OpenSpace is an open-source space exploration project released under the MIT license. It is a non-commercial tool designed to visualize the whole universe and reflect the efforts to observe the cosmos in all its glory. It brings the newest methods from data visualization research to the audience. The program integrated interactive reflection of dynamic information from space mission operations and planning, observations, and simulations.
It is cross-platform and runs perfectly well on different operating systems like Mac OS X, MS Windows, and Linux, with an extensible architecture that can easily power PCs, planetarium domes, and beautiful tiled displays. The project also allows for simultaneous connections across the world, making shared experiences possible for everyone. It is packed with a wide range of features like JS and Lua UI into the engine for fully customized controls, animated 3D models reflecting space missions, and custom profiles support.
Mitaka is a solution for Windows that allows you to go on an adventure to discover the beauties of the universe. It is updated with theoretical models and observational information put together by the 4D Digital Universe, which is the work of NAOK. There are two modes available to everyone, and these are named planetarium and space mode. The latter is great for navigating the multiple structures in the universe ranging from large-scale structures to the topography of Earth.
The program adds the newest theoretical models and observations to stay up to date and provide a realistic experience. The audience can explore space from earth to the universe’s edges. You can view the characters in any language by defining the string definition in UTF-8 in a text file. Choose the “Real-time mode” from the time setting menu to run the program in the Real-time mode. Other great features include saving the image, Full-Screen Mode, Anaglyph, Dome Master view, and On-Screen Menu.
#2 WorldWide Telescope
WorldWide Telescope is an open-source web 2.0 visualization software that empowers your PC to serve as a virtual telescope, uniting imagery from top-notch space and ground-based telescopes around the globe for an unmatched universe exploration. The solution is developed using the MS Visual Engine and enables hassle-free panning and zooming around an image, night sky, and planets.
You can access the project from any computer with any modern browser. The only requirement is a stable connection to the internet. The site gives everyone the opportunity to customize various aspects through the Settings menu. You can browse the available collections for exploration, which include Hubble Studies, Solar System, NOAO Studies, Gemini Studies, Messier Catalog, Chandra Studies, and Astrophotography.
Cosmographia is a visualization tool offered by NAIF for public use and is SPICE-enhanced. The interactive solution is utilized for the production of 3D visualizations of planet ephemerides, orientations, spacecraft trajectories, shapes, and sizes. You can choose from the different user controls and manage what is shown, the name of the vantage point being used, and the speed at which the animation progresses.
The program was founded as a general interest solar system simulator and continues to perform exceptionally well to this day. The developer behind the project is extending the tool to utilize SPICE kernels for the precise illustration of solar systems. The solution is cross-platform and offers standalone downloads for Linux, Mac OS X, and MS Windows.
#4 Solar Model
Solar Model is an open-source and realistic solar mode project that offers real-time modeling of the solar system. The user can explore space, gain complete authority over time counting and determine space bodies’ movement. You can pair the camera to space objects without hassle. The project provides a user-friendly and highly interactive user interface to deliver the best experience for everyone.
The aim of the solution is to assist all those passionate about space to go on an adventure on their own and have fun while doing so. You can use the settings menu to customize various aspects like Video Driver, Resolution, and check/uncheck different options like VSync, Antialiasing, Render in the background, and Fullscreen Mode.
#5 Systems Tool Kit
Systems Tool Kit is a top-notch digital engineering app that is designed for different industries like telecommunications, aerospace, and defense. The solution is packed with worth-mentioning features like a precise, physics-based modeling environment for the evaluation of payloads and platforms in a realistic mission context. The application makes it easy for everyone to analyze the speed of sophisticated systems with a concentration on their operational workflows.
You can model systems in the best way possible thanks to the availability of different tools like RF environments, high-resolution terrain, and imagery. The process to get started is really easy and involves selection, or the import of accurate models of space, ground, air, and sea assets and mixing them to illustrate potential or existing systems. Everyone can run a simulation of their whole system and check performance in real-time from anywhere and at any time. This allows you to get full information about the mission and behavioral performance.
