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Eldmannen

Google Sky

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Very interesting indeed.

Yes.

Before you need a telescope to see space.

Good hobby-telescopes can be pretty expensive.

Great telescopes costs billions and normal people cant go near them.

Google map the sky, space, and planets and everybody can enjoy them. Even people who don't have much money, just a computer and Internet.

This can be very useful in maybe poorer countries too.

I can imagine it being very useful for education, private space hobby enthusiasts, etc.

In academia and science.

I even heard people found some very useful stuff and used it in cool ways.

I think its a really great initiative. I think it may have a lot of potential and be very important.

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I agree. Shame the images aren't completely free, like the software that si similar to Google earth but completely free (can't remember its name, you listed it once)?

Hmm, yes I think I've heard that the images aren't completely free. :(

Which sucks, because I can imagine many of the images are from government satellites/telescopes (such as from NASA) which are payed by us with our taxes that we pay, so they should be public domain.

Some other sky/space/planet software are;

* Stellarium

* Celestia

* NASA World Wind

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On the computer I mentioned above, its not the least sluggish at all.

And, I run it in high resolution like 1280x1024 or something.

I have a GeForce 4 Ti 4200 (128 mb) AGP card on that box though.

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Don't know whether to try it on my home P. Certainly will give Stellarium a go on my laptop. Is it better than Google Sky?

What are the other two programs you mentioned like?

NASA World Wind is a bit like Google Earth. I think, I haven't used it in a while.

Stellarium allows you to observe the sky from the Earth (you can decide from where on earth), and see stars, astrological signs, etc. It's a planetarium software.

Celestia lets you kinda travel through space and look at planets, stars, the ISS, etc. It's rendered though, not real photos (as opposed to Google Sky).

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Google Sky is just a web application. It uses real-world imagery.

Stellarium is a real application, and does not use use real-world imagery.

So they're a bit different.

NASA World Wind is pretty similar to Google Earth, but perhaps with less focus on social, and more focus on geologic and scientific stuff.

Stellarium and Celestia are under the GPL. NASA World Wind is under NASA Open Source license.

So you can try out all 3 of them. :)

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I see. I thought Stellarium would use real-world imagery, bit of a shame it doesn't. And my laptop certanily can't run NASA World Wind.

If your laptop can run Google Earth, it probably can run NASA World Wind.

If your laptop could not run NASA World Wind, then perhaps its good that Stellarium does not use real-world imagery, because then probably wouldn't be able to use it either.

Stellarium is nice, you should try it. It is used in planetariums where people can go and learn more about the sky, stars, constellations and space.

Since it does not use real-world imagery, you do not need to be connected to the Internet to use it.

Also, since it does not use real-world imagery, its pretty fast.

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