Sunday, September 26, 2010

Starry starry night

I first noticed the app from Dr. Armand Lee, premiere astronomer and a brainchild behind SM MOA's AstroCamp. (Plugging: MOA's Astrocamp is the Philippine's first commercial astronomical observatory, do check it out). He showed the application as an aid in extrapolating the different positions of the celestial bodies, including cosmic clumps like Nebula and other constellations.

The app was installed on his netbook. And knowing the computing muscle of a netbook to be not as "stellar" as compared to the full-sized laptops sporting Core2 Duo and Core i(number what-have-you), I surmised that it must be an application that doesn't eat up a lot of system resources.

Rendered useful in definitely complimenting the mobility of the astronomers as most of us are on the go, chasing an astronomical phenomenon like eclipse, comets and cosmic impacts. It gives a perfect illustration of the night sky a lot like controllable telescope interface simulation. Best of that is that it is free and doesn't occupy large byte footprint. Stellarium is an open-source planetarium that provides a spheric mirror projection for your own low-cost dome.

I downloaded the app. It gives a wide angle panoramic view of the star at a given time of the day at a given place of the geographic position. It is so realistic that it catalogues 600,0000 stars and other celestial objects with ocular simulation, equatorial and azimuthal grids. It's a realistic sky in 3D.

I was just so ecstatic to have realized that the app has a Mac version. The only thing that hinders my complete resolve on switching to Mac is the availability of software. And the price of the software as well, as Mac accys and apps are normally found to be pricey.

This application has been my guide in the quest of my nightly routine, a starry starry night at the tip of my fingers, at the comfort of my laptop.

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