform API for writing applications that produce 2D and 3D computer graphics. The interface consists of over 250 different function calls which can be used to draw complex three-dimensional scenes from simple primitives. OpenGL...

, from perspectives which would not be possible from a classic planetarium
A planetarium is a theatre built primarily for presenting educational and entertaining shows about astronomy and the night sky, or for training in celestial navigation...

 or other ground-based display.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation's civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research...

 and ESA
European Space Agency
The European Space Agency , established in 1975, is an intergovernmental organisation dedicated to the exploration of space, currently with 18 member states...

 have used Celestia in their educational and outreach programs, as well as for interfacing to trajectory analysis software.

Celestia is available for Linux
Linux is a Unix-like computer operating system assembled under the model of free and open source software development and distribution. The defining component of any Linux system is the Linux kernel, an operating system kernel first released October 5, 1991 by Linus Torvalds...

, Mac OS X
Mac OS X
Mac OS X is a series of Unix-based operating systems and graphical user interfaces developed, marketed, and sold by Apple Inc. Since 2002, has been included with all new Macintosh computer systems...

, and Microsoft Windows
Microsoft Windows
Microsoft Windows is a series of operating systems produced by Microsoft.Microsoft introduced an operating environment named Windows on November 20, 1985 as an add-on to MS-DOS in response to the growing interest in graphical user interfaces . Microsoft Windows came to dominate the world's personal...

. Released under the GNU General Public License
GNU General Public License
The GNU General Public License is the most widely used free software license, originally written by Richard Stallman for the GNU Project....

, Celestia is free software
Free software
Free software, software libre or libre software is software that can be used, studied, and modified without restriction, and which can be copied and redistributed in modified or unmodified form either without restriction, or with restrictions that only ensure that further recipients can also do...



Celestia displays the Hipparcos Catalogue (HIP) of almost 120,000 stars. Celestia uses the very accurate VSOP87
Secular variations of the planetary orbits
The secular variations of the planetary orbits is a concept describing long-term changes in the orbits of the planets Mercury to Neptune. If one ignores the gravitational attraction between the planets and only models the attraction between the Sun and the planets, then with some further...

 theory of planetary orbits. This makes it possible for it to provide a solar
Solar eclipse
As seen from the Earth, a solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between the Sun and the Earth, and the Moon fully or partially blocks the Sun as viewed from a location on Earth. This can happen only during a new moon, when the Sun and the Moon are in conjunction as seen from Earth. At least...

 and lunar eclipse
Lunar eclipse
A lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes behind the Earth so that the Earth blocks the Sun's rays from striking the Moon. This can occur only when the Sun, Earth, and Moon are aligned exactly, or very closely so, with the Earth in the middle. Hence, a lunar eclipse can only occur the night of a...

 finder and to display the orbital paths of planet
A planet is a celestial body orbiting a star or stellar remnant that is massive enough to be rounded by its own gravity, is not massive enough to cause thermonuclear fusion, and has cleared its neighbouring region of planetesimals.The term planet is ancient, with ties to history, science,...

s (including extrasolar planet
Extrasolar planet
An extrasolar planet, or exoplanet, is a planet outside the Solar System. A total of such planets have been identified as of . It is now known that a substantial fraction of stars have planets, including perhaps half of all Sun-like stars...

s), dwarf planet
Dwarf planet
A dwarf planet, as defined by the International Astronomical Union , is a celestial body orbiting the Sun that is massive enough to be spherical as a result of its own gravity but has not cleared its neighboring region of planetesimals and is not a satellite...

s, moon
Natural satellite
A natural satellite or moon is a celestial body that orbits a planet or smaller body, which is called its primary. The two terms are used synonymously for non-artificial satellites of planets, of dwarf planets, and of minor planets....

s, asteroid
Asteroids are a class of small Solar System bodies in orbit around the Sun. They have also been called planetoids, especially the larger ones...

s, comet
A comet is an icy small Solar System body that, when close enough to the Sun, displays a visible coma and sometimes also a tail. These phenomena are both due to the effects of solar radiation and the solar wind upon the nucleus of the comet...

s, artificial satellite
In the context of spaceflight, a satellite is an object which has been placed into orbit by human endeavour. Such objects are sometimes called artificial satellites to distinguish them from natural satellites such as the Moon....

s, and spacecraft
A spacecraft or spaceship is a craft or machine designed for spaceflight. Spacecraft are used for a variety of purposes, including communications, earth observation, meteorology, navigation, planetary exploration and transportation of humans and cargo....

