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Editors' Review

by   / November 08, 2008

Open source and currently in use by planetarium projectors, Stellarium brings astronomer-level features to stargazers of all levels of interest. It's not quite as robust as its competitors, but it's also a much faster program. It doesn't suck away your RAM into a black hole when loading or running. It does run only in full screen mode, making any other programs you're running inaccessible except for the ALT-Tab switcher.

The default catalog includes 600,000 stars, with upgrade modules that can push the count up to 210 million stars. The constellations of 10 different cultures are included, as well as illustrations and asterisms to help you visualize what the ancients saw. There's a full Messier catalog of nebulae, too. The dawn, dusk and atmosphere backgrounds were good, but not great on our monitor. They probably look better on a planetarium dome, which is why it's useful that Stellarium also includes a fish-eye view for curved surfaces. Besides equatorial and azimuthal grids, users also get shooting stars when appropriate, eclipse simulation, and skinnable landscapes. Stellarium incorporates star-views from the Moon.

The controls live in the lower left corner and are transparent--a bit hard to find. The nifty record feature is somewhat hampered by the dark interface. When you run the program for the first time it asks that you set your current location, but the mouse-over map of the world was too small to use easily. Stellarium should appeal both to users who need something more academic and less distracting than Google or Microsoft's offerings, as well as those who have a need for an open-source planetarium. Fortunately, that could be any of us.

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User Reviews
  • All Versions

    4.1

    out of 127 votes

    • 5 star 63
    • 4 star 40
    • 3 star 12
    • 2 star 4
    • 1 star 8

Full Specifications

What's new in version 0.12.2

Version 0.12.2 includes variable stars, re-packed star catalogs (Hipparcos and Tycho-2), improvements for plugins, and scripting engine and search tool.

General

Publisher Stellarium
Publisher web site http://www.stellarium.org
Release Date August 04, 2013
Date Added August 05, 2013
Version 0.12.2

Category

Category Educational Software
Subcategory Science Software

Operating Systems

Operating Systems Windows XP/2003/Vista/Server 2008/7/8
Additional Requirements None

Download Information

File Size 75.57MB
File Name stellarium-0.12.2-win32.exe

Popularity

Total Downloads 215,660
Downloads Last Week 61

Pricing

License Model Free
Limitations Not available
Price Free
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