Free programs for astronomy buffsOur world often feels very large. But it's just a speck in our galaxy. And that galaxy is merely a speck in the vast universe. Looking out into that universe is exhilarating. There's a lot still to be found.
Stargazing is a hobby for many people. A computer can't replace looking through a telescope. But there are some very cool tools worth checking out. They'll give you a new way to look at the stars.
Stellarium—Stargazing is relaxing, educational and fun. But you can't do it everywhere. City lights often drown out the stars. Or, maybe it's just a cloudy night. You could visit a planetarium if there's one nearby. Or, you could download this program. It's like having a planetarium on your desk.
Celestia—This program also gives you the planetarium experience. You view the stars as you would from Earth. But this program doesn't keep you there. It lets you leave the ground and travel through the galaxy. You can also add new features. These could be spacecraft, satellites and planets. You can even add fictional items for fun.
WorldWide Telescope—You may have a cool telescope in your closet. But what if you had access to the best telescopes on Earth? This program gives you that access. You'll find some of the best views of deep space. You can even take guided tours of the heavens.
Moon Arounder—Many people dream of traveling to the moon. Only 12 people have set foot on it. They saw the moon as no one else has. You've seen grainy video from those trips. But have you seen these panoramic photos? These 360-degree photos let you feel like you're standing on the moon.
Google Earth—This program is great way to explore our world. But you can also explore the moon and Mars in the same way. You'll get detailed imagery. You can take narrated tours of important sites. You can even aim Google Earth at the stars. To get to these features, simply click View>>Explore.
System: Windows XP, Vista and 7, Mac OS X