My friend Peter just turned me on to Stellarium!
It is a FREE (open source) planetarium for your computer. It shows a realistic 3D sky, just like what you see with the naked eye, binoculars or a scope.
It is being used in planetarium projectors. Download it for free and use it on your computer!
- over 120,000 stars from the Hipparchos catalogue with info
- asterisms and illustrations of the constellations
- images of nebulae
- realistic Milky Way
- realistic atmosphere, sunrise and sunset
- planets and their satellites
- a powerful zoom
- time control
- scripting to record and play your own shows
- fisheye projection for planetarium domes
- graphical interface and extensive keyboard control
- equatorial and azimuthal grids
- star twinkling
- shooting stars
- eclipse simulation
- skinnable landscapes
- add your own deep sky objects, landscapes, constellation images, scripts...
Dowload Stellarium here: http://stellarium.sourceforge.net/