Sunday, April 13, 2014

Stellarium - Planetarium for your computer

When we visited the star gazing facility in Chile, our guide showed us different views of the sky above us with Stellarium.
This is a free and open source application, available for all mayor platforms (Windows, Mac & Linux) and in dozens of languages which enables you to travel in space and time to have a look at the stars.

By entering a location you can see what kind of stars to expect, which constellations are visible & much more. You can see in real time how satellites pass and stars wander or hurry it up by pressing fast forward.
But you can also travel back and forward in time. Want to know which kind of stars are visible on the 17. of April 2017 in Reykjavik, Iceland? Or on the 1. of July in 1394 in Lae, Papua New Guinea? No problem!

The application can of course much more than most of us will ever need. There are many differen plugins and scripts available, from following the path of the sund during the year, demonstrating lunar eclipses, displaying Super Novas to sending digital commands to your telescope tracker.

All in all it is a beautiful piece of software which everybody with a slight interest in the world above us should at least try. Its free, so nothing to lose ;)

View from Concepcion with enabled constellation lines, labels and artwork.