For my first post, let’s look at a cool little program I ran across the other day. Celestia is a kind of planetarium for your computer. The cool part is that you aren’t confined to the viewpoint from Earth – Celestia allows you to zoom in on other planets, stars, galaxies, even spacecraft. You can follow them around or set out among the stars by yourself. Various labels make it easy not to get lost, something I wished I’d figured out a while ago. A word of warning: whirling around in-program gave me motion sickness. Bring dramamine.
If that’s not enough, you can download add-ons, including various fictional spacecraft and locales. I’m looking forward to my 2001 monolith orbiting Jupiter. [ISS image borrowed from David Reverchon]