PDA

View Full Version : Celestia the Program



Gamefreak89
2010-Apr-04, 10:57 PM
Hey there everyone just wonderin if anyone has used the software called Celestia if you have please comment on here about how good it is.

sarongsong
2010-Apr-05, 01:30 AM
What/where is it?

Grashtel
2010-Apr-05, 02:22 AM
What/where is it?
Celestia (http://www.shatters.net/celestia/) is a free and open source 3-D astronomy program that lets users travel through an extensive universe modelled on reality (or not if you install the right stuff) in any direction at any speed and at any point in history. I've not really palyed with it myself but it is supposed to be good, and you can't beat the price.

Gamefreak89
2010-Apr-05, 08:26 AM
LOL since Celestia doesn't cost anything to download. Just go to google.com and google it go to the homepage and download it its a really good piece of software. Heck I downloaded it the other day and been on it from time to time looking around at the stars in our galaxy its really cool!!

Swift
2010-Apr-05, 01:14 PM
I moved this thread to Astronomical Observing. I suspect a little searching will find past threads about this and other software.

Hop_David
2010-Apr-06, 03:55 AM
Hey there everyone just wonderin if anyone has used the software called Celestia if you have please comment on here about how good it is.

You know how on Google Earth you can pick a latitude and longitude and hover a spot, zooming in or zooming out.

Celestia's like that but for just about all the solar system objects that have been extensively mapped and photographed.

I love it!

chrlzs
2010-Apr-06, 03:57 AM
I'm just curious, what do Celestia lovers actually do with it?

That may sound like a daft question, but ... I installed it some months ago, played a little, but never really got the hang of what it was truly 'for', and how it might benefit or interest me.

(I use Stellarium extensively, by the way, eg to help novices on other forums identify what they are seeing in other parts of the world, etc..)

When I got Celestia, I sort of felt like the dog who caught the car. OK, so now what? :D

Added PS - Crossed posts with Hop_David.. - thanks - that's almost a clue, but still...

Gamefreak89
2010-Apr-06, 10:10 AM
I'm just curious, what do Celestia lovers actually do with it?

That may sound like a daft question, but ... I installed it some months ago, played a little, but never really got the hang of what it was truly 'for', and how it might benefit or interest me.

(I use Stellarium extensively, by the way, eg to help novices on other forums identify what they are seeing in other parts of the world, etc..)

When I got Celestia, I sort of felt like the dog who caught the car. OK, so now what? :D

Added PS - Crossed posts with Hop_David.. - thanks - that's almost a clue, but still...

You basically move the camera around through out the whole universe zooming in and out of stars planets and galaxies its a whole lot of fun.

EDG
2010-Apr-07, 03:30 AM
I'm just curious, what do Celestia lovers actually do with it?

That may sound like a daft question, but ... I installed it some months ago, played a little, but never really got the hang of what it was truly 'for', and how it might benefit or interest me.

(a) go places with it. A lot of (if not all) the extrasolar planets are in it, for example. So if you ever wanted to know what sunrise looked like on 51 Pegasi b, you can go see! (hint: it's really really bright :) ).

(b) visualise things with it. The really nice thing about Celestia is that it's customisable - you can add stellar databases, galaxies, imaginary planets, spacecraft etc. Right now I'm using it to visualise an SF setting I'm making. If you want to use it for more serious stuff then you can import real star/galaxy databases into it too.

(c) educate with it. It's got a pretty good scripting language that lets you do things like design tours of the solar system or universe (and you can include captions).

NASA/JPL have been known to use it on occasion (e.g. showing where Cassini is, I think), and it's got SPICE kernel support for some advanced orbital analysis too.

But really, it's a visualisation/education program, and a darn good one at that.

Hungry4info
2010-Apr-07, 05:09 AM
I'm just curious, what do Celestia lovers actually do with it?

I use it to visualise extrasolar planetary systems. I love Celestia.

It is quite honestly in my opinion the best porgramme...

ever.

Occam
2010-Apr-07, 06:38 AM
Yes, Celestia is a fantastic program and I've used it for years. A couple of quibbles, though - the later versions seem a little flaky and will crash some systems, and anything after version 1.41 don't display some of the fantastic add-ons correctly. Fortunately, older versions are still available for download here http://sourceforge.net/projects/celestia/files/
Multiple versions may be installed into different directories if the mood takes you. There are many superb add-ons available here http://www.celestiamotherlode.net/
Enjoy

Gamefreak89
2010-Apr-07, 01:12 PM
Oh yes very much so I'm still trying to figure out how to put the add ons on there lol.

Occam
2010-Apr-07, 10:23 PM
Most of the add-ons come with instructions. Many of them are simply dumped into the "extras" folder and the next time you open up, there they are. There's a whole Star Trek Universe package, with the Borg worlds heaps of spacecraft, stations etc - enough to keep a fanboy happy for hours :)

chrlzs
2010-Apr-08, 08:52 AM
:D

Thanks for all the replies - ok, I am convinced that I need to revisit it.. downloading now..

