Sep 092008

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.

Install Celestia

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.

openSUSE 11.0
Celestia 1-click install

openSUSE 10.3
Celestia 1-click install

openSUSE 10.2

Celestia 1-click install

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.

Install repositories Celestia Install package

celestia installation proposal installation successful

Once installed, you can find Celestia can be found under “Application – Edutainment” as “Space Simulator
Edutainment Celestia as Space Emulator
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.

Celestia launches Celestia Home

The settings for Celestia can be changed from Settings – Configure Celestia

Celestia settings

There is a nice Eclipse Finder under Navigation

Eclipse finder

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.