"A useful and free GPL software."
You can say that the market is saturated with planetarium software packages that allow space enthusiasts and astronomers to observe the sky and learn their way around it. A whole host of features are provided by these software products. By using them you will be able to get to know constellations and find planets. What is more, due to the development of GoTo systems, some of them communicate with telescopes and allow you to go to the selected object with just a click of the mouse. On the other hand, the majority of planetarium tool have a major downside, despite their very accurate data. The problems lies in the fact that there is a noticeable difference between what your program is telling you and the real twinkling of the stars when you look up in the sky. Fortunately, Stellarium managed to fix this issue and it is one of the most appreciated softwares of its kind out there. Let’s analyze its features in this quick article!
The installation process of Stellarium is fast and easy and you will simply click your way through its install wizard. The setup kit of this tool is around 44 MB so the download shouldn’t take more than a few minutes, depending on your internet connection. The wait is surely worth it! Your PC video settings are automatically detected when Stellarium is loading and thus, the display will be set accordingly. You should be happy to find out that Stellarium supports all of the available versions of the Windows operating system as well as the Linux and Mac platforms. It doesn’t come bundled with adware/spyware or other installed programs.
So the program is installed! This means you are ready to go! Firstly, you need to input your location and this step is accomplished either by entering your latitude and longitude or by using a small atlas and pointing to your location. This is where the hardcore players can be observed! The interface of Stellarium is a real treat! The best thing about it is that Stellarium's developers knew that the planets and constellations are the real stars here, so the interface is simple, elegant and fits perfectly with the heavenly views. It includes features such as a powerful zoom, telescope control, time control, extensive keyboard control with a lot of shortcuts, and more!
It is no wonder that Stellarium is the favorite planetarium tool of many users around the world. For aspiring astronomers, it is really an invaluable product. It is a photorealistic tool that’s jam-packed with features and ease of use. Due to features such as photorealistic sky, zoomable objects, customizable locations and large star databases (over 600,000 stars are included by the default catalogue whilst more than 210 million stars are implemented in the extra catalogue). The navigation is smooth and switching between plain view and constellation shapes is done seamlessly - novice users will simply have a blast! Other features of Stellarium include a night modem satellite passes, the ability to see the sky from other planets and multiple sky culture maps. New solar system objects can be downloaded through plug-ins as new comets and asteroids can be downloaded from online sources. The Plug-in tab is very easy to use! In this regard, Stellarium is a very customizable tool.
Other nice touches of Stellarium include the constellations art, a sweet feature that offers you artistic pictures of the constellations as well as their mythical figures. All sorts of information can be learned by clicking over an object. The incorporated cardinal points, equatorial grid, the simulated atmosphere and very realistic sunrise and sunsets make Stellarium an incredible tool you simply can’t miss! Even the amount of twinkling of the stars can be adjusted by using the configuration window.
A scripting manual hasn’t yet been produced and it’s a pity as the scripting capabilities of Stellarium are impressive.
Stellarium is an excellent planetarium with great features, an easy to use interface and plugins that greatly enhance its functionality. Give it a try as we highly recommend this fun tool!
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