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Astronomy Programs? what are the best ones?

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posted on Mar, 18 2009 @ 09:34 PM
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Hello fellow ATS members, I hope everyone is doing well.

Im looking to get a good astronomy program for my computer (Mac) but there are so many to choose from its making my head spin. I was wondering what programs you might suggest as the best ones on the market today, possibly ones you have yourself.

Specifically it would be nice to have a program where I can track the stars position at any particular time in space from the past to the future, yet not too complicated to operate and understand.

It would also be nice if it had detailed information/photos on planets and moons in our solar system too.

Lately I have found myself becoming more and more interested in astronomy and the workings of the universe regarding movement through space etc and would really like to explore a few things.

I know that Google and Microsoft have free versions but.....not exactly what I am looking for.

Im looking forward for any suggestions you might have.

Thanks

(I wasn't sure where this thread should go so Mods, please move it to the right place if need be)




posted on Mar, 19 2009 @ 09:52 AM
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Try Stellarium. It's free, and it should do everything you need.



posted on Mar, 19 2009 @ 10:06 AM
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I also use Stellarium as well as Celestia with my scopes. There are quite a few free programs out there if you Google 'em.



posted on Mar, 19 2009 @ 12:10 PM
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Thanks guys, I have checked out the free ones online and a few seem ok. I don't mind paying for a really good one but there are so many to choose from.



posted on Mar, 19 2009 @ 12:49 PM
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Download Stellarium. You'll not want to pay for any application if you play with that one for awhile. It's about all that I use now and I've been using it for 5-6 years. You'll love it.



posted on Mar, 19 2009 @ 02:00 PM
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I've used Stellarium. It's pretty good. The only problem is that it didn't do what I wanted when I got it originally, which was to check some of the stellar alignments in ancient times. I couldn't find any way to go back in time past about 1970 or so. I was hoping to verify/debunk some of the claims like that the pyramids were aligned to Orion in 10500 B.C, and that sort of thing.

Stellarium is really easy to use, and it's probably best for planning days when you will take your telescope outside and look for cool stuff. You can check beforehand to see if there's anything worth looking at. Like if you want to see the rings of Saturn in your telescope, you could use Stellarium to figure out where Saturn will be and when.



posted on Mar, 19 2009 @ 02:07 PM
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reply to post by DragonsDemesne
 


I bet if you check nasa's website you can find orbit data for stuff from way back when. I use an online application on their site to find when the ISS is in my neck 'o the woods....



posted on Mar, 19 2009 @ 03:54 PM
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Thats exactly what I want to be able to do with the program. Checking astral alignments in the past, present and future. Does anyone know of a good program that will do that? Like I said, I don't mind spending the money if its what I am looking for. I don't have a telescope to hook up or anything like that so that isn't really all that important.

thank you for all your contributions so far, looking forward to hearing more ideas before I make the purchase.



posted on Mar, 19 2009 @ 05:48 PM
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Also a program where you are not limited to looking at the stars from the perspective of the earth.

As for the solar system, being able to see all sides of the planets would be a bonus.



posted on Mar, 20 2009 @ 07:36 AM
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reply to post by QBSneak000
 


I believe Celestia will do that for you as well. I'll have to check but I'm pretty sure it does that.



posted on Mar, 20 2009 @ 02:01 PM
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Originally posted by QBSneak000
Thats exactly what I want to be able to do with the program. Checking astral alignments in the past, present and future. Does anyone know of a good program that will do that?

For that, I would recommend nothing short of Cartes du Ciel, and depending on how far into the past you want to look, possibly something more powerful.
www.stargazing.net...
You definately need a program that will account for precession (not sure if stellarium does, I highly doubt it). I'm pretty sure that Cartes du Ciel can do that if you tell it to, but if you want to be absolutely certain, you'll need TheSky software (4.0 or later), which isn't cheap, but is what professional astronomers use.
www.bisque.com...



posted on Mar, 20 2009 @ 05:42 PM
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Thanks NG, I'll check those out.

Like I said before, I'm not too concerned about the cost, I just want something that is accurate and easy to use.



posted on Mar, 23 2009 @ 03:35 PM
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Yeah I use the newest version of Distant suns. I also use Cartes du Ciel on my other laptop.



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