"A real-time space simulation."
If you ever wanted to explore the unimaginable beauty and mystery of the solar system, planets, the Milky Way or other galaxies, then it is time to learn more about the amazing Celestia software application. This incredible utility includes over one hundred thousand possible solar systems that you can explore in real time. Moreover, in its latest patch, this so called dreamer’s and amateur astronomer application allows you to explore over sixty planets that have only recently been discovered outside our solar system.
What makes the Celestia application unique is the fact that, unlike most of the real time exploration programs, it does not confine users to investigate the details of just the planet Earth. In fact, this application allows you to travel around and discover stars and planets beyond our galaxy. The fact that it can present unique, real-time three-dimensional viewing has made Celestia an invaluable tool for astronomy education in schools, museums, planetariums and at home.
In order to enjoy the breathtaking views provided by the space exploration application Celestia, users must make sure that their video card is able to support OpenGL technology. The reason for this is that the images and explorations are done in 3D mode. On the other hand, the good news regarding this application is the fact that it works well with all the operating systems, regardless of whether it is Windows, Linux or Mac. Another good thing about Celestia is that it only requires approximately seventy megabytes storage space. Other than that, the installation is intuitive, fast and does not include any spyware or malware.
When you first open this application, you might feel a bit confused, especially since the interface seems to be developed for users with scientific inclinations and people who know what they are doing. The very first thing that you will view with Celestia is the Sun. However, shortly after, the view switches to Earth. In order to explore the solar system all you need to do is click in an area and zoom it. On a side note, the zoom function is quite powerful and it allows you to explore star clusters and galaxies beyond our own.
However, it is important to note that the appeal and ingenuity of the application does not reside in its basic features. Even though it allows you to travel to any planet in the solar system or beyond the galaxy in a matter of seconds, what really makes this software tick are the add-ons. Currently, there are over twenty gigabytes of available add-ons that allow those passionate about space exploration to see high-resolution textures for all the planets in the solar system. Moreover, some fan-based add-ons permit users to recreate the space from their favorite TV shows, such as Star Trek or Babylon 5.
The greatest advantage of using the Celestia application is in its responsiveness rates. Regardless of whether you are exploring the recently discovered GJ 436c planet in the Leo constellation or the R136a1, also known as the largest star ever discovered so far, you can travel from one to another at any speed you want. Moreover, you can check them out at any given time, past or present. Just imagine how many supernovas you will get to see if you were to look at the night sky from twelve thousand years ago.
Even though it offers endless possibilities of space explorations and close ups of the surfaces of other planets, the truth is that not all controls and functions are very intuitive. In fact, some of the users have reported that they needed some time before they actually got used to the navigation controls.
One of the alternatives to Celestia is Stellarium. However, it is important to note that unlike the possibilities you have with Celestia, Stellarum will only show you what you see when you look up at the stars.
If you are passionate about exploring the mysteries of the night sky and travel to any planet inside or outside the solar system, Celestia is one of the applications that allow you to do just that. Overall, it is an advanced astronomical viewing tool with which you can travel outside the galaxy at any given time.
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