If you want to try out an application just for the novelty of it and are an addictive star gazer, then perhaps its time to revisit ancient Sumaria and the mythological skies of ancient Greece. Stellarium, as the name suggests, is a 3D map application of the stars, typically centered on Earth. It provides a window into the abyss of they sky around us and it’s inanimate heavenly bodies. With Stellarium, there is hardly anything that you cannot do when it comes to exploring a map of the sky. It does not merely display random stars but provides in depth information about any star which appears in the map, with the option to view planets, constellations and other details of the Milky Way, with absolute precision.
When Stellarium is launched, you are given a view of the sky from a ground view. You can select a specific country and city with specific longitude and latitude specifications to see what wonders the sky displays in that part of the world. Hovering your mouse at the bottom or the left-hand side, displays a menu containing multiple visibility options. You can move the map in any direction to get a ground view or complete sky view of the sky.
You can select multiple planets to view the sky and stars from a view in relation to selected planets.
The stars visible in the sky might seem random, however, if you click on any of the star(s), you are provided with more information and the name (if available) of the star. This includes the magnitude, Parallax, distance, spectral, and many different geometric calculations.
From the Sky and View Options window, you can enable different kinds of markings , view the landscape of Moon, Mars, etc and read Starlore according to different cultural beliefs, including Egyptian, Chinese, Korean Lakota, Maori, Navajo, Norse, Polynesian and other cultures.
Perhaps one of the most interesting aspect of Stellarium is the Constellation Art option (available from bottom menu), which displays the numerous star constellations in the sky.
Stellarium is an open source application and has version for Windows, Mac and Linux based operating systems.