Review: Gaze at the stars with Stellarium for Mac

Stargazing is an amazing hobby, but the weather isn't always perfect for it. With Stellarium for Mac, users can now explore the galaxy anywhere, anytime.

The installation of Stellarium for Mac takes no time at all as it requires a simple drag and drop into the Applications folder. Once you launch the app, you will be greeted with a night sky full of stars, which looks really amazing. If you want to see more stars you can simply zoom in. The application reminded us of the Night Sky feature from Google Earth. One of the advantages of this app … Read more

Take a starlit tour of the Planetarium Projector Museum

Planetarium projectors are one of the most fascinating devices you never think of. People visit planetariums to take a trip through the cosmos. But according to one man, the projectors themselves are worthy of admiration -- and he has built a museum to prove it.

The Planetarium Projector Museum sits inside an unassuming building in Big Bear Lake, Calif. In a modified military parachute, owner and curator Owen Phairis displays his collection of more than 17 projectors, some of which were made as far back as the 1950s.… Read more

Planetarium converted to 200-player space game

The planetarium at New York's Museum of Natural History will play host to a 200-person space exploration game that starts with the birth of the universe.

The Space Cruiser game, set for tomorrow night, will transform the roof of the Rose Center for Earth and Space theater into a "living, breathing, spaceship where participants will be able to navigate around a beautiful fictitious universe" according to Babycastles, the creator of the game.

Based on the promotional video, the game lets players explore new worlds and even travel through a Doctor Who-style worm hole.

The ship's computer is played by musician Stephin Merritt of the Magnetic Fields, a man obviously keen for adventure (his new album is called "Love at the Bottom of the Sea"). … Read more

A trip beyond the edge of the observable universe

NEW YORK--If you want to see what outer space looks like, there may be no better way to do so than to have Carter Emmart take you on a ride there.

As part of my Road Trip 2010 project, I got a chance to go on that journey, and I can say with high confidence that there are probably few people on Earth better equipped for such a voyage than Emmart.

In his role as director of visualization at the American Museum of Natural History's Rose Center for Earth and Space, Emmart is the leading force behind the programming … Read more

Astronomy helper

CyberSky provides users with a planetarium right on their computer screens. With options to please newcomers and astronomers alike, this is a great, educational program.

We were instantly overwhelmed with the interface's massive collection of command icons and numbers. However, after taking a deep breath and experimenting for a few minutes, we developed a strong understanding of how everything functioned. We couldn't help but stare at the program's dominating feature, a globe-shaped view of the sky above our home. We ensured this was our night's view after choosing our town from a comprehensive list of the … Read more

'mySKY' takes aim at the heavens

There are certain unnamed Cravers who, we're told, can sit and stare for hours on end at fake stars and planets projected on the wall. And yet there are others who actually enjoy viewing the heavens in reality outside (gasp). For those brave souls, there are several handheld scopes and personal planeteriums that can help navigate the night sky, including some in alien form.

But Meade's "mySKY" is the only one we know of that comes anywhere close to resembling a phaser. This personal guide to the universe can identify 30,000 objects with its color … Read more

Just another turtle planetarium

As fellow Craver Caroline McCarthy is off on other assignments, we've been asked to fill in on some of her regular beats. No, it doesn't involve wine or beer. Or still more wine and beer.

In this case, it's something that combines two other of her favorite topics, stuffed animals and planetriums. (We don't ask questions.) The "Twilight Turtle" looks like a regular plush by day but, by night, its plastic shell turns into a planetarium that projects the night sky onto any ceiling.

It comes in white, green or blue, colors that researchers … Read more

Photos: Party time at the planetarium

If you've ever thought that planetariums would make really good nightclubs--and not just because you're nostalgic for the days of Dark Side of the Moon laser shows--you're not alone. Digital-hipster hub Flavorpill is throwing monthly parties this summer at the Rose Center for Earth and Space at New York's American Museum of Natural History, and CNET was there to capture the action at the June edition (which took place last Friday). There was plenty of DJ music, dancing, and fun people--and plus, I can now tell you that it is really, really awkward to … Read more

Eggs set sights on outer space

This is it--the call to arms. For some time now we've been warning of impending doom brought by the evil egg empire, and the final hour is upon us. And the source of their unholy power is now clear: outer space.

They are descending first in Japan, as we found out from our brethren in CNET Asia, through egg-shaped planetariums distributed by Segatoys. The "Homestar Pure" (even the name smacks of alien brainwashing) can project an estimated 10,000 stars onto any ceiling at the mass-market price of $83. It's only a matter of time before … Read more

Stars with frickin' laser beams!

About a month ago, we wrote about the HomeStar Pro Planetarium, which uses LEDs to project the night sky on your ceiling. Here's another one for the astronomy buffs: Laser Stars, a projector that beams star and cloud formations onto your wall or ceiling of choice with laser technology and holographics. For those of us who live in brightly lit cities where we can't really see any real stars at night, it's a cool idea.

The Laser Stars projector looks to be less for nuts-and-bolts astronomy buffs than for people who just like to look at a … Read more