Friday, July 15, 2005


Do you teach space science as a part of your curricula? If so you should check out Celestia. Celestia is a great 3D space simulation software program. Picture a planetarium show that allows you to fly through the solar system. You can take a ship which you pilot or you can let the computer take you to any object in our solar system and to other stars in our galaxy (or beyond).

You can stand on the surface of the moon and see the view the astronauts had of Earth, or see what stars you can see from your back yard (although I'd use Stellarium for that). How visible is the Sun from Pluto? Go there and check it out.

In addition to the great data set that comes with Celestia, others have been created. Many of these can be found at the Celestia Motherlode. There are new, more detailed textures of the planets, space ship models and complete educational units free for download. I've gone through some of the units created by Frank Gregorio and they are incredible.

I don't teach an astronomy class, so I haven't ad my students spend much time with this, but I have used it with a projector to make various points.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Celestia educational activities written by Frank Gregorio are indeed incredible. They are now available both as free downloads, and as a self-installing CD or DVD. Web address is: