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|Original author(s)||Fabien Chéreau|
0.18.1 / 1 July 2018
|Written in||C++ (Qt)|
|Operating system||BSD, Linux, Windows, macOS|
147 MB (Linux tarball)|
161 MB (Windows installer)
164 MB (macOS package)
Stellarium is an open-source free-software planetarium, licensed under the terms of the GNU General Public License version 2, available for Linux, Windows, and macOS. A port Stellarium called Stellarium Mobile is available for Android, iOS, and Symbian as a paid version, being developed by Noctua Software. All versions use OpenGL to render a realistic projection of the night sky in real time.
Stellarium was created by the French programmer Fabien Chéreau, who launched the project in the summer of 2001 . Currently, Stellarium is being maintained and developed by Alexander Wolf, Georg Zotti, Marcos Cardinot, Guillaume Chéreau, Bogdan Marinov, Timothy Reaves, Ferdinand Majerech, and Jörg Müller. A number of other developers have contributed to the development of Stellarium, especially Robert Spearman, Johannes Gajdosik, Matthew Gates, Nigel Kerr, and Johan Meuris, the latter of whom is responsible for the artwork.
Stellarium also provides asterisms and illustrations of constellations from ten cultures, images of nebulae (full Messier catalogue), and many realistic representations. The Milky Way, atmosphere, sunrise, planets of the solar system, and their major moons are all represented in the application. Users can also display stars and other celestial objects as seen from reference points other than the Earth (e.g., Saturn, Phobos, comet C/2006 P1 (McNaught), or any other object defined in the "system.ini" file).
Stellarium's multi-lingual interface features zoom, time control, in-built scripting to record and playback shows, fisheye projection for planetarium domes, spheric mirror projection for personal domes, telescope control, equatorial and azimuthal grids, twinkling and shooting stars, simulated eclipses, landscapes, and other deep sky objects.
Planetarium dome projection
The fisheye and spherical mirror distortion features allow Stellarium to be projected onto domes. Spherical mirror distortion is used in projection systems that use a digital video projector and a first surface convex spherical mirror to project images onto a dome. Such systems are generally cheaper than traditional planetarium projectors and fish-eye lens projectors and for that reason are used in budget and home planetarium setups where projection quality is less important.
Various companies which build and sell digital planetarium systems use Stellarium, such as e-Planetarium.
VirGO is a Stellarium plugin, a visual browser for the European Southern Observatory (ESO) Science Archive Facility which allows astronomers to browse professional astronomical data. It is no longer supported or maintained; the last version was 1.4.5, dated 15 January 2010.
Stellarium Mobile is a fork of Stellarium, developed by some of the Stellarium team members. It currently targets mobile devices running Symbian, Maemo, Android, and iOS. Some of the mobile optimisations have been integrated into the mainline Stellarium product.
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