#6 Noctua Stellarium Mobile
Stellarium Mobile from Noctua is a multi-featured, state-of-the-art planetarium that you can use on your mobile phone. It displays an accurate night sky map in full 3D, showing an exact representation of when you look at it with a telescope, naked eye, or binoculars. The sensor control makes it easy for you to find what you view in the sky in minimal time by simply pointing at it via the phone.
The solution comes with a collection of more than 600,000 stars illustrated as a real-time zoomable sky map. You can also take a look at the beautiful galaxies and nebulas with a few beautiful pictures accompanying some of them. The Milky Way is shown in a fully realistic style, enabling you to explore its beauty directly from the smartphone. Control the direction of view above through GPS positioning and accelerometers. Other features include night mode, precise simulation of atmosphere refraction, stars extinction, and 3D rendering of prominent satellites and planets of the solar system.
#7 Gaia Sky
Gaia Sky is a real-time astronomy visualization software that runs on Linux, Windows, and Mac OS. The platform is developed in ESA’s Gaia mission framework to chart about 1 million stars of its galaxy in the Gaia group. Just like Google Sky Map, it also allows you to easily explore the whole universe, stars, galaxies, and all the other similar things. The software feature multiple views, and each view has its own functions, tools, and feature. It is free and open-source software and will stay this way in the future as well.
Contribute to the development and translations. It has multiple modes such as 360 and Planetarium projection mode etc. Each mode has its own objectives. Gaia Sky also includes core features such as 6D exploration, 3D-ready, use your own data, navigate the galaxy, and support multiple languages and much more. It is an excellent planetarium software for everyone.
#8 Sky Guide
Sky Guide is a commercial education app developed and published by Alcyone software. It is an all-in-one astronomy application for sophisticated star enthusiasts and hobby astronomers who value well-founded and precise astronomical illustrations and data. It comes as the alternative platform to Google Sky Map and offers all the similar services with some new features that make it better for astronomers. The basic function displays the complete detailed, scalable, and fully user-configurable celestial map with constellation and celestial objects visible with the naked eye or smaller telescopes.
The location and time of observation and the direction of view can be manually configured by the user or automatically with Live Mode. It also offers detailed information that is available for every celestial object. The Bright Star catalog and the Washington Double Star Catalog are made available for fixed stars. Moreover, the user can add notes and links for every object. Sky Guide also has lots of modes, and each mode has its own feature and objects. Try it out if you want to learn something more about your universe.
SkyORB – Astronomy for Everyone is an education app developed and published by Realtech VR. It is a fast and lightweight astronomy application that includes a 3D star map, 3D planetarium, search engine, ephemeris with notifications, sun clock, weather, and more. This application has millions of users worldwide who use it to learn more about the universe.
It features many functions as a 3D real-time representations of the planet position around the sun, the ability to hold your device and point toward visible star and planet and reveal the name by tracking the GPS position, compass orientation, warn the user when a phenomenon occurs as a full moon and more. SkyORB is available to use on two different versions, such as the free version and paid version. The paid version unlocks lots of advanced features, views, and services without any ad irritations.
#10 Solar System Scope
Solar System Scope is a fun way of exploring, finding, and playing with the solar system and outer space. This application features many views and celestial simulations. It aspires to be the most illustrative and easy-to-understand space model. This platform introduces a new 3D encyclopedia system that allows you to find the most interesting fact about every planet, moon, and more. Its realistic 3D visualizations accompany everything.
This encyclopedia is available to use in 10 different languages, including English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, etc. Like all the other similar apps, it is also available to use in different modes; each mode has its own view and functions. Solar System Scope includes core features such as night sky observation, various scientific instruments, a guide, a unique map, and much more. To enjoy its service, you need to download and install it on your mobile device. After completing the installation, you can enjoy all its features without any limitation.
#11 StarMap 3D
StarMap 3D is a star atlas for beginners and advanced astronomers, available to use on the iOS platform only. With this app, you can easily find the planets, stars, galaxies, and constellations visible to you based on your location and time. The best thing about this app is that it uses a compass to align the map automatically. Like Google Sky Map, it also allows you to see all 88 modern constellations with lines based on the outlines from The Stars.
