Celestia is a free space simulator that lets you virtually fly through space and explore the universe right from your computer.
Growing up, every kid dreams about being an astronaut and exploring space, but only a select few grownups actually get the chance. For the rest of us, there’s Celestia, a free space simulator that lets you travel through space without ever leaving the ground. Soar around planets and stars at your own pace, no spaceship required. You can watch the planets rotate in real time, speed them up, or slow them down. Fly to different stars and explore our solar system, while still breathing oxygen here on Earth.
Celestia stands out from other space simulators because it doesn’t confine you to the surface of the Earth. You can fly around through space and explore the stars and planets in three dimensions. It sure beats stargazing from your backyard. You set different times, change the speed of the planets’ rotations, and even freeze them in space. Use the “Tour Guide” to visit places of interest, or click on different stars and planets to travel to them. Label the stars and constellations to learn more about each one. Add clouds and atmospheres for a realistic view of space. You can even find eclipses and watch them in real time.
Tips for New Users
Celestia has so many features, it can take some time to learn how to use them all. Be sure to read the Readme file, or download the user guide, for information on how to control Celestia, and use all of the options. Try the “Tour Guide” option for a list of interesting attractions in simulated space. You can find it in the “Navigation” menu.
Areas of Improvement
While Celestia gives you a virtual tour through outer space, it doesn’t give you the option to view space from our home planet. Other space simulators let you pick a location on Earth and look up at the stars from there, but don’t let you explore them from space. Celestia would do well to include this feature, and provide users with both options, so you could start by looking up at the sky, then launch right into the stars.
If you wanted to be an astronaut when you grew up, you’ll love Celestia. With Celestia you can travel through space right from your computer. Explore the planets and stars in our solar system with just a few clicks. Get a realistic, bare bones view, or add labels to learn the locations of constellations, stars, satellites, comets, and more. Take a trip to Mars, or visit Pluto to personally offer your condolences on losing its planetary title. You can do it all for free with Celestia. Celestia flies you to the moon and lets you play among the stars. So unleash that kid inside who wanted to be an astronaut and download Celestia. Of course, if you’d rather see the view from the ground, you won’t be able to land with Celestia. Try another free space simulator instead, like Stellarium (www.stellarium.org).
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