The space and the sky beyond the naked eye can reach has enormous depth and breadth that we can ever imagine. It is not possible for everyone to take a space flight, at least in the near future, and go to distant galaxies, visit nebulae and explore the space to your heart's content. Fortunately, we have the data that pioneers have collected over centuries and, Stellarium, a completely open source program, brings it to us. Stellarium is available for all known platforms available for desktops and laptops. This isn't yet available for any smartphone OS.
- The default catalogue contains 600,000 stars and additional catalogue contains more than 210 million.
- There are illustrations and asterisms of constellations available from over 20 different cultures.
- It holds the complete Messier catalogue of images of nebulae which can be viewed as if in a realistic sky in 3D enabling depth, scale and perspective.
Furthermore, you can see realistic sunrise and sunset on actual timings, the Milky Way and the planets and their satellites owing to gigabytes of high resolution imagery.
If we talk about the various visualizations available on Stellarium, you can see twinkling of stars, shooting stars, the equatorial and azimuthal grids that help you to correctly locate the atmosphere and the stellar bodies in them.
- You can see simulations of eclipse and supernovae. The landscapes are skinnable and you can also see panoramic spherical projections that give you the 360? effect.
Stellarium has a very neat interface where you can enable deep zoom without any loss of high resolution images. There is time control that is needed for some visualizations. The graphical interface has been revised to provide a clutter free UI. You can use a fisheye projection of planetarium domes as well as of your own low-cost domes. Customizations offer even more specs like adding ocular simulations, telescopic configurations and adding your own deep space celestial bodies, constellations, images and script. This additions can be done manually or from online repositories.
The recommended specs for the latest Stellarium 0.13.3 are about 1GB RAM and 1.5GB hard disk where the actual requirements are even less. A 3D graphics card supporting OpenGL 3.3, an open source graphics rendering engine is also needed. In simple terms, if you have a good enough processor and graphics, not so much as a gaming device, you can have a fluent experience and in today's norms a lot more is equipped with any budget computer.
Changes on the new version: - The Digital Sky Survey (DSS) can be shown (requires online connection). - AstroCalc is now available from the main menu and gives interesting new computational insight. - Stellarium can act as Spout sender (important for multimedia environments; Windows only). In addition, a lot of bugs have been fixed. - wait() and waitFor() in the Scripting Engine no longer inhibits performance of moves. - DE430/431 DeltaT may be OK now. We still want to test a bit more, though. - ArchaeoLines also offers two arbitrary declination lines. - Added support of time zones dependent by location. - Added new skyculture: Sardinian. - Added updates and improvements in catalogs. - Added improvements in the GUI. - Added cross identification data for stars from Bright Star Catalogue, 5th Revised Ed. (Hoffleit+, 1991)