. The user can vary the number of stars that are visible on the screen and have them drawn in different styles.

Celestia users can travel/fly through the Celestia universe using simple keyboard controls, at any speed from 0.001 m/s to millions of light years/s. Viewpoints can be set to look forward, backward or at any angle to direction of travel. Controls allow users to orbit stars, planets, moons and other space objects, track space objects such as spacecraft, asteroids and comets as they fly by, or travel to and/or fly through nebulae and irregular, elliptical and spiral galaxies (over 10,000 galaxies included).

The time simulated by Celestia can be set at any point in the future or past, although planetary orbits are only accurate within a few thousand years of the present day, and date arithmetic overflows at the year 5874774.

The names and positions of multitudes of objects in space can be displayed, from galaxies, star cluster
Star cluster
Star clusters or star clouds are groups of stars. Two types of star clusters can be distinguished: globular clusters are tight groups of hundreds of thousands of very old stars which are gravitationally bound, while open clusters, more loosely clustered groups of stars, generally contain less than...

s, nebula, constellations and star
A star is a massive, luminous sphere of plasma held together by gravity. At the end of its lifetime, a star can also contain a proportion of degenerate matter. The nearest star to Earth is the Sun, which is the source of most of the energy on Earth...

s to planets, moons, asteroids, comets and artificial satellites, as well as the names and locations of cities, craters, observatories
An observatory is a location used for observing terrestrial or celestial events. Astronomy, climatology/meteorology, geology, oceanography and volcanology are examples of disciplines for which observatories have been constructed...

, valley
In geology, a valley or dale is a depression with predominant extent in one direction. A very deep river valley may be called a canyon or gorge.The terms U-shaped and V-shaped are descriptive terms of geography to characterize the form of valleys...

s, landing sites, continent
A continent is one of several very large landmasses on Earth. They are generally identified by convention rather than any strict criteria, with seven regions commonly regarded as continents—they are : Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Antarctica, Europe, and Australia.Plate tectonics is...

s, mountain
Image:Himalaya_annotated.jpg|thumb|right|The Himalayan mountain range with Mount Everestrect 58 14 160 49 Chomo Lonzorect 200 28 335 52 Makalurect 378 24 566 45 Mount Everestrect 188 581 920 656 Tibetan Plateaurect 250 406 340 427 Rong River...

s, sea
A sea generally refers to a large body of salt water, but the term is used in other contexts as well. Most commonly, it means a large expanse of saline water connected with an ocean, and is commonly used as a synonym for ocean...

s and other surface features.

Celestia displays such features as detailed atmospheres on planets and moons, planet shine
The phenomenon known as planetshine occurs when reflected sunlight from a planet illuminates the night side of one of its moons. Typically, this results in the moon's night side being bathed in a soft, faint light. The best known example of planetshine is earthshine, which can be seen from Earth...

 on orbiting satellites, sunsets and sunrises, moving clouds, planetary ring
Planetary ring
A planetary ring is a ring of cosmic dust and other small particles orbiting around a planet in a flat disc-shaped region.The most notable planetary rings known in Earth's solar system are those around Saturn, but the other three gas giants of the solar system possess ring systems of their...

s, eclipse and ring shadows, constellation lines, borders and illustrations, night-side lights (of cities), detailed surface textures, specular reflection
Specular reflection
Specular reflection is the mirror-like reflection of light from a surface, in which light from a single incoming direction is reflected into a single outgoing direction...

s off water and ice, nebula
A nebula is an interstellar cloud of dust, hydrogen gas, helium gas and other ionized gases...

 gases and star flares
Solar flare
A solar flare is a sudden brightening observed over the Sun surface or the solar limb, which is interpreted as a large energy release of up to 6 × 1025 joules of energy . The flare ejects clouds of electrons, ions, and atoms through the corona into space. These clouds typically reach Earth a day...


