Celestia Icon

Celestia for GNOME


Celestia is an open-source, real-time space simulator. It is written in cross-platform OpenGL, allowing it to run on a multitude of operating systems. Although the Win32 and MacOS X ports are very popular, the source code can be compiled under Unix-based operating systems for four different front-ends:

Celestia is scriptable using the Lua library. There are many third-party add-ons available, making this not only an educational tool, but also a fun diversion.

Celestia can be downloaded from the Celestia Project Page. The current version is 1.4.0.

Future Plans

While the goal is to keep Celestia/GTK as simple as possible, providing all of the core functionality, Celestia/GNOME will be integrated as tightly as possible into GNOME. Currently, this is limited to using GConf for settings and the ability to handle cel:// URLs from browsers running under GNOME. However, there are plans for Celestia/GNOME to use other functionalities provided with GNOME:

Celestia/GTK currently compiles and runs under Microsoft Windows. The code is evolving toward providing all of the functionality of the native Windows front-end.

Screen Shots

Earth's moon with Earth in the background.
A close-up of earth clearly showing four maps: colour, cloud, lights, and specularity.
The Mars Global Surveyor flying orbiting Mars.
Cassini approaching Saturn.
A shot of a high-resolution Mars texture.
A shot of a high-resolution Earth texture with some labels enabled.
A top-down view of our solar system with planet orbits turned on.
Jupiter with one if its moon's shadows visible on its surface.
Earth's context menu with the celestial grid and constellation lines enabled.
Saturn with moon orbits, the planet's shadow its rings, as well as the Solar System Browser dialog.
Venus and the Star System Browser dialog.
Comet Halley, its tail, and the View Options dialog.

copyright ©2004 Pat Suwalski.