There are far-ranges of astronomy software on the Linux platform that pave the way to observe the sky for the astronomy enthusiasts. In naked eyes, this fascinating universe stays immensely apart although there are many things to watch, for instance, nebulae, asteroids, star cluster, galaxies, meteor showers, comets, planets, stars, moons and so on. Astronomy software truly offers the professional astronomers and even the amateur sky explorer to go through the deep insight of the universe. This software facilitates controlling telescope, mapping night sky, making stars charts, having a close observation, creating details observation logs, and much more.
Best Astronomy Software for Linux
In this article, the writer has articulately outlined best astronomy software for the Linux platform. Top 20 planetarium software has been described along with the software’s properties, function, features, and effectiveness. Additionally, software’s download link has been given; thus, users would get the best possible option to install it on their computer and laptop.
Stellarium is one of the best open source free astronomy software that can be used for the Linux platform. This planetarium software expedites observing the sky in a 3D format just like the way the atmosphere can be seen with naked eyes, telescope and binocular. It smoothes the path of the constellation for more than twenty different cultures moreover, full Messier catalog for nebulae images is inexistent with this extensively useful software.
Features of Stellarium
- Within built-in system this software provides more than 600,000 catalogs of stars; additionally; other directories contain 177 million stars.
- This planetarium software is enriched with the deep sky object catalog as well where it offers 80,000 defaults and 1 million other deep-sky object catalog.
- There is a powerful zoom, time control, multilingual, and telescope controlling system that could be synchronized with the active program and extensive software.
- All the features regarding sky, interface, visualization, and customizability are inexistent with this astronomy software.
This planetarium software works as a renderer for the solar system and planetary images moreover; it facilitates illustrating different types of graphics of the solar system. Computer wallpapers are commonly produced with this astronomy software that let us update the latest cloud maps of the earth, particularly of a region that is in sunlight.
It paves the way of producing project maps any part of the planet for instance; mollweide projections assist in watching the entire globe at a glance or Mercator projections enable the appearance of the earth for filling the screen. Additionally, it is open source the GNU GPL published free software.
Features of the Xplanet
- It allows overlaying text or cloud onto these maps whereas a particular part of the planet is experiencing night.
- This astronomy software prompts rendering much more general views of the objects of the entire solar system, as in illustration; it can present an image view of earth from the moon.
- It works either way like producing wallpapers that resulted in an image or textual output with details locations of different objects.
- The Linux platform has got a specified XplanetFX that is GTK-fronted that prompts a more comfortable option to use in GUI with many striking features.
Once again, it is one of the best astronomy software that offers the users to explore the entire universe by leaving behind any limitation. This software would not confine just on the surface of the earth; moreover, users can experience the solar system as a whole over 100,000 stars or can travel beyond the galaxy. Its all-around movement facilitates seamless glimpse of exploring the universe; thanks to the exponential zoom features that let you go throughout the immense range of space.
Features of Celestia
- In this planetarium software, there is a ‘point-and-goto’ interface feature that allows the user to pinpoint the object what they want to view.
- Celestia astronomy software is expandable with an extensive catalog of stars, moons, planets, comets, galaxies and so on.
- Additionally, more catalogs can be downloaded with many more objects that could be installed on add-ons.
- It seamlessly simulates various types of objects, for instance; from the moon to planet and stars clusters to the galaxy.
4. Virtual Moon Atlas
Virtual Moon Atlas is exclusively and specially designed to observe the moon and its surface. This astronomy software is open source for the Linux users. It facilitates the user processing high-resolution image and all types of information regarding the moon. All the details can be captured by using this planetarium software moreover; a user can access every aspect of the moon on every date and hour. Additionally, it allows the user to go through the pilot computerized telescope that is existent on the moon surface.
Features of Virtual Moon Atlas
- This astronomy software let the enthusiasts study on the lunar formation, and its catalog is enriched with 7000 pictures and more than 9000 entries.
- It is equipped with an airbrush that can be accessed with and without texture and clementine illustration texture along with 1,000 m resolution.
