Celestia is a free opensource space simulation software that lets you explore our universe in three dimensions. Celestia provides photo-realistic, real-time, three-dimensional viewing of the solar system, the galaxy and the universe and has become a valuable tool for education in Astronomy. Celestia is used in homes, schools, museums and planetariums around the world, it also is used as a visualization tool by space mission designers.
Celestia runs on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X. The latest stable version is 1.5.1.
To install Celestia on your openSUSE, click one of the following 1-click installer (YaST MetaPackages) based on your openSUSE version. This will automatically download the YMP file and launch YaST Package Manager.
NOTE: Click here to enable 1-click install feature in openSUSE 10.2
Click Next in the page showing Repository selected and then click Next on the page showing Celestia package selection and click Next again on the installation proposal window. This will start adding the required repositories and install the Celestia package and the required dependencies. Click Finish when the successfully installed on your openSUSE.
Once installed, you can find Celestia can be found under “Application – Edutainment” as “Space Simulator”
Click Space Simulator to start Celestia. You are now into the world of astronomy. I’m not int much of astronomy and hence can’t explain much of the features but for anyone like me it is a great experience to explore and for those who know what it is all about, its a great piece of software.
The settings for Celestia can be changed from Settings – Configure Celestia
There is a nice Eclipse Finder under Navigation
You can capture screen or video output from the File menu.
Celestia also supports Plugin model where it can allow people to develop addons to enhance features. The default folder for Celestia is /opt/kde3/share/apps/celestia. Here the directories “extras” and “textures” are the ones where the addons are to be copied to be installed. The addons can be downloaded from here and a detailed installation procedure for the addon types can be found here
Overall a great nice tool for Astronomy and its education. For people like me its more fun!!! Click here to vist the project homepage.