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Cool Free program to explore 3d universe,& the “Galaxy song”

February 26, 2009

Forgive the delay in posting this. This finishes off the theme of the past few days, which was set off by the images and video of this prior post.

Fly through the universe

Ever wanted to explore space?  This free program called “Celestia” allows you to do just that. Its an interactive 3d space simulation and its awesome! See just how far the Moon is from Earth, or Earth from the Sun, or whatever you wish- this is the best free space program out there ! Explore the milky way, nearby galaxies, thousands of star systems, to the moons of Jupiter , the orbit of planets, to orbiting satellites like Hubble & the International space station. Visit nearby star systems, or beautiful nebula, explore mountain ranges on mars and much more! Another feature is the ability to jump through time to see where various celestial bodies will be, or have been (estimated). See where earth is in real time. See when the next astrological alignment will occur, or the next eclipse. Watch asteroids & comets swing near earth, their orbits drawing nearer or farther as the years tick by.  Follow probes like Cassini  as it heads deeper into space.  Another option is to turn on or off related info for each celestial body- view names and other stats. You can also take picture or movies.

New stars,galaxies, & content add-ons  are made available quite often.

Here’s a video of Celestia in action:

Some tips on using Celestia:
Right mouse click + left click controls movement, scroll wheel zooms in and out.
Familiarize yourself with the toolbar:
Render- highlighted for importance.  To see space in its full glory, go to “render” and then “view options”. On that screen, un-check any labels, orbits, & constellations to get a clearer view, unimpeded by text or lines.
At the bottom of this window,  increase “filter stars” distance to increase the amount of visible bodies.  Then hit OK.
Next i really suggest going to Render, then clicking on ” Star Style” – “points” – This will make many more celestial bodies visible.
Click “render” again, and make sure “Auto magnitude” is checked. (Click to turn it on or off, or use “ctrl +y”
Hitting ” ] ” will now also increase the amount of visible stars, and ” [ ” will decrease the amount.
And yes, every little dot you see now can be explored. Simply right click on them to browse options.

Navigation aids with finding what youre looking for and moving to it. You can also right click on any celestial object to “select” it or “go to” it. If you get lost in space, goto Navigation, hit “select sol” and then, through “navigation” again, click “go to selection”. To view space craft, go to “navigation”< “solar system browser” < click on Earth to view near Earth craft, etc.

Time option allows you to move forwards or backwards through time, to view orbits in rotation.

Download “Celestia”
Check out all the options and enjoy!

This program is well worth checking out, i really recommend it! Its pretty intuitive with its simple controls and options.  Follow those “render” suggestions above and i promise you, the 1st time you zoom out from earth to near space, to galactic view you will be in awe of the millions and millions of stars and the brilliant beauty of the cosmos. It’s really cool!

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Keeping things in perspective… with humor

Here’s that “other related video” which i mentioned a few days ago.

It’s called “Galaxy song”,  from a comedy classic, the movie  “Monty Python’s Meaning of Life”



🙂
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One Comment leave one →
  1. Mike permalink
    March 1, 2009 6:25 am

    Just passing by.Btw, your website has great content!

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