Virtual Night Sky

Besides being a computer nerd, goat farmer, and amateur radio operator, I’ve also got a love for amateur astronomy. We have an old 8 inch Newtonian  reflector telescope here on the farm.

One of my favorite software packages for Linux is the Stellarium photo-realistic star viewer.

As always, head to your Software Manager, and search for stellarium.

Stellarium Star Chart

Stellarium Star Chart

Once installed, you want to first download the available star maps, almost 100 megabytes of them! Next, configure your location, and if you have a compatible telescope (ours is not, it’s very old fashioned with no motor drive) you can configure the software to actually do the pointing for you!

If you don’t have a telescope, you can still enjoy the ability to find star constellations, map where they are and then go look in the night sky for things you can see with the naked eye or inexpensive binoculars.

And before you say it, yes, we know google has their version on the web, but you can use this without an Internet connection, and I don’t know about you, but I prefer to NOT sell my soul and privacy to google to use an application. We actually block them in our router!