Saturday, January 21, 2006

Seeing Stars With Stellarium

I think one way to be less stressed is to look at the skies and the stars. However in big cities, that's usually not very feasible due to the light pollution. So, an alternative thing to do is to look at your computer screens. I've a couple of astronomy simulators like the excellent Celestia and OrbitSim, but what I need is something that simulates what the scenery outside the window will be at any location on Earth. The traditional 'star charts' programs are usually just computer versions of the standard charts one finds in astronomy books; these are quite 'boring' and not like the 'wow!' feeling one gets with Celetia... So it's been a long time since I tried to find something like that on the web, and I just found this free new software called Stellarium. And my goodness, it's just stunning, and really classy... The wonderful thing is that you can accelerate the time, and see how the celestial bodies move. And the zodiac representations are so beautiful. In the morning, the sun rises and the scenery changes. It's magical... This seems to be the perfect starcharts program...

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