Astronomy Cool Stuffs

Planetarium Software

Stellarium: a free open source planetarium. It shows a realistic sky in 3D, just like what you see with the naked eye, binoculars or a telescope. Just set your coordinates and go.

Celestia: a free space simulation that lets you explore our universe in three dimensions. Celestia doesn’t confine you to the surface of the Earth. You can travel throughout the solar system, to any of over 100,000 stars, or even beyond the galaxy.


Observation Data

United States Naval Observatory (USNO) provides a wide range of astronomical data and products such as astrometry, astronomical applications (almanacs, eclipses and transits, Moon phase, positions, rise/set time of Moon, Sun etc…), Earth orientation and many more.

Heavens-Above maintains dynamic webpages which generate predictions of visible satellite passes for any point on the Earth’s surface. This site is unique on the Internet because it is the only one to offer dynamically generated predictions for any location using the latest orbit data.

NASA SkyWatch: find out what satellites will be visible from your location and when and where to look. It also includes a Java applet that produces a picture of where in the sky the satellite will be.


Tours of the Sky

WorldWide Telescope (WWT) is a visualization software environment that enables your computer to function as a virtual telescope, bringing together imagery from the world’s best ground- and space-based telescopes for the exploration of the universe. WWT blends terabytes of images, information, and stories from multiple sources into a seamless, immersive, rich media experience delivered over the Internet.

Chromoscope: ever wanted X-ray specs or super-human vision? Chromoscope lets you explore our Galaxy (the Milky Way) and the distant Universe in a range of wavelengths from X-rays to the longest radio waves.

GigaGalaxy Zoom: a web tool that allows users to take a breathtaking dive into our Milky Way, learning more about many different and exciting objects in the image, such as nebulae and exploding stars, just by clicking on them.



Google Earth lets you fly anywhere on Earth to view satellite imagery, maps, terrain, 3D buildings, from galaxies in outer space to the canyons of the ocean. You can explore rich geographical content, save your toured places, and share with others.

Google Moon shows satellite images of the Moon. The landing site of each of the Apollo missions is shown on the satellite image, providing more information on each mission as the user zooms in.

Google Mars was an in-browser version of Google Maps which provides a visible and infrared imagery view, and shaded relief (elevation) of the planet Mars. In collaboration with NASA scientists at the Mars Space Flight Facility located at Arizona State University, Google Mars provided the public with data collected from two NASA Mars missions, Mars Global Surveyor and 2001 Mars Odyssey.

Where is M13? is a unique application that helps you visualise the locations and physical properties of deep sky objects in and around the Galaxy. It shows where a cluster or nebula is actually located relative to the centre and plane of the Galaxy, providing a unique 3-D perspective.


Telescopes at a Distance

Faulkes Telescope Project is the education arm of Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network (LCOGTN). They aim to provide free access to robotic telescopes and a fully supported education programme to encourage teachers and students to engage in research-based science education.

LightBuckets make it easy to access research-grade telescopes by anyone interested in astronomy – from beginners to astrophotographers to university researchers. It rents time on telescopes around the world via a website on the Internet to its customers. is about providing observing equipment at remote sites. With a small cost, you can take control of one of the fully equipped observatories and explore the night sky. Serving the general public, astronomy community, school systems and whoever has a curiosity for the skies above us.

SLOOH is a subscription-based web site that streams over the Internet live images of dozens of celestial objects viewed by its telescopes each clear night. It provides an unparalleled opportunity to explore space live by mountaintop telescopes situated throughout the world.


Simulators / Games

NASA JPL Solar System Simulator is a very useful web-based simulator which can create a colour image of any planet or satellite as seen from any point in the Solar System. You can view the images at certain dates and vary the field of view or the percentage of the image width that the planet fills.

Impact Calculator: create a virtual impact on Earth by changing the size, speed and composition of an approaching asteroid or comet. A selection of worksheets gives the opportunity to learn more about asteroids and comets – their detection, orbits, deflection/destruction and the possibility of impacts – and the study of meteorites.

My Solar System: build your own system of heavenly bodies and watch the gravitational ballet. With this orbit simulator, you can set initial positions, velocities, and masses of 2, 3, or 4 bodies, and then see them orbit each other.

Orbiter is a real-time 3D space flight simulator. Orbiter allows you to experience manned and unmanned space flight missions from the pilot’s perspective. Take control from launch to orbtial insertion, rendezvous with space stations, deploy and recapture satellites, and re-enter and land on a planetary surface. Orbiter accurately models the physics of spaceflight, which makes it possible to either recreate historic missions, or use it as a sandbox for futuristic spacecraft concepts.

The Star Formation Game: You start with a gas cloud, a certain amount of “free supernova seeds” and your job is to create stars. If you detonate the supernova at the right place new stars will form. Once you achieved the designated star quotas, you move on to the next level. Do it wrongly, the cloud dissipates and The End.


One Response to “Astronomy Cool Stuffs”

  1. […] Cool Stuffs and Citizen Scientist I’ve just updated the Astronomy Cool Stuffs page with links to observation data, maps, tours of the sky, remote telescopes and simulators. Go […]

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