Information about the objects that Celestia draws can also be displayed: the radius, the distance, length of the sidereal day and average blackbody
Black body
A black body is an idealized physical body that absorbs all incident electromagnetic radiation. Because of this perfect absorptivity at all wavelengths, a black body is also the best possible emitter of thermal radiation, which it radiates incandescently in a characteristic, continuous spectrum...

 temperature of the planets are shown and the distance, luminosity relative to the sun, spectral class, surface temperature and radius of stars are indicated.

The user can change Celestia's field of view from as wide as 120 degrees to a highly magnifying 3.4 seconds of arc, while dividing the window into multiple panes, in order to observe several objects at the same time and including light time delay
Light-time correction
Light-time correction is a displacement in the apparent position of a celestial object from its true position caused by the object's motion during the time it takes its light to reach an observer....

 if desired.

Graphic screen-shots and movies can be captured in classic or HD
High-definition video
High-definition video or HD video refers to any video system of higher resolution than standard-definition video, and most commonly involves display resolutions of 1,280×720 pixels or 1,920×1,080 pixels...

 resolutions (up to 1920x1080) on Windows and Linux platforms.

Celestia's support for game pads and joysticks is relatively limited, employing many keyboard shortcuts instead.

Celestia can be extended with new objects and there are hundreds of third-party, user-created add-ons available for installation, both fictional and realistic. The extension mechanism uses Lua as its built-in scripting language. Educational lessons and computer lesson plans are available.


The default setting for Celestia's Earth
Earth is the third planet from the Sun, and the densest and fifth-largest of the eight planets in the Solar System. It is also the largest of the Solar System's four terrestrial planets...

 is a spheroid
A spheroid, or ellipsoid of revolution is a quadric surface obtained by rotating an ellipse about one of its principal axes; in other words, an ellipsoid with two equal semi-diameters....

. The irregular surface of the Earth causes low Earth orbit
Low Earth orbit
A low Earth orbit is generally defined as an orbit within the locus extending from the Earth’s surface up to an altitude of 2,000 km...

 satellites to appear to be in the wrong places in the sky when watched from Celestia's ground, even when the Earth's oblateness
The flattening, ellipticity, or oblateness of an oblate spheroid is a measure of the "squashing" of the spheroid's pole, towards its equator...

 is specified.

Many types of astronomical objects are not included with Celestia. Variable star
Variable star
A star is classified as variable if its apparent magnitude as seen from Earth changes over time, whether the changes are due to variations in the star's actual luminosity, or to variations in the amount of the star's light that is blocked from reaching Earth...

s, supernova
A supernova is a stellar explosion that is more energetic than a nova. It is pronounced with the plural supernovae or supernovas. Supernovae are extremely luminous and cause a burst of radiation that often briefly outshines an entire galaxy, before fading from view over several weeks or months...

e, black hole
Black hole
A black hole is a region of spacetime from which nothing, not even light, can escape. The theory of general relativity predicts that a sufficiently compact mass will deform spacetime to form a black hole. Around a black hole there is a mathematically defined surface called an event horizon that...

s and nebula
A nebula is an interstellar cloud of dust, hydrogen gas, helium gas and other ionized gases...

e are missing from the standard distribution. Some are available as add-ons. Although objects which form part of a planetary system
Planetary system
A planetary system consists of the various non-stellar objects orbiting a star such as planets, dwarf planets , asteroids, meteoroids, comets, and cosmic dust...

