The development of information technology brings great benefits to astronomy enthusiasts. Now, even when it’s cloudy, you can still see exactly what’s in the sky. Now, even though you are forever tied to your little blue planet, you can still travel through the Milky Way. The software below will help you do that.
1. STELLARIUM – Guide in the night sky
When talking about astronomy software for PC, it is impossible not to mention Stellarium, a name so famous for more than a decade.
It is open source software, completely free for users. The software integrates data from more than 600,000 stars from the Hipparcos and Tycho-2 catalogs, and 210 million stars from other categories. So it will help you know the name and number of any star you see in the sky.
The constellations and their mythical designs are represented on the Stellarium. This is an image of a version from over a dozen years ago, newer versions now have the same interface but add a lot of tools.
Not only that, Stellarium simulates constellations, star arrays from many different cultures, providing vivid images of nebulae, galaxies, and star clusters. The Milky Way, the atmosphere, the sun rising and setting, the movements of planets and satellites… – all beautifully rendered. With Stellarium, you can simulate telescopes; update the trajectory of comets and the appearance of meteor showers; Step back in time to see a solar eclipse that happened hundreds of years ago, or step forward to see constellations tens of thousands of years later.
There are plenty of other real-time sky simulation software out there, but you’ll probably never want to use them once you’ve tried Stellarium.
Free download at stellarium.org
Stellarium web version: Stellarium-web.org
2. NASA EYES – NASA eye
If you love NASA and want to keep up to date with the organization’s latest missions, don’t miss NASA Eyes – software provided by NASA itself.
Cassini simulation in NASA eyes software
NASA eye data is basically divided into three parts:
- Eyes on the Earth: observe, study our planet in 3D
- Eyes on the solar system: allows you to visit the planets of the solar system, the satellites, the meteorites, the comets and even the spacecraft that have visited them.
- Eyes on exoplanets: explore thousands of discovered exoplanets
One of the coolest things about this software is that you can closely follow the progress of spacecraft, such as the INSIGHT which landed on Mars late last year. Extremely excited!
Free download at eyes.nasa.gov
3. CELESTIAL – From the solar system to the stars
First released in 2001, Celestia has long been familiar software for those who enjoy destroying the vast universe. NASA and ESA have also used this software in educational programs.
The Moon is vividly simulated on Celestia
Celestia will take you to explore the universe thanks to the data of more than 100000 stars, in more than 10000 galaxies, with star clusters, nebulae, etc. In the solar system, you can freely admire the planets, satellite planets, comets, famous spaceships; even identified the names of craters on Mars, the names of lava seas on the Moon, and the names of cities on Earth. If you are still not satisfied, you can download additional “supporting data” available on the website.
This software is quite old (last update in 2011), the interface is a bit “old”, but on the other hand it is quite light (just over 30 MB) and can run without problems on low-configuration machines Currently.
Download software and add-ons from Celestia.space
4. SPACE ENGINE – Space travel machine
Sparkling Space Engine graphics
Similar to Celestia, another software that will take you out of the Earth to explore the universe is Space Engine. Traveling at the speed of light is impossible, but rest assured, Space Engine will use “warp drive” technology to take you to the edge of galaxies, visit bright stars, admire bright stars and maybe even land on an exoplanet if you are inspired. Additionally, in “spacecraft” mode, the software will simulate many physical factors such as inertia, gravity wells, and atmospheric dynamics. With flickering 3D images like movies, you definitely won’t be able to take your eyes off the Space Engine.
Currently, the software offers a paid version on Steam, and the free version can be downloaded and used immediately. The free version, although not as fully updated as the paid version, is enough to satisfy your passion for discovery. This software requires quite high configuration, you need to verify your device before downloading.
Check the system requirements and download the free version at spaceengine.org
5. SANDBOX UNIVERSE – The Laboratory of Everything
If you’re a curious person (and also like…vandalism), give Universe Sandbox a try. Unlike the four software mentioned above, Universe Sandbox is actually a game that turns your computer into a space laboratory.
Users place a series of Earths around Jupiter to see what’s happening on the Sandbox Universe
On the Universe Sandbox, you can observe the merger of two galaxies or observe the history of the formation of the Moon. More naughty, you can give Earth Saturn’s ring; “throw away” the Sun and replace it with a black hole; Take hundreds of comets to bombard the Moon or pour water on Mars and see what happens. With Universe Sandbox you can destroy and build the whole universe.
This is a paid software, although you can get a crack version somewhere online, it is still recommended to buy it on Steam (costs around 220,000 VND).
Learn and buy software at universeandbox.com
ADD | STARRY NIGHT SOFTWARE – Explore the skies professionally
The sixth software that HAS wishes to present in this article – Starry Night – is not recommended for everyone, because it is expensive and very complicated. However, it’s an ideal choice if you’re pursuing a career in astronomy, are a seasoned amateur astronomer, or are a fan of new things.
The Starry Night interface
The author of this article also tried the Starry Night software and discovered only a very small part of its immense treasure. In short, Starry Night includes almost all the features of the 5 software mentioned above, as well as many other tools and data.
- Open GL graphics create incredible detail and richness
- Optimized user interface, you can find everything (celestial objects, events, data files, instructions…) in the search bar.
- 3D database of 20000 galaxies
- Details and 3D models of 30 space missions
- Exoplanets with full 3D images, location, size, orbit and surface parameters
- The positions of the planets are more precise thanks to the data of the JPL etc.
- Control the telescope in the most professional way
The software has many versions and purchase packages depending on the needs of the customers.
Learn more about Starrynight.com
Refer to En.wikipedia and software website information