KStars – virtual C++ / QT / KDE planetarium that displays an accurate picture of the night sky (including the Sun, moon, stars, constellations, clusters, nebulae, galaxies, comets, asteroids, etc…), included in the package KDE educational applications Education (KDE-Edu).
KStars interface is friendly and intuitive, the application comes with a set of tools allowing to learn more about aspects of astronomy and the night sky. When you first start KStars setup wizard opens, which will help to set the basic settings and prompts you to download some additional data.
KStars provides an accurate graphical representation of the night sky for any date and location on Earth. When KStars starts up the time is set to the system virtual clock in accordance with the real time. If necessary, you can stop the clock, you can make a virtual clock to go faster or slower than real time, to get them to go back (you can set the date between -50000 and +50000 from current).
On the screen KStars displays up to 40 thousands of stars with a brightness of up to 8 magnitude (which is a lot weaker than what we are able to distinguish between the naked eye), 13 thousand remote celestial objects (Messier, NGC and IC), all the planets of the Solar system (the Sun and the Moon, hundreds of comets and asteroids), the milky Way, 88 constellations and the most important lines such as the celestial equator, the horizon and the Ecliptic.
From the drop down menu you can launch a window with detailed information, it is available information about the location of “object”, links for queries to the world of professional astronomical databases and literature sources. For “objects” you can add your own links, images and text notes that will make KStars an indispensable tool for your own surveys and astronomical observations.
KStars allows you to plan an observing session using the appropriate utilities, which will plot curves representing the altitude of any object in time, or will give information about the objects available for monitoring from a particular location at any given time. KStars also provides a view of the Solar system showing the current configuration of the planets in the Solar system and the tool displays the position of Jupiter’s moons.
KStars has an extensive documentation that includes a number of articles of the AstroInfo project (dedicated to astronomical objects), the main task of the KStars developers was to create an indispensable app for learning about astronomy and the night sky.
Installation latest version into Linux Mint:
sudo apt-get install kstars[/simterm]
The program starts without problems in Linux Mint KDE edition, but Cinnamon does not start.