 move, and stars rotate about their axes and orbit each other in multiple star systems, stellar proper motion
Proper motion
The proper motion of a star is its angular change in position over time as seen from the center of mass of the solar system. It is measured in seconds of arc per year, arcsec/yr, where 3600 arcseconds equal one degree. This contrasts with radial velocity, which is the time rate of change in...

 is not simulated and galaxies
A galaxy is a massive, gravitationally bound system that consists of stars and stellar remnants, an interstellar medium of gas and dust, and an important but poorly understood component tentatively dubbed dark matter. The word galaxy is derived from the Greek galaxias , literally "milky", a...

 are at fixed locations. Celestia's binary star catalogs only describe a few hundred systems of multiple stars. Most binary star
Binary star
A binary star is a star system consisting of two stars orbiting around their common center of mass. The brighter star is called the primary and the other is its companion star, comes, or secondary...

 systems cannot be simulated because adequate orbital information is not yet available.

Celestia does not include any stars that are more than a few thousand light-year
A light-year, also light year or lightyear is a unit of length, equal to just under 10 trillion kilometres...

s from the Sun because the parallaxes of more distant stars are too small to be accurately measured by the Hipparcos
Hipparcos was a scientific mission of the European Space Agency , launched in 1989 and operated between 1989 and 1993. It was the first space experiment devoted to precision astrometry, the accurate measurement of the positions of celestial objects on the sky...

Astrometry is the branch of astronomy that involves precise measurements of the positions and movements of stars and other celestial bodies. The information obtained by astrometric measurements provides information on the kinematics and physical origin of our Solar System and our Galaxy, the Milky...

 satellite. In addition, objects in solar systems are only drawn to a distance of one light-year from their suns and Celestia does not consider the wobbling of some stars induced by their planets.

Wavelength filtering is not implemented in Celestia's engine. The actual rendering tries to match as closely as possible human vision at the observer's position. This means false-color
A false-color image is an image that depicts a subject in colors that differ from those a full-color photograph would show.-True- and false-color:...

 maps, multi-color nebulae and over-exposed galaxies are not part of the official distribution. Camera lens artifacts like lens flare
Lens flare
Lens flare is the light scattered in lens systems through generally unwanted image formation mechanisms, such as internal reflection and scattering from material inhomogeneities in the lens. These mechanisms differ from the intended image formation mechanism that depends on refraction of the image...

 and glare are not rendered. Also, in a total lunar eclipse
Lunar eclipse
A lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes behind the Earth so that the Earth blocks the Sun's rays from striking the Moon. This can occur only when the Sun, Earth, and Moon are aligned exactly, or very closely so, with the Earth in the middle. Hence, a lunar eclipse can only occur the night of a...

, the moon
The Moon is Earth's only known natural satellite,There are a number of near-Earth asteroids including 3753 Cruithne that are co-orbital with Earth: their orbits bring them close to Earth for periods of time but then alter in the long term . These are quasi-satellites and not true moons. For more...

 is completely dark.

Celestia also does not simulate gravity. That means, for example, that a near-Earth object
Near-Earth object
A near-Earth object is a Solar System object whose orbit brings it into close proximity with the Earth. All NEOs have a perihelion distance less than 1.3 AU. They include a few thousand near-Earth asteroids , near-Earth comets, a number of solar-orbiting spacecraft, and meteoroids large enough to...

 approaching the Earth will not collide with the planet after being caught by the Earth's gravity unless the person who defined the NEO's trajectory for Celestia included that effect.

Some of Jupiter's moons do not cast a shadow on Jupiter during eclipses. This is because irregularly shaped objects do not cast shadows in the current version of Celestia.

Most spacecraft
A spacecraft or spaceship is a craft or machine designed for spaceflight. Spacecraft are used for a variety of purposes, including communications, earth observation, meteorology, navigation, planetary exploration and transportation of humans and cargo....

 such as the Voyager 2
Voyager 2
The Voyager 2 spacecraft is a 722-kilogram space probe launched by NASA on August 20, 1977 to study the outer Solar System and eventually interstellar space...

 are not available in Celestia but are provided as add-ons by users.

