7 March 2008

Planetarium Software

Interested in Astronomy? Love to look into the night sky? Being an amateur you would find it very difficult to identify stars and planets and other stuffs. But it can be made easy using certain Planetarium Softwares. These softwares show you how a night sky may look like at any time from any place. These softwares label every star so that you can identify it in the sky easily using the software. There are many such softwares available in the internet. I came across one such software which is very user-friendly.

Stellarium 0.9.1 is a free open source planetarium for your computer. It shows a realistic sky in 3D, just like what you see with the naked eye, binoculars or a telescope. It is being used in planetarium projectors. You can set your coordinates such as your location and time zone and look through the night sky. This software also shows you the planets, nebulae, galaxies, comets, meteors, etc. Every star, planet or a galaxy is labeled which makes it user-friendly. You can zoom into any stars or planets to know how it looks like in a telescope. You can also see the night sky of any time at any year. It even shows you the night sky of the year 2100.

Here are some of the Screen Shots of the software.

The full view of the constellations.

A shooting star passing near the Moon.

A zoomed in view of the Planet Jupiter.

A zoomed in view of a nebula.

You can download this software from this website.

1 March 2008

Picture of the Month - February 2008

You must have known how Auroras look like from Earth. But how does it look like from space? This magnificient image gives you the answer. The International Space Station (ISS) pictured the above digitally sharpened image of the green aurora crawling over northern Canada. ISS reported that the auroras appears to crawl around like gaint amoebas, 300km above the surface. Still, the auroral electron and proton streams pose no direct danger to the ISS.