KStars – desktop planetarium for KDE

KStars - desktop planetarium for KDE

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).

KDE-Edu (KDE Education) — the project started in July 2001, the aim of the project was to develop free educational Software the KDE desktop. The project was planned to create app for pupils, students and their parents (for home practice), as well as anyone who wants to gain new knowledge. Created a new KDE module (kdeedu), the application module is fully compatible with the working environment KDE, their user interfaces and documentation have been translated into over 65 languages (thanks to the efforts of teams of translators, KDE).
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).
KStars - desktop planetarium for KDEKStars – desktop planetarium for KDE
KStars is more than just a picture of the night sky, provides a number of tools for studying astronomy and the night sky. Screen viewing of the night sky can be moved with the mouse, to zoom in and display the names of objects, motion of planets and other things… the Starry sky appears as if the viewpoint is located at a specific location on Earth and at the specified time. Every “object” is associated dropdown menu, which displays available for this “object” of the action and links to web resources and image of the object (obtained by the Hubble space telescope or other telescopes around the world).
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.
Available in the KStars astrocalculator provides access to many of the algorithms and calculations (that otherwise would have remained behind the scenes), including converters and time coordinates. Existing utility generating curves of the AAVSO light curve which displays the luminosity for any of the more than six thousand variable stars, these curves are built in real time upon request to the AAVSO server (so always will be the most recent data).
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 - desktop planetarium for KDEKStars – desktop planetarium for KDE
KStars is extended by plugins, and includes some d-bus functions that allow you to plan complex tasks with scripts, thus the app can be a powerful demonstrator in classes, showing various astronomical events. Using KStars can control telescopes, is supported by several common telescopes (including the Meade LX200 and Celestron GPS and popular CCD cameras, Webcams, and computerized fokusirovki), and the architecture of the client-server INDI allows you to control any number of local or remote telescopes.
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.

Good Luck!!!

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Herbert A. Eberth
Herbert A. Eberth
2022 years ago

Pity: The telescope control is not supported in Linux Mint 17.3.