StarMap 3D feature location-based service, Global Positioning System, or manually enter your longitude. Teachers around the world use this app to teach their students about the universe. It is a commercial app that you need to download and install it into your mobile device, read its guide and enjoy it all feature without any limitation. 3D model, planetarium mode, compass support, adjust time instantaneously, time, and date are key of the app.
#12 Star Walk
Star Walk is a mobile application for astronomy, stargazing, and finding planets, constellations, and stars in real-time on the sky map. The application is developed and published by Vito Technology and available to use on Android and iOS platforms. Using this application, you can easily explore the stars with the Star Walk and point any direction to discover location and information about celestial bodies. Compared to all the other similar platforms, it is a perfect education solution for astronomy stargazing for students and space enthusiasts of all ages.
Mostly, teachers of science can use science during the lesson by students for preparing projects by parents to introduce their children to the basics of astronomy and by anyone interested in sky and space. It has a complete guide that allows you to enjoy all features without any limitation easily. Star Walk’s most prominent features include seeing constellations and stars in real-time, different modes, an astronomical calendar, a time machine to diversify sky observation and explore the sky, identify stars and complete guide, etc. Star Walk is a powerful planetarium application that you can use anywhere around the world.
Stellarium is a free and open-source planetarium software that shows a realistic sky in 3D, just like the one you see with your eyes or a telescope. The software shows a realistic and accurate night sky map and allows you to identify a star in just a few seconds easily. It is developed by a French programmer named Fabien Chereau, who launched this project in 2001. In the term of feature, more than 6 million stars from the Hipparcos Catalogue and the Tycho-2 Catalogue are accessible as well up to 210 million stars from addition catalog.
Stellarium offers an intuitive, interactive interface where you can easily access all features and view the universe from a close view. This software includes few core features such as artificial satellites, International Space Station, 3D rendering of the major solar system planet, different modes, GPS postings, etc. For new users, it offers a complete guide that helps them to understand the universe.
KStars is an advanced level Planetarium platform that can be used on Unix-like computer operating systems and Microsoft Windows platform using the KDE for Windows. It is an alternative to Google Sky Map and offers lots of new features that make it stronger than others. The platform provides an accurate graphical representation of the night sky at any date and time. The display includes up to 100 million stars, 13,000 deep-sky objects, and constellations from different cultures, all 8 planets, the sun and moon, and thousands of comets and asteroids.
KStars feature appeals to users of all levels, from informative hypertext articles about astronomy to control the telescopes, CCD cameras, and logging observations. Just like all the other similar platforms, it also offers a complete guide to understand its objectives. This planetarium supports adjustable simulation speeds to view phenomena that happen over long timescales. For astronomical calculations, Astro-calculator can be used to predict conjunction and perform lots of common astronomical calculations.
#15 Star Chart
Star Chart (also known as Star Map) is a map of the night sky used by up to 30 million users worldwide. This platform provides a magical stargazing experience like no other. Astronomers divide the whole sky into grids to use them easily, and it is used to identify and locate all the astronomical objects, including stars, constellations, and galaxies. It is available to use on Android and iOS platform, and you can use it anywhere around the world.
Using its GPS technology, an accurate 3D universe, and all of the latest high-tech functionality. It calculates real-time and the current area of every star and planet visible from earth and shows you precisely where they are even on the board daylight. It has a complete guide that helps you easily identify its feature. Unlike all the other similar platforms, it also includes a core feature that makes it better than others.
SkyView – Explore the Universe is a free-to-use Planetarium solution that allows you to see stars, planets, satellites, and constellations day or night without an internet connection. With the help of this application, you can easily see space in a whole new way with an augmented reality (VR) view. This solution is developed and published by Terminal Eleven LLC for Android and iOS users. It is a very simple and easy-to-use application designed for everyone who wants to find stars and constellations in the sky; you need to open the app and let it guide you to your location.
This application allows you to easily find all 88 constellations as they fade in and out. At the same time, you can scan around the sky, locate every planet in the solar system, find galaxies, and witness satellites as they fly-bys. It is an alternative to Google Sky Map and offers similar services with some new features and tools that offer a more realistic experience. SkyView’s key features include schedule alerts, see all visible objects at night, night mode, sky paths, and much more. This app also allows you to capture your location and share it with others on social media platforms.
