It's been a while since getting a good astronomy program had to be paid for, and heavily. These days there are tons of free programs for all levels of knowledge.
For this purpose we have selected 8 of the best free programs ideal for ordinary users, or students, who are simply interested in having an image of space, for amateurs, and why not, even professional astronomers.
WINSTARS 3 is a great app, a planetarium with 3D technology so you can observe our solar system in a realistic way. You can browse the planets, and constellations and get the latest updates.
Updates add new features and functionality, turning the app into an advanced educational tool for navigating our universe. With more than 1,7 billion stars (internet connection required), more than 30.000 galaxies, nebulae and star clusters.
It has an amazing 3D interface to give more realism to the celestial objects and with virtual textures to display the high resolution surface details of the planets.
In conclusion, this is a great app that will help you travel throughout our solar system, to over 200.000 stars, to the edge of our galaxy, and beyond.
World Wide Telescope
Application for virtual space tours for Astronomy fans and not only, this is an amazing application that will take you far away.
Notably, its users have access to 12 Terabytes of space-gathered data from the Hubble, Spitzer, and Chandra space telescopes, the Sloan Digital Sky Survey sky mapping program, and other sources.
This program allows the public to explore galaxies, stars, distant planetary systems and other destinations in the known Universe. Users can also choose which wavelength they look at the Universe and, in addition to ready-made tours, they can design and save their own routes.
Aciqra is a free, open source virtual planetarium and sky mapping and celestial body simulation program. It enables you to track approximately 120.000 stars, 8 planets the sun and the moon from any location on Earth with an accuracy of 1 degree for the next 50 years.
It is intended for users who regularly view the sky through a telescope or binoculars, or with a camera, and the software should help them decide and plan to see various celestial bodies and phenomena.
As a result, it may not be an entirely suitable program for the general public. Aciqra is the main part of a larger Project called Caglow which aims to provide a number of free and open source tools for astronomy.
"Maps of the sky" is a program that will be very useful for the friends of Astronomy, prints celestial maps, informs you about astronomical events, the positions of celestial bodies and gives many other information, the program is translated into Greek and is perhaps the only free program that rivals the capabilities of very good commercial packages.
One of the great assets of the program is that it can be connected to any telescope that has such capabilities.
This program enables you to draw sky charts using the data in 16 star and nebula catalogs. In addition, the position of planets, asteroids and comets is displayed.
The purpose of this program is to prepare different sky maps for a particular observation.
A large number of parameters help you choose specifically or automatically which catalogs to use, the color and dimension of stars and nebulae, the display of planets, the display of labels, coordinate grids, image overlay, visibility status and but. All these features make this celestial atlas more complete than a conventional planetarium.
KStars is a free, open source, cross-platform astronomy software. It provides an accurate graphical simulation of the night sky, from any location on Earth, at any date and time. The display includes up to 100 million stars, 13.000 deep sky objects and the 8 planets, the Sun and the Moon and thousands of comets, asteroids, supernovae and satellites.
For students and teachers, it supports adjustable simulation speeds to see phenomena that occur over long periods of time. For the amateur astronomer, it provides an observation scheduler, a sky log tool, and an FOV editor to calculate the equipment's field of view and display it.
Discover interesting objects in the What's Up To Date tool, plot altitude and time plots for any object, print high-quality celestial body diagrams, and access tons of information to help you explore the universe!
Included with KStars is the Ekos astrophotography suite, a complete astrophotography solution that can control all INDI devices including multiple telescopes, CCDs, DSLRs, focusers, filters and more.
Ekos supports precise tracking using online and offline astronomy, autofocus and auto-navigation solutions, as well as single or multiple image capture using the powerful built-in sequence manager.
Gaia Sky is a real-time, 3D, astronomy software that runs on Windows, Linux and OS X. It has been developed as part of ESA's Gaia mission with the aim of approximately 1 billion stars in our galaxy.
Move freely through the universe and descend to the surface of each planet or take a close-up control of Earth. Observe the orbit of the planets and see their movement in the sky or travel through the galaxy and discover the magic of space.
Come explore NASA and discover the latest images, videos, shipping information, news, feature stories, tweets, NASA TV and featured content with the NASA app View over 16.000 images (growing daily), watch NASA Live TV, read all the latest news and stories, watch over 14.000 NASA videos, discover the latest NASA mission information, watch live streaming video from the High-Resolution Earth Experiment (HDEV) experiment on the International Space Station, rate the images and also , check who makes the top list Display 2D satellite tracking maps and 3D Earth models 3D with the International Space Station and other satellites orbiting the Earth, explore the selected content section with 3D planet models and more.
This is a free open source program on your computer. Displays the sky in a realistic way in three dimensions just as you would see it with the naked eye, binoculars or telescope. .
In addition to the classic display of constellations and various celestial bodies, it also has more practical functions, such as the ability to connect your telescope to the application so that at any time you know exactly where to point your telescope and what you will see.
Features include over 600,000 star list, additional list of over 210 million stars, view of constellations and their designs, nebula images (full Messier catalog), realistic view of galaxy, realistic sunrise and sunset the planets and their satellites, zoom, time control, multilingual menu, wide-angle view of planetarium domes, global mirror view for your own dome, graphical control menu and extended keyboard control telescope control , eclipse simulation, supernova simulation, variable star simulation, system that adds technical satellites, eyepiece simulation, telescope settings, ability to add new solar system objects from web sources, and more.
It has a lot of settings structured but with an incredible simplicity that make it perhaps the only free program for viewing and exploring celestial bodies with these capabilities. Even if you are a beginner, there is no way after a little practice with the program you will not understand how it works.
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