Tuesday, February 01, 2011

The Final Frontier

I've spent a lot of time the past few weeks with my head up in space. I am taking an online workshop with Astronomy From the Group Up (AFGU).  The title of the workshop is called Sky Rangers! I love it. It is an 8 week course to learn all about what's in the night sky and how to inspire others to look up and wonder.

One of the resources that I have absolutely loved and spent way too much time playing with is called Stellarium.  It is a free planetarium for your computer. It shows you a realistic view of the sky - at any time of the day, year or location. It will show you the constellations from 12 different cultures, nebulae, open clusters, close ups of the planets. The stars even twinkle! It's pretty darn fun to play with. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys the night sky. It will certainly help you figure out what's up there, making your actual night sky observations more enjoyable.

The night sky showing the location of a couple of planets and the incredible Milky Way.

And there's Jupiter with a shooting star near it! Can you find Orion?
 A cool view with Constellation Art turned on. (Oh, so that's what it looks like!)

Wanna see what the sky looks like from Mars? There you go!

Of course, not all of us have skies as clear as is shown in the program. So you can change the amount of light pollution to see how it affects your view of the night sky. Let's all try to unpollute the night sky.


Jenny said...

Caleb is gonna love this!

"Ranger" Kim said...

Awesome! I've been trying to learn, maybe I'll have to check into this. Thanks for the post!

Wendy said...

stellarium.org is great. And it's free!