- It features librations, phases, and dual window display with high-resolution texture.
5. Sky Chart/ Cartes du Ciel
Sky chart is free and available in the open source allows the user to draw sky chart and smooth the way to access data of catalogs of stars and nebulae. Additionally, it shows the position of planetarium objects such as planets, asteroids, and comets.
The sole aim of this planetarium software is to offer to draw the maps of distinct observation for the universe. Its available parameter would let the user find specific and appropriate catalogs for color and dimension for the planetarium objects, namely; stars and nebulae.
Features of the Sky Chart
- This astronomy software can map and label the planets, objects and constellations those are visible with the telescope.
- This planetarium software has enriched with a database that contains 2.8 million city’s information.
- It paves the way to observe superimpose images that are made with the digital sky survey charts.
- This software also facilitates tracking telescope wit INDI moreover; it is a handy and practical software for all the telescope that is supported with INDI.
Gpredict is open source free software on the Linux platform facilitates real-time satellite tracking and predicting the orbit. It is capable of tracking numerous satellites at the same time and showing their position and relevant data in a list, table, maps, and polar plots. This astronomy software additionally can predict the future passes of a particular satellite and can provide all information on each pass.
This planetarium software works distinctly like; first, it makes a group for the satellites to visualization in modules, afterward; it paves the way to configure each module individually from the others that lets the users’ vast flexibility in terms of feel and look of the blades. Moreover, it allows the user to observe the satellites from a different location at the same time.
Features of Gpredict
- Gpredict astronomy software smooth the way of tracking the satellites in real very fast and accurately by using the NORAD SGP4/SDP4 algorithm.
- It offers unlimited scopes of using the software for the number of satellites and ground station.
- It facilitates the stunning visual presentation of the satellites that are shown in maps, list, and polar posts.
- It allows users to group the satellites into modules, and each module appears with its visual layout; thus; appealing data are available in this software.
Lin_guider planetarium software is distinctively and exclusively designed for the Linux platform that assists Logitech, Philips, even webcams. Additionally, it works with QHY5, DS12PRO astrocams to input video and parallel port based (LTP), chip-based (FTDI) devices are used as a pulse driver for mounts.
This astronomy software is an open source free tool that is available now in English. This software works to provide native support for many cameras and telescope, and it works very effectively in the astrophysics field.
Features of lin_guider
- This astronomy software is featured with DS12PRO and linear histogram support moreover; it has been integrated with QHY5 full support.
- It is compelling works with the ATIK cameras additionally; it offers network notification and base control remote too.
- It is intensively designed to support Nexstar protocol, and what is more, various cameras, namely ZWO ASI, Starlight express and Viewport are supported with this tool.
Planetarium enthusiasts can track satellites with this astronomy software. Its operating system is straightforward, and it lets the users know the exact location of an artificial moon in real-time moreover; it can be operated in the manual mood. Additionally; this planetarium software accurately can predict the satellites passes, iridium flares, and various more calculations.
Satellites’ geocentric position can be determined appropriately with the PreviSat astronomy software that implements the SGP4 model, and PTE orbital elements are used in this program. It illustrates satellites sky map view and world map view accordingly and capable of calculating all passes of satellites any location in the world.
Features of PreviSat
- This astronomy software is simple to operate, works very fast, and it has an intuitive program that reveals the exact position of the artificial software.
- In its main tab, different frames are used to shows the numerical positions such as horizontal, terrestrial, and equatorial.
- It also offers some extra information based on the satellite’s position, such as velocity and magnitudes.
- Furthermore, it provides information regarding the orbital events, ISS position contrast with the sun or moon, and data of MetOp.
9. Astronomy Linux 16.04
Astronomy Linux is a DVD based live 64-bit software that is designed for the amateur astronomy enthusiasts. It is open source and free that is downloaded with .iso files and included many more programs too. This file does not require installing permanently on the computer hard disk; nevertheless; it can be connected in the USB flash drive and can be used many more ways without interrupting the current system. This