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Saturday, December 16, 2017    
Free Astronomy Software

The software titles listed below are free and commonly recommended by amateur astronomers.  Though I have used most of these, I have not used them all.  If you know of another title that is free and should be in this list, feel free to contact me.  Be sure to provide the name, internet url, and your experience with the software.

Observing Aids
 
LMST Clock

This LMST calculator utilizes formulas based on those found on the US Naval Observatory website and should be accurate to the nearest second for any given latitude.  This is a beta release, so please let me know if you find problems. 


 
 
LMST Clock

This LMST calculator utilizes formulas based on those found on the US Naval Observatory website and should be accurate to the nearest second for any given latitude.  This is a beta release, so please let me know if you find problems. 


 
 
StellariumStellarium

A 'stellar' nightsky simulator.  Stellarium produces a simulation of the heavens from any location in the world at any time of day or night.  You can zoom in on any visible star, nebula, planet, moon, etc. 

In addition, Stellarium can overlay the sky with object names, constellations, and azimuth or equatorial grids.

Stellarium is a well designed and powerful graphical application.  However, its interface is unique and will take a few tries to master.

  read more ...

 
CelestiaCelestia

Celestia is an extensible space travel simulator.  Users can download a plethora of planet, star, nebula, and even spacecraft files to integrate into Celestia.

The Celestia interface takes a little time to master, but once you understand how it works, you can fly from star to star in seconds, view the orbits of the planets in our solar system or view images of distant galaxies.

  read more ...

 
Cartes du CielCartes du Ciel

Cartes du Ciel is primarily a star charting software package.  It can print quality charts to take with you and your telescope to your favorite observation point. 

Basically, you get maps of the part of the sky you want to observe without carrying around one or many atlases which can cost $100 or more.  If your maps get lost or wet, you can print them out again.

  read more ...

 
WinStars 2.0WinStars 2.0

WinStars 2.0 is a 3D celestial emulator.  It is contains an extensive database of objects and can calculate positions and phenomena relative to any point on earth (or off).  It can drive many telescopes.

WinStars 2.0  requires a computer with a recent graphics card and a CPU running faster than 1.0 GHz.

  read more ...

 
Home PlanetHome Planet

An older sky emulator targeted primarily at sky observers.  It provides sky maps and other data that can be used to locate items through a telescope. 

This software is "open source" so you can take a look under the hood or make modifications to the software.

  read more ...

 
 
StellariumStellarium

A 'stellar' nightsky simulator.  Stellarium produces a simulation of the heavens from any location in the world at any time of day or night.  You can zoom in on any visible star, nebula, planet, moon, etc. 

In addition, Stellarium can overlay the sky with object names, constellations, and azimuth or equatorial grids.

Stellarium is a well designed and powerful graphical application.  However, its interface is unique and will take a few tries to master.

  read more ...

 
CelestiaCelestia

Celestia is an extensible space travel simulator.  Users can download a plethora of planet, star, nebula, and even spacecraft files to integrate into Celestia.

The Celestia interface takes a little time to master, but once you understand how it works, you can fly from star to star in seconds, view the orbits of the planets in our solar system or view images of distant galaxies.

  read more ...

 
Cartes du CielCartes du Ciel

Cartes du Ciel is primarily a star charting software package.  It can print quality charts to take with you and your telescope to your favorite observation point. 

Basically, you get maps of the part of the sky you want to observe without carrying around one or many atlases which can cost $100 or more.  If your maps get lost or wet, you can print them out again.

  read more ...

 
WinStars 2.0WinStars 2.0

WinStars 2.0 is a 3D celestial emulator.  It is contains an extensive database of objects and can calculate positions and phenomena relative to any point on earth (or off).  It can drive many telescopes.

WinStars 2.0  requires a computer with a recent graphics card and a CPU running faster than 1.0 GHz.

  read more ...

 
Home PlanetHome Planet

An older sky emulator targeted primarily at sky observers.  It provides sky maps and other data that can be used to locate items through a telescope. 

This software is "open source" so you can take a look under the hood or make modifications to the software.

  read more ...

 
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