Stellarium Is Awesome

I recently downloaded Stellarium, which is free and open source planetarium software for your computer. It’s awesome.

For example, according to Stellarium, here is what I’d see if I was to look due west at the sky in Melbourne, Australia just before midnight on 4 May, 2009:

Stellarium 1

That’s gorgeous, isn’t it? Now let’s add some labels (planets, nebulae, and constellations) and some lines (constellations):

Stellarium 2

But that’s not all – zoom into a bit of the sky and add a grid to see so much more (and you can zoom in much farther than that):

Stellarium 3

But if that’s too much information, you can instead stick to the star lore section with its associated constellation art (which you can turn on and off, of course):

Stellarium 4

And if you don’t want Western constellation star lore, you can always switch to Chinese, Egyptian, Inuit, Korean, Lakota, Maori, Navajo, Norse, Polynesian, or Tupi-Guarani (though not all of them have constellation art associated with them).

All in all, this is a fabulous bit of software that I highly recommend.