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Celestia - opening up the universe

Download - Freeware

reviewed by bluepwrdup, Feb 2006



Comments from bluepwrdup

Celestia 1.4.0


This free software simulates the Solar System's bodies in 3D on your Windows or Linux PC. The difference to quite a few other programs it does so in realtime. Meaning you can view all the planets, moons and spaceships moving along their paths, trace them, follow them, orbit them and even control them (time and contol). Information on the planets, moons and galaxy clusters can be brought up online by right clicking target and choose info. And you won't have to fight your way through vast multitude of one-eyed green aliens for that. Celestia was formerly known as Solar System Simulator. It was initially released in 1997 with the intention to create a rotating Earth display on a main stream PC. A continuing development and expansion has taken place. Version 1.0 was only aware of the major bodies, version 1.2 added a whole bunch of moons. Solar System v1.6 then added more ways of movement for the user's eye (camera) within Solar System's virtual universe and last but not least better textures for a lot of bodies. This version, Celestia 1.4.0, has been renamed to OpenUniverse to underline the concept behind the further development of the program. Open for the whole Universe, not just the solar system. Open to use, extend and change. Open for all users, programmers. Great educational experience for the youngsters and the grownups, too. I give this program two thumbs up. No malware / spyware detected.



larger picture


Quote from shatters.net

Unlike most planetarium software, Celestia doesn't confine you to the surface of the Earth. You can travel throughout the solar system, to any of over 100,000 stars, or even beyond the galaxy.


Updates from Seldon at Cornell


There's a minor confusion in your article. Open Universe predated Celestia. Its authors stopped development on OU to help with Celestia development.


Open Universe hasn't been updated since Nov. 14, 2001.

See http://openuniverse.sourceforge.net/


Instead its home page recommends Celestia and Orbiter.

See http://www.openuniverse.org/


The most recent update to Celestia is v1.4.1, which was released

in February of this year.


I'd refer you to postings by the authors of OU on the Celestia

Web Forum ( http://www.shatters.net/forum/ ) but Shatters has been

offline for a week now because of network problems. :-(