In the real world, constellations gradually change shape because stars will move over time, which Celestia does not take into account.


About 18 GB
The gigabyte is a multiple of the unit byte for digital information storage. The prefix giga means 109 in the International System of Units , therefore 1 gigabyte is...

 of extensions are available in addition to the base program, produced by an active user community.

High-resolution surface textures are available for most solar system bodies, including Virtual Textures with complete coverage up to 32768 pixels wide (1.25 km/pixel at the Earth's equator), with selected coverage at higher resolutions. This allows very close views of the Earth, Mars and the Moon. Many 3D models of historical and existing spacecraft are available flying in reasonably accurate trajectories, from Sputnik 1
Sputnik 1
Sputnik 1 ) was the first artificial satellite to be put into Earth's orbit. It was launched into an elliptical low Earth orbit by the Soviet Union on 4 October 1957. The unanticipated announcement of Sputnik 1s success precipitated the Sputnik crisis in the United States and ignited the Space...

 and Voyager 2
Voyager 2
The Voyager 2 spacecraft is a 722-kilogram space probe launched by NASA on August 20, 1977 to study the outer Solar System and eventually interstellar space...

 to the Hubble Space Telescope
Hubble Space Telescope
The Hubble Space Telescope is a space telescope that was carried into orbit by a Space Shuttle in 1990 and remains in operation. A 2.4 meter aperture telescope in low Earth orbit, Hubble's four main instruments observe in the near ultraviolet, visible, and near infrared...

 and International Space Station
International Space Station
The International Space Station is a habitable, artificial satellite in low Earth orbit. The ISS follows the Salyut, Almaz, Cosmos, Skylab, and Mir space stations, as the 11th space station launched, not including the Genesis I and II prototypes...

, as are extended data plots for stars (2 million with correct spatial coordinates). DSO
Deep sky
Deep-sky objects are astronomical objects other than individual stars and solar system objects . The classification is used for the most part by amateur astronomers to denote visually observed faint naked eye and telescopic objects such as star clusters, nebulae and galaxies.-Origins and...

s (nebulae, galaxies, open cluster
Open cluster
An open cluster is a group of up to a few thousand stars that were formed from the same giant molecular cloud and have roughly the same age. More than 1,100 open clusters have been discovered within the Milky Way Galaxy, and many more are thought to exist...

s etc.), as well as catalogues of thousands of asteroids and comets, and more than 96,000 locations on the Earth can be drawn by the program. Add-ons also include extensive space objects such as red and blue supergiants, red and brown dwarfs, neutron stars, spinning pulsars, rotating black holes with accretion disks, protostars, star nursery nebula, supernova and planetary nebula, galactic redshifts, geological planetary displays (e.g. 3-D interiors, topographic and bathymetric
Bathymetry is the study of underwater depth of lake or ocean floors. In other words, bathymetry is the underwater equivalent to hypsometry. The name comes from Greek βαθύς , "deep", and μέτρον , "measure"...

 maps, ice age simulations), planetary aurorae
Aurora (astronomy)
An aurora is a natural light display in the sky particularly in the high latitude regions, caused by the collision of energetic charged particles with atoms in the high altitude atmosphere...

, rotating magnetic fields, animated solar flare
Solar flare
A solar flare is a sudden brightening observed over the Sun surface or the solar limb, which is interpreted as a large energy release of up to 6 × 1025 joules of energy . The flare ejects clouds of electrons, ions, and atoms through the corona into space. These clouds typically reach Earth a day...

s and prominences, 3-D craters and mountains, and historic collision events. All can be visited via the Celestia travel interface. All stages in the life cycle of stars are available, from protostar
A protostar is a large mass that forms by contraction out of the gas of a giant molecular cloud in the interstellar medium. The protostellar phase is an early stage in the process of star formation. For a one solar-mass star it lasts about 100,000 years...

 to black dwarf
Black dwarf
A black dwarf is a hypothetical stellar remnant, created when a white dwarf becomes sufficiently cool to no longer emit significant heat or light...


