Stellarium – a free open source planetarium

This is just a short post about an interesting piece of software I recently found: Stellarium (

I have not tried it in depth yet but it sounds promising – have a look at the feature list from the homepage:

in version 0.10.2


  • default catalogue of over 600,000 stars
  • extra catalogues with more than 210 million stars
  • asterisms and illustrations of the constellations
  • constellations for twelve different cultures
  • images of nebulae (full Messier catalogue)
  • realistic Milky Way
  • very realistic atmosphere, sunrise and sunset
  • the planets and their satellites


  • a powerful zoom
  • time control
  • multilingual interface
  • fisheye projection for planetarium domes
  • spheric mirror projection for your own low-cost dome
  • all new graphical interface and extensive keyboard control
  • telescope control


  • equatorial and azimuthal grids
  • star twinkling
  • shooting stars
  • eclipse simulation
  • skinnable landscapes, now with spheric panorama projection


  • add your own deep sky objects, landscapes, constellation images, scripts…

The software is open source and runs on Windows, Mac and Linux – if you have experience with this program, please drop a comment down here on this site…

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