Stellarium is Cool Software

I’ve always enjoyed astronomy, of the backyard variety at least. I was born after the first Apollo moon landing. I’ve watched as many of the Space Shuttle launches as possible even after moving to Texas.
My first time to see the Milky Way was in 1986 while crossing over the mountains north of Málaga. I was shocked to see so many stars.

In college I took what was dubbed Cowboy Physics, or astonomy which included a lab where we went out in a field and looked at stars once a week.

A few years ago my wife got me a pair of binoculars to go a look at stars in the back yard. I enjoyed all of these experiences but I still find it hard to know what I am looking at. And because a know a little, people are always asking me questions.

I have looked for software and even bought a product called Red Shift. Red Shift wasn’t very well supported. I should have bought Starry Night. Now I have found a Sourge Forge alternative that is great. It is not as comprehensive as the other products I mentioned but the price and implementation are great.

I encourage you to check it out. It runs on Mac, Windows, and Linux. The interface is a little strange. I wish it were not modal. I used Google Maps to get my home Lat/Long. I proceeded to show my son Jupiter, Venus and the moon as the would appear last night. Coming home from baseball practice he looked out the window and point out how the moon was just where the program said it would be.

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