posted on Oct, 16 2009 @ 08:45 AM
reply to post by impaired
Celestia's cool and all (actually very cool), but it's just not real images.
Yeah. It'd be nice if (in future versions) perhaps a plug-in app from (or with approval of) Google will allow Celestia to pre-fetch images of stars
from a database like you'd get in Google Sky. Either as a pop-up thumbnail or optional billboard texture until you zoom in close enough for it to
render a model.
In the meantime, you can right-click on a selection and select info. This opens your browser and directs it automatically to the selection's database
Star Gl 581 Notes page.
From there you can find out pretty much damned near everything we have available on it. Photos, detailed physical descriptions, coordinates, and
catalogs of peer-review literature to browse, past missions, etc.
In some instances, real images are used for texture maps of the planets, with some geographic features requiring alternate models to fit the skin to.
So you can fly around Olympic Mons and (I believe) dip down into Valles Marineris to a degree. It all depends on how much you're willing to download
and if your computer can handle it. Those texture packs can get up to 500mb or larger.
There are some "billboard" textures for nebulae and galaxies which show actual images, but since you can't explore them in 3D, you're always going
to be seeing an "Earth" angle 2D view.