Numerous scripts are available; these include simple tours, reconstructions of complex space missions such as Cassini–Huygens and Deep Impact, and scripts showing useful information, like size comparisons, or particular events such as multiple simultaneous eclipses of Jupiter's moons or the evolution of a star.

Many well known fictional universe
Fictional universe
A fictional universe is a self-consistent fictional setting with elements that differ from the real world. It may also be called an imagined, constructed or fictional realm ....

s are depicted in detail, with whole solar systems and 3D models – films such as 2001: A Space Odyssey
2001: A Space Odyssey (film)
2001: A Space Odyssey is a 1968 epic science fiction film produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick, and co-written by Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke, partially inspired by Clarke's short story The Sentinel...

, Star Trek
Star Trek
Star Trek is an American science fiction entertainment franchise created by Gene Roddenberry. The core of Star Trek is its six television series: The Original Series, The Animated Series, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise...

and Star Wars
Star Wars
Star Wars is an American epic space opera film series created by George Lucas. The first film in the series was originally released on May 25, 1977, under the title Star Wars, by 20th Century Fox, and became a worldwide pop culture phenomenon, followed by two sequels, released at three-year...

, and TV shows including Stargate SG-1
Stargate SG-1
Stargate SG-1 is a Canadian-American adventure and military science fiction television series and part of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's Stargate franchise. The show, created by Brad Wright and Jonathan Glassner, is based on the 1994 feature film Stargate by Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich...

and Babylon 5
Babylon 5
Babylon 5 is an American science fiction television series created, produced and largely written by J. Michael Straczynski. The show centers on a space station named Babylon 5: a focal point for politics, diplomacy, and conflict during the years 2257–2262...

. Add-ons illustrating less well known Web fiction, like Orion's Arm
Orion's Arm
Orion's Arm, is a multi-authored online science fiction world-building project, first established in 2000 by M. Alan Kazlev, Donna Malcolm Hirsekorn, Bernd Helfert and Anders Sandberg and further co-authored by many people since...

, or role-playing games, like 2300 AD
2300 AD
2300 AD is a hard science fiction role-playing game created by Game Designers Workshop, originally offered as an alternative to the space opera portrayed by the company's leading science fiction role-playing game, Traveller...

, and detailed personal works by members of the Celestia community depicting extensive fictional solar systems with inhabited worlds, spacecraft, cities and exotic special effects can also be obtained.

Educational add-ons (built by and for educators) are also available and are in use worldwide. These activities provide approximately 40 hours of space journeys and astronomical lessons, to include extensive tours of the Celestia universe, the complete life cycle of stars, the solar system, the human space program, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI), and depictions of astronomical events such as the formation of our moon billions of years ago, and the possible terraforming of Mars
Terraforming of Mars
The terraforming of Mars is the hypothetical process by which the climate, surface, and known properties of Mars would be deliberately changed with the goal of making it habitable by humans and other terrestrial life, thus providing the possibility of safe and sustainable colonization of large...

 in the future. A special educational version of the Celestia program can also provide sound effects and "cockpit" features to simulate flying in a "real" hyperdrive spacecraft. Targeting the home user, middle and high school students and beginning courses in collegiate astronomy, they are available in several languages. They can also be obtained on CD or DVD for easy installation on school servers, teacher computers and home computers.

In the media

Celestia was used in the media by the CBS television show NCIS
NCIS (TV series)
NCIS, formerly known as NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service, is an American police procedural drama television series revolving around a fictional team of special agents from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, which conducts criminal investigations involving the U.S...

