Explore the solar system in 3D.
This space simulation software lets you explore our universe in three dimensions.
It runs on Windows 8,7,XP etc...
Unlike most planetarium software, it doesn't confine you to the surface of the Earth. You can travel throughout the solar system, to any of over 100,000 stars, or even beyond the galaxy.
All movement in is seamless; the exponential zoom feature lets you explore space across a huge range of scales, 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.
The program is based on the Hipparcos Catalogue (HIP) and allows users to travel through an extensive universe, modeled after reality, at any speed, in any direction and at any time in history. Celestia displays and interacts with objects ranging in scale from small spacecraft to entire galaxies in three dimensions using OpenGL, from perspectives which would not be possible from a classic planetarium or other ground-based display.
Both NASA and ESA have used this software in their educational and outreach programs, as well as for interfacing to trajectory analysis software.
This software displays the Hipparcos Catalogue (HIP) of 118,322 stars. It uses the very accurate VSOP87 theory of planetary orbits. This makes it possible for it to provide a solar and lunar eclipse finder and to display the orbital paths of planets (including extrasolar planets), dwarf planets, moons, asteroids, comets, artificial satellites, and spacecraft. The user can vary the number of stars that are visible on the screen and have them drawn in different styles.
Users can travel/fly through the universe using simple keyboard controls, at any speed from 0.001 m/s to millions of light years/s. Viewpoints can be set to look forward, backward or at any angle to direction of travel. Controls allow users to orbit stars, planets, moons and other space objects, track space objects such as spacecraft, asteroids and comets as they fly by, or travel to and/or fly through nebulae and irregular, elliptical and spiral galaxies (over 10,000 galaxies included).
The time simulated can be set at any point in the future or past, although planetary orbits are only accurate within a few thousand years of the present day, and date arithmetic overflows at the year 5874774.
The names and positions of multitudes of objects in space can be displayed, from galaxies, star clusters, nebula, constellations and stars to planets, moons, asteroids, comets and artificial satellites, as well as the names and locations of cities, craters, observatories, valleys, landing sites, continents, mountains, seas and other surface features.
It displays such features as detailed atmospheres on planets and moons, planet shine on orbiting satellites, sunsets and sunrises, moving clouds, planetary rings, eclipse and ring shadows, constellation lines, borders and illustrations, night-side lights (of cities), detailed surface textures, specular reflections off water and ice, nebula gases and star flares.
Information about the objects that it draws can also be displayed: the radius, the distance, length of the sidereal day and average blackbody temperature of the planets are shown and the distance, luminosity relative to the sun, spectral class, surface temperature and radius of stars are indicated.
The user can change the field of view from as wide as 120 degrees to a highly magnifying 3.4 seconds of arc, while dividing the window into multiple panes, in order to observe several objects at the same time and including light time delay if desired.
Graphic screen-shots and movies can be captured in classic or HD resolutions (up to 1920x1080).
The software's support for game pads and joysticks is relatively limited, employing many keyboard shortcuts instead.
The software can be extended with new objects and there are hundreds of third-party, user-created add-ons available for installation, both fictional and realistic. The extension mechanism uses Lua as its built-in scripting language. Educational lessons and computer lesson plans are available.
The software comes with a large catalog of stars, galaxies, planets, moons, asteroids, comets, and spacecraft. If that's not enough, there is dozens of easy to install add-ons with more objects including fictional objects such as the Star Wars planets, Star Trek ships, Deep Space 9, Babylon 5, Apollo missions, Space Lift etc...
What you get.
Everything somes on 2 dvd's.
The main installation.
The source code.
The documentation (PDF file).
Addons part 1.
Addons part 2.
The addons are NOT installed automatically. Some knowledge of using ZIP files will be needed. Each addon has an instruction file, plus there is more information in the main program documentation.