Stellarium

Stellarium 0.11.2

See stars, planets and nebulae in real time

Chances are that not very many people have heard of Stellarium although it is very similar to one of the most popular pieces of software available today – Google Earth. While Google’s software allows you to focus on the earth from a starting point in outer space, Stellarium reverses your perspective and places you at any point on the earth’s surface, staring up and out into deep space. View full description

PROS

  • Realistic sunsets and sunrises
  • Constellations traced out
  • Accurate star positions

CONS

  • Imagery not detailed
  • Designed for use in a dome (planetarium)
  • Narrow appeal

Good
7

Chances are that not very many people have heard of Stellarium although it is very similar to one of the most popular pieces of software available today – Google Earth. While Google’s software allows you to focus on the earth from a starting point in outer space, Stellarium reverses your perspective and places you at any point on the earth’s surface, staring up and out into deep space.

An interesting feature in Stellarium is that as time passes, the virtual star system will evolve, with the sun setting and the various constellations becoming more prominent in the dark night sky. You have a selection of visual effects that you can switch on or off such as the atmosphere, or trace lines for the star systems. Impressive stuff for a few minutes, but once you’ve got the general gist of what Stellarium entails, you’ll quickly tire of zooming out to distant stars and watching as they slowly move across the screen.

While Google Earth brings you detailed photos of our planet’s surface, Stellarium can only achieve a much lower resolution representation of the solar system’s planets, without mentioning the fact that stars are limited to simple white dots zipping through the sky. With over 120,000 stars accurately plotted out in this virtual planetarium, it’s obvious that a lot of work has gone in to its creation. However, Stellarium's excruciating level of detail is likely only to appeal to the real die-hard star gazers.

The idea behind Stellarium is a good one in theory, but when it comes down to it most people will see it as little more than a smart, interactive screensaver. That said, if you have an affinity for astronomy, would like to learn the constellations, or simply enjoy watching beautiful sunsets, then Stellarium is for you.

Changes

  • You can find the full changelog here: http://stellarium.sourceforge.net/
Stellarium

Download

Stellarium 0.11.2

User reviews about Stellarium

  • MikeinHarrow

    by MikeinHarrow

    "Look at the night sky from your hole or anywhere - for free!"

    I attend an Astronomy group/class and we often use Stellarium. It allows you to look at the nightsky from anywhere on...   More.

  • jeff

    by jeff

    "Decent, but needs to be more user friendly"

    Decent , but the included animations are confusing and very un user friendly. The app however is good if you want to ...   More.

  • MarkusWelsh

    by MarkusWelsh

    "Awesome!!!"

    Love this app! Provides a lot of detailed info on stars and constellations. I can spend hours in it!.   More.

  • MatthewDRoach

    by MatthewDRoach

    "A skywatcher's dream."

    I love Stellarium. I use it on the patio at night. I've been using it for years and have it pretty down pat these d...   More.

  • juanjosanabria

    by juanjosanabria

    "Best program ever"

    Best program ever. I can't find anything better. Install it and enjoy..   More.

  • "graphic and 3d "

    need some more 3d detailing and more graphic use is necessary..   More.