Stellarium – Open Source Planetarium

Stellarium ScreenshotEven you can become an astronomer! Imagine being able to explore your way through space. Seeing celestial bodies in full color. Perhaps you want to gaze into the future, and see what a certain star will look like several years from now. Or maybe, you wish to observe how the sky used to be.

Now you can do all that and more with Stellarium. This is an open source planetarium software. This is professional grade. It can actually be used by real planetariums. However, you can use it on your personal computer as well. You can watch the sky in real time, or in faster or slower time. According to Solution Watch, you can zoom into stars, planets, even nebulae.

Not only can you do all that, you also have the ability to make your own astronomy videos, and it has built in functions for capturing screen shots.

Stellarium ScreenshotWith this software, getting started can be a little bit tricky(if you want to view from a location besides Paris). But overall, the interface is fairly straightforward. One hint for people that like to tweak settings: There is a reason the config.ini file is listed on the start menu. Use it, it will save you lots of time.
For those who are interested, Stellarium is open source under the GNU General Public License (GPL).

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