Sunday, April 29, 2007

Enjoying the Night Sky with Stellarium

Tonight is the first warm night of the year and I plan on enjoying it. The no chill in the air. As a bonus the stars are out shining.

If you are like me you enjoy looking at the stars and maybe spotting out constellations. However, Catholicgauze lacks a good atlas of the night sky and has problems identifying a planet from a star.

Fortunately there is a really neat tool all geographers and astronomers can play with. Stellarium is a free, open source planetarium program which allows anyone to view the night sky in all its glory. The program features over 120,000 stars complete with information about each one, constellation lines and maps, atmosphere effects, and more. It is a small download and can run on Windows, Macs, and Linux-based machines.

The geographer in me is thrilled by the very simple ability to change location on the Earth. I can finally see what people on the Southern Continent get to view nightly. Try Stellarium today!

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