#17 Google Sky Map
Google Sky Map is a free hand-held planetarium that allows you to identify stars, planets, and more. Google specially designed this platform to help you explore the far research of the universe. It has a massive team of astronomers that easily understand and bring you a new style to visualize the sky. This tool provides an exciting way to browse and explore the universe.
With this platform’s help, you can easily find the positions of the planets and constellations on the sky and even watch the birth of distant galaxies as seen by the Hubble Space Telescope. As you explore these new layers, it also allows you to play with the transparency to blend between the different wavelengths and see how different parts of the universe light up the different wavelengths. Google Sky Map features different ways to explore the universe; each has its own functions and results. Try it out if you want to explore your universe.
HelioScope is a modern web-based solar design software that allows you to design solar systems effectively and stimulate efficiency. The software comes with advanced integration with quoting tools and PVbid that adds flexibility to the system with the innovation in design and projects. HelioScope recently has introduced increased flexibility that paves the way for the multiple-input module-level power device, including micro-inverters and optimizers.
There are multiple features to offer that are 3D designs, bankable simulations, unlimited designs, live support, Single line diagrams, Automatic CAD export, one-click sharing, and more to follow. Besides, it offers around 4500 component libraries, Global Weather coverage, shade reports, and PAN file support. HelioScope saves your precious time doing complex projects with AutoCAD and PVsyst that automates the much processing task that is simply remarkable. The improved and more function on the design side makes it easier to run multiple simulations.
#19 Space Engine
Space Engine is a beautiful virtual universe that allows you to view all the wonders of the universe from the computer. Everyone can use it to jump from star to star, galaxy to galaxy, and land on an asteroid, planet, or moon with the option of knowing more about its wondrous landscape. You can modify the time speed and view any celestial phenomena as per your wishes. The transitions are fully seamless, and the universe is billions of light-years in size.
The best aspect is that you have the ability to become familiar with trillions of planetary systems. Scientific knowledge is used for procedural generation, resulting in a realistic representation of the universe. It also shows real celestial objects, enabling everyone to visit them, and this also holds true for the moons and planets native to our solar system.
The notable highlights include controllable space ships, automatic selection of flight speed, precise planetary atmosphere models, a built-in wiki system with descriptions and the option to extend, and original music with context-dependent track switching. This virtual universe is composed of all types of celestial objects like galaxies, comets, asteroids, planets, and nebulae. It uses a catalog for the accurate representation of known nebular galaxies, planets, stars, and asteroids.
StarCalc is a high-performance, best-in-class astronomy planetarium and star mapping solution for multiple versions of MS Windows like XP, 9x, 2000, ME, and NT. The purpose behind its development is to display star positions of all instances of the day seen from different geographic points on the planet earth. You have the option to view and present star positions as user-defined sub-areas and the whole hemispherical sky.
Everyone has the option to zoom each image at varying scales, print, rotate, or screen-capture them. Besides the above-mentioned features, the app also provides many other calculation functions along with a display of sky objects. Lastly, the app offers a user-friendly and easy-to-use interface for you to use.
Planetarium (now known as Stellarium) is a virtual planetarium of planets and stars that you can customize based on location parameters like longitude and longitude and time of day. It can be accessed from any web browser and enables everyone to go on a fun exploration of space. You can journey across the various solar system, find information about all the planets, and jump from star to star and galaxy to galaxy.
The best feature is that everyone can get details about the true size of the universe. You can easily zoom in and zoom out to view details with more or less clarity. Lastly, you can configure location parameters like longitude and latitude based on requirements.
Cosmonium is an open-source 3D astronomy and space adventure solution that enables you to view all the planets, moons, galaxies, and stars of the universe in all their glory. You can use it to explore the solar system and become familiar with all the planets and their moons. You also have the opportunity to make a stop in the stars nearby and gain knowledge of the total size of the universe and the galaxy.
The program allows for the creation of stellar systems nebulae and fictional planets via procedural generation. The tool allows for the integration of multiple Celestia add-ons by default. It is cross-platform and runs perfectly well on macOS, Linux, and Windows.