Saturday, November 18, 2006

Stellarium - Really Stellar Open Source Software for Astronomy

Yesterday I installed stellarium-0.8.2 from . I should tell that it is the best software regarding Astronomy that I have installed.

How to use it?
Install the software. Launch the software, then define your observation location (like Chennai, Bangalore etc). This sets up the location, Time from GMT, current time (which is picked up from your System's time). Now it will basically show your sky. It shows the sun, if its daytime currently. My current idea is to take the laptop today night and goto terrace and then basically try to figure out the stars and the constellations. The software also has a feature that allows to show the graphic (figure) for the constellation. Thats an awesome feature.

Update 1:
The first day I went to star gaze, it was really a nice experience. It was as well disappointing. There were lot of clouds and I didn't have a clue of the exact directions, which made me guessing all the time. There was only one star that was bright and unfortunately it was not North Star. It was between North and East directions at an angle of around 60 degrees from the ground (i dont know how to technically give the values)..

The first lesson that I learnt was this: Never go star gazing without knowing the directions, or better take a magnetic compass, until you get yourself familiar with the directions. This really makes sense because, in the beginning, even though you have a rough idea of where east is, it wont help you much, if you see several bright stars (excluding me ). If its mostly cloudy, then you dont have great issues.


Anonymous said...

well, i dont think i need that sw to find full moon... i know it coming when u go lunatic.. (BTW lunatic is derived from 'luna' - moon)

-- balaji

Varun Soundararajan said...

whether I turned lunatic is debatable, but the sky did turn ;).. it was cloudy the whole night and I wasnt able to gaze anything.

Anonymous said...

i know what u gazed at from ur terrace :P

Anonymous said...

earlier comment was by me - balaji

Varun Soundararajan said...

No points for guessing it right :p

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