Saturday, November 18, 2006

Stellarium Star Watching Guide SW

A really smart MIT researcher showed me this cool program for viewing the stars. It's called Stellarium and is the product of a sourceforge project of that name. They've got application downloads for Windows, Mac (Tiger only), and Linux. You might try this out for yourself over the upcoming holidays.

I just installed it so I can't offer any real review comments. I'm trying the Windows version. In the past I've used web sites that have this function, usually using Java. Those sights are clumbsy to use and slow, so I'm hoping that this program gets around that. I like to jump to a location where I plan to be (such as on hiking or camping trips) and select the future date for that event, and then look to see exactly what will be visible then. I like these tools because I know next-to-nothing about stellar constellations, and I tend to use the idiot-proof info on Stardate.org (and their radio show podcasts here) for knowing what major viewing opportunity is coming up. Feel free to post any comments you have on this program right here.

BTW, the Leonid meteor showers are continuing tonight.

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