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Celestia

Celestia

Celestia is a free real-time space simulation that lets you visually experience the universe in three dimensions.

Unlike most planetarium software, Celestia does not confine you to the surface of the Earth. You can travel throughout the solar system, to any of over 100,000 stars, or even beyond the galaxy. All travel in Celestia is seamless; the exponential zoom feature lets you explore space across a huge range of scales, from galaxy clusters down to spacecraft only a few meters across. A 'point-and-goto' interface makes it simple to navigate through the universe to the object you want to visit.

Many add-ons and vastly improved textures of high resolution are available for Celestia.

NASA and ESA have used Celestia in their educational and outreach programs, as well as for interfacing to trajectory analysis software.

It has GNOME, KDE, and generic Gimp Toolkit (Gtk) front ends.

Over 3 million people have downloaded the program for use at home or school. It is in use in homes, schools, government agencies and media outlets throughout the world.

 Celestia 1.6.1

Price
Free to download

Size
50.2MB
License

GNU GPL v2

Developer
Celestia Development Team

Website
sf.net/projects/celestia/

System Requirements
CPU > 300 MHz
512MB of RAM recommended
OpenGL graphics card
OpenGL

Support:
Celestia User Forums, Celestial Matters, The Celestia Motherlode, Selden's List of Resources for Celestia, NASA Celestia Guided Activity, Jack's Celestia Add-ons, Celestia for GNOME

Selected Reviews:
Astronomywa.net, Linux.com, Softpedia

Features include:

  • Displays the Hipparcos Catalogue of almost 120,000 stars
  • Uses the very accurate VSOP87 theory of planetary orbits to provide a Solar and lunar eclipse finder and to display the orbital paths of planets (including extrasolar planets), moons, asteroids, comets, artificial satellites, and spacecraft
  • Travel/fly through the Celestia universe using simple keyboard controls, at any speed from 0.001m/s to millions of light years
  • Names and positions of multitudes of objects in space can be displayed, from galaxies, star clusters, nebula, constellations and stars to planets, moons, asteroids, comets and artificial satellites, as well as the names and locations of cities, craters, observatories, valleys, landing sites, continents, mountains, seas and other surface features
  • Displays features such as detailed atmospheres on planets and moons, sunsets and sunrises, moving clouds, planetary rings, eclipse and ring shadows, constellation lines, borders and illustrations, night-side lights, detailed surface textures, nebula gases and star flares
  • Information about the objects that Celestia draws can also be displayed: the radius, the distance, length of the sidereal day and average temperature of the planets are shown and the distance, luminosity relative to the sun, spectral class, surface temperature and radius of stars are indicated.
  • Graphic screen-shots and movies can be captured in classic or HD resolutions
  • Extended with new objects and there are hundreds of third-party, user-created add-ons available for installation, both fictional and realistic

Return to Scientific Home Page | Return to Astronomy Home Page

Celestia also features in our 'Linux Equivalents to Windows Software' section. The category selector below allows you to filter the different types of software included in that separate article.

Category:

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Last Updated Tuesday, October 14 2014 @ 02:35 PM EDT


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