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Talven81
2008-Mar-08, 02:35 AM
Just wanted to say I recently found your podcast and love it. While certain things are not as detailed as I like, your podcast gives me much less of a headache. :wall:

I recently went back and downloaded all the previous episodes that I wanted to hear and am listening to them all.

As far as your viewers, if they would like something to reference some of the places you talk about there are two sources that can be used...

The first is Google Earth (http://earth.google.com/download-earth.html) which now includes Google Sky, this is a neat tool that will allow you to browse the known universe. However I feel the interface is still a bit clumsy and the interactivity still has alot to be desired.

This is where Celestia (http://www.shatters.net/celestia/download.html) comes in, this is a 3D application that allows you to travel amongst the stars, instead of just looking at them like Google Earth. It is opensource and provides the abilitiy for plugins (http://www.celestiamotherlode.net/) such as the 2 million star database, all Messier obejcts, high-resolution planets, all Near Earth Objects, all Satellites, and more. Celestia is also portable unlike Google Earth (means you can stick it on a flash drive and run it from there, without installing it).

Honestly I was hoping Google Sky would be more like Celestia, with it's large community base it could have been even better. But for now Celeista is my faovrite.

These utilities have helped me emmensely since astronomy can be very confusing. They also allow you to find details that are otherwise difficult to find. For example Celestia has told me that Alpha Centauri has many names which I didn't know origionally know (Rigel Kentarus A/Toliman A/Alpha Centauri/Alpha Centauri A/Gliese 559 A/HIP 71683/HD 128620/SAO 252838) which can make reading news stories very confusing since each use different names it seems. Also it lets me know things such as distance, absolute magnitude, luminosity in comparison to our sun, class, surface temp., radius, rotation speed, location in the sky, and if it has planets.

Also your space-flight fans may want to check our Orbiter Space Flight Simulator (http://orbit.medphys.ucl.ac.uk/download.html) a very in-depth and well built space flight simulator, also free for download. Many ships both real and sci-fi are available for this simulator. (I also recommed downloading the DeltaGlider 4, and Orbiter Sound (http://orbiter.dansteph.com/index.php?disp=d) with the base package.)

I look forward to more episodes and hope your fans enjoy the resources above.

Talven Taurog