Stellarium: Free Virtual Planetarium
A superb free and open source planetarium-style program offering realistic views of the cosmos directly from your computer desktop. If you are an avid stargazer, this program is a must-download.
The program is ideal for identifying celestial objects and helps you to see all constellations from the various hemispheres. Most modern Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems are supported, so you can enjoy the software on the vast majority of popular platforms.
The list of features is impressive. The program contains a database of over 600,000 stars, includes illustrations of the various constellations, has a realistic sunrise, sunset and atmospherics, plus showcases planets in the Solar System and their accompanying moons. A number of landscapes are available and let you view the night sky from different areas of the globe, helping you to identify constellations and stars from both the North and Southern hemispheres.
You will also find a host of other visualisations, such as shooting stars, twinkling effects, and equatorial and azimuthal grids. You can even add your own objects into the mix, such as artificial satellites. Stellarium is available in multiple languages. For more information, head to the Forum on the official website, or read the User Guide.
Setup and installation is easy. Simply select an operating system (Windows, Mac or Linux) and then follow the simple instructions. We’re big fans of Stellarium here at FreebieList.com and we think you will be, too!