Thursday, August 30, 2007

Stellarium - watch the sky from Linux

Stellarium is a real-time 3D photo-realistic nightsky renderer. It can generate images of the sky as seen through the Earth's atmosphere with more than one hundred thousand stars from the Hipparcos Catalogue, constellations, planets, major satellites and nebulas.

Atlast, using Fedora Linux, Stellarium awakens my long-sleeping interests and passion with stars, lunars, astronomy, skies and other sky gazing bodies of galactical space. Stellarium shows a realistic sky in 3D mode, just like what you are seeing from a naked eye, binoculars or a telescope or even from your PC. This wonderful astronomical software is way too nice not to be installed from your linux box. If you are interested with star gazing moments during weekends or Sundays, this is the time to stargazed the sky right from your fingertips!

The Stellarium software comes as an opensourced cross-platform astronomical package. Stellarium can be installed from Macs, Windows, and Linux systems. Stellarium runs smoothly to Fedora linux with small memory foorprints that gives you a more rendered day and night sky visions. You can actually adjust and select a timeframe of the day or phase of Earth's movement to be referenced as your current viewpoint. Using this Stellarium feature, viewing the sky at sunrise, sunset, midnight, or early afternoon and viewing it above the ocean, under the trees, over the moon, or even from any country location can be done easily and instantly using Stellarium.

The installation process is as easy as 1 and 2. Read more from below.


# yum -y install stellarium

This would download more than 30MB of package installer.


Stellarium comes with separate user guide package. It contains everything you want to know with Stellarium. If you wish to install stellarium user guides, here's how to install it.

# yum -y install stellarium-doc


Here are more features of Stellarium:

Features (in version 0.9.0)

* default catalogue of over 600,000 stars
* extra catalogues with more than 210 million stars
* asterisms and illustrations of the constellations
* images of nebulae (full Messier catalogue)
* realistic Milky Way
* very realistic atmosphere, sunrise and sunset
* the planets and their satellites


* a powerful zoom
* time control
* multilingual interface
* scripting to record and play your own shows
* fisheye projection for planetarium domes
* spheric mirror projection for your own dome
* graphical interface and extensive keyboard control
* telescope control


* equatorial and azimuthal grids
* star twinkling
* shooting stars
* eclipse simulation
* skinnable landscapes, now with spheric panorama projection

Here are sample web screenshots:

And from my own screenshots:

What are you waiting for, do the yum thing now.


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