Stellarium is a free open source planetarium for your computer. It shows a realistic sky in 3D, just like what you see with the naked eye, binoculars or a telescope. It is being used in planetarium projectors. Just set your coordinates and go.
Stellarium key features:
- Realistic simulation of the sky, sunrise and sunset
- Default catalogue of over 600,000 stars
- Downloadable additional catalogues for up to 210 million stars
- Catalog data for all New General Catalogue (NGC) objects
- Images of almost all Messier objects and the Milky Way
- Artistic illustrations for all 88 modern constellations
- More than a dozen different cultures with their constellations
- Solar and lunar eclipse simulation
- Photorealistic landscapes (more are available on the website)
- Scripting support with ECMAScript (a few demo scripts are included)
- Extendable with plug-ins: 8 plug-ins installed by default, including:
- artificial satellites plug-in (updated from an on-line TLE database)
- ocular simulation plug-in (shows how objects look like in a given ocular)
- Solar System editor plug-in (imports comet and asteroid data from the MPC)
- telescope control plug-in (Meade LX200 and Celestron NexStar compatible)
The major changes of this version:
- AstroCalc: Eclipse Finder
- AstroCalc: RTS (Rises, Transits, Settings)
- Switch from Bortle scale to physical brightness values for light pollution.
- Allow tweaks for the atmosphere brightness/color model and tone mapping
- Several new calendars in the Calendars plugin
- Seasonal polar caps on Mars
- New and improved sky cultures
- Larger textures allowed in Scenery3D
- Improved OnlineQueries and Satellites plugin
- Many fixes in core and plugins.
- Technical preparations towards a major upgrade of the internal Qt framework.
- There has also been a large number of bug fixes and closed feature requests and enhancements (see full list of changes). [full release notes]
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