Gamefreak89
2010-Apr-08, 11:15 AM
Yep yep yep!

Adrian Morgan
2010-Apr-24, 02:58 PM
I'm slowly getting the hang of Celestia. I've been using Starstrider for a lot longer (alternative software, only demo version free), and I'd say the two have very different strengths and weaknesses.

What bugs me most about Celestia so far is that the band of the Milky Way is not mapped out properly on the night sky. Celestia represents the Milky Way with a bunch of fuzzy blobs randomly scattered around the galactic plane, but where is the Coalsack? Where is the Great Rift? These features don't exist in Celestia, and there doesn't seem to be an add-on to change that. The reason I'm fond of the otherwise unremarkable G-class star mentioned in my profile (HIP 20740) is that from its perspective the Pleiades line up rather pleasingly against the Cygnus Rift, but I would never have discovered this in Celestia.

On the other hand, Starstrider correctly displays the light and dark regions of the Milky Way as a sort of background image, but you can't adjust its brightness (and it's far too bright) except to turn it off altogether. Also, Starstrider represents all stars - including binaries - with plain, solitary spheres. As I said, each program has its own strengths and weaknesses. I don't want to give a point-by-point comparison, though, not least because I haven't got my head around Celestia yet.

(BTW, I made a few edits to the "Milky Way" article on Wikipedia earlier today: restructured the "Appearance from Earth" section.)

aastrotech
2010-May-01, 10:02 AM
A couple of things I've done with it is to edit the ssc files to put spacecraft where I want, make flyby movies, rendezvoux, chase scenes and fleets of ships. I'll also remap other textures on some of the meshes for high rez shots and special effects. For example I frequently use the mesh for the Carina add on with another texture as a high rez background for a ship flyby. You can make a Starwars Star Destroyer fly in your window or even up your nose.

Some cool things I could point out when you figure out how to manuver your point of view relative to spacecraft. You can go into some of the spacecraft and look around. Some of them have interiors. The TIE fighter has an interior and pilot, the X-Wing has Luke Skywalker inside, the 2001 lunar shuttle, one of the ALIEN ships has a flight deck, I forget which one.

eburacum45
2010-May-01, 12:59 PM
Remember that the Milky way is a three dimensional object, so representations of the Milky Way and the Great Rift as a background texture are geometrically inaccurate the further away from Sol you travel. Celestia's 'fuzzy blobs' are supposed to be a three dimensional rendering of the galaxy, but they are missing any dark dust lanes, etcetera.

Having said that I've made my own Milky Way texture which I use sometimes as a backdrop, using an all-sky image of the Milky Way. It does include images of the stars as seen from Earth as well, so it is terrible if you want an accurate sky - but it can look impressive from certain angles.

Philippe Lemay
2010-May-20, 05:42 AM
How about system requirements? I use an old 2004 tower with a 9100 Radeon graphics card inside. I've tried to run Google Earth (I imagine it's similar to Celestia in many ways), the first day I downloaded it worked like a charm (found my house and that of my friends and work, it was great fun). But the very next day... lag and bugs galore, I simply couldn't run it. It would lag for 30 minutes straight then crash. I gave up on it and uninstalled it, I haven't tried a second time.

I heard it might also compare to SketchUp in other ways, but I haven't dared to try downloading that one yet.


(EDIT: Screen is a 17 inch 1152x864 pixel screen, in case that helps gauge whether my system can take it or not.)

(EDIT 2: Oh... I think my screen is 32 bit, Celestia seems to be a 64 bit program. I'm guessing this is going to cause problems?)

EDG
2010-May-20, 07:06 AM
I don't think Celestia is a 64bit program, and the colour depth shouldn't really matter. You should be able to run at least the basic installed version with your specs. It may not be very fast but having a separate graphics card should help - just make sure you have the latest graphics drivers installed for your card. I would think you're not going to be able to run the bigger add-ons very well though. As for screen size, you can run it in a window so you can always resize it to dimensions that work for you :)

As another data point, I tried running it on a new Asus UL20 laptop recently and it didn't do very well at all - it was very chuggy until I turned things like the shadows and clouds and atmospheres off and even then the frame rate was low.

Gamefreak89
2010-May-20, 10:31 AM
Now if you can only make your own planet like on sim earth.

EDG
2010-May-20, 03:45 PM
You can. You can create your own planetary systems, add space stations or do whatever you like. Just look at some of the add-ons for it.

eburacum45
2010-May-20, 06:52 PM
Here's three pages of planets and spaceships we've put together for OA
http://www.orionsarm.com/xcms.php?r=oa-page&page=gen_OACelestia1

Making addons requires a little bit of juggling with files and folders, something which might put newcomers to the program off a bit; but once you've mastered a few basic skills the results can be very interesting.