Monday, September 17, 2007

Celestia - 3D Earth and Sky visualization

Here's another linux application that that lets you explore the sky, planets, stars, galaxy and universe in three dimensions (3D), also an alternative for MS Visual Earth.

Celestia is a real-time space simulation which lets you experience the universe in three dimensions. Celestia does not confine you to the
surface of the Earth only, but Celestia allows you to travel throughout the entire solar system, to any of over 100,000 stars, or even beyond the galaxy.

The Celestia has several features, one of them is exponential zoom feature that lets you explore space and galaxies across a huge range of scales and 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, all these are displayed seamlessly in 3D rendered graphical display from GNOME or KDE.

Celestia is expandable. Celestia comes with a large catalog of stars, galaxies, planets, moons, asteroids, comets, and spacecraft. If that's not enough, you can download dozens of easy to install add-ons with more objects.

I have successfully installed Celestia from my intel-based motherboard and video adapter. And I have to say the 3d graphics was rendered by Celestia in an impressive seamless way making use of my 3d-enabled intel based vga adapter.


Celestia can be installed from Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X. Celestia is available also from Fedora 7 repos. The Fedora installation is very simple, as always.

# yum -y install celestia

This would download and install an approximate 18MB of package file.


# celestia

My Celestia screenshots:

Celestia webshots:

For more documentation, you can visit here and addons documentation from here. And for more download platform/distro download, visit them here.

Enjoy the skies.


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