(Season 4, Episode 22: "In the Dark"). Character Timothy McGee explains what Celestia is, and how an add-on can allow the user to store a diary within the program as well. Textures designed by Celestia graphic artists were used in the movie The Day After Tomorrow
The Day After Tomorrow
The Day After Tomorrow is a 2004 American science-fiction disaster film that depicts the catastrophic effects of global warming in a series of extreme weather events that usher in global cooling which leads to a new ice age. The film did well at the box office, grossing $542,771,772 internationally...

and the 2008 miniseries, The Andromeda Strain. Celestia has also appeared in the Science Channel's Through the Wormhole
Through the Wormhole
Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman is an American science documentary television series narrated by American actor Morgan Freeman. It began airing on Science in the United States on June 9, 2010.- Development :...


See also

  • Cartes du Ciel
    Cartes du Ciel
    Cartes du Ciel is a free planetarium program for Linux, Mac OS X and Windows. With the change to version 3, Linux has been added as a target platform, licensing has changed from freeware to GPL and the project moved to a new website....

  • Digital Universe Atlas
    Digital Universe Atlas
    Digital Universe Atlas or Digital Universe is a free open source software planetarium application, available under the terms of the Illinois Open Source License, and running on Linux, Windows, Mac OS X , AmigaOS 4, and IRIX....

  • Google Mars
    Google Mars
    Google Mars was at first an in-browser version of Google Maps which provides a visible imagery view, like Google Moon, as well as infrared imagery and shaded relief of the planet Mars. Users can toggle between the elevation, visible, and infrared data, in the same manner as switching between map,...

  • Google Moon
    Google Moon
    Google Moon is a service similar to Google Maps that shows satellite images of the Moon. It was launched by Google on July 20, 2005, the 36th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing...

  • Google Sky
    Google Sky
    Google Sky is a feature for Google's Google Earth and an online sky/outer space viewer at www.google.com/sky. It was created on August 27, 2007...

  • KStars
    KStars is a planetarium program using the KDE Platform for Unix-like computer operating systems. It provides an accurate graphical representation of the night sky, from any location on Earth, at any date and time...

  • Hallo Northern Sky (HN Sky)
    HNSKY or Hallo Northern Sky is a freeware planetarium program for Microsoft Windows to simulate the night sky. It is provided with several non-English language modules, as well as several stellar databases....

  • NASA World Wind
    NASA World Wind
    World Wind is an open-source virtual globe developed by NASA and the open source community for use on personal computers. Old versions need Microsoft Windows but the more recent Java version, , is cross platform and provides a suite of . The World Wind Java version was awarded in November 2009...

  • Orbiter
  • RedShift
    RedShift (planetarium software)
    Redshift is planetarium software created by Maris Multimedia. It runs on PC with Microsoft Windows and iPad.- Description :Redshift is a group of educational planetarium and astronomy software packages that allow the user to observe the sky from a range of dates, print off data based on the...

  • Starry Night
    Starry Night (planetarium software)
    Starry Night is commercial planetarium software, available for Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows and for the iphone. Starry Night focuses heavily on providing attractive, realistic imagery, although recent versions have also increasingly targeted the amateur astronomy community with features like...

  • Stellarium
  • TheSky
    TheSky (astronomy software)
    TheSky is an astronomy program designed to be used for various educational and observational purposes. It provides a large feature set including the following:...

  • Universe Sandbox
    Universe Sandbox
    Universe Sandbox is an interactive space gravity simulator. Using Universe Sandbox, one can see the effects of gravity on objects in the universe and run scale simulations of our Solar System, various galaxies or other simulations, while at the same time, interacting and maintaining control over...

  • WorldWide Telescope
    WorldWide Telescope
    The WorldWide Telescope is a computer program created by Microsoft that displays the astronomical sky as maps, the 3D Universe, visualised data sets and animations. It was announced at the TED Conference in Monterey, California in February 2008. Users are able to pan around outer space and zoom as...

  • XEphem
    XEphem is a Motif based ephemeris and planetarium program for Unix-like operating systems developed by Elwood C. Downey.XEphem uses* The VSOP87D planetary theory for Solar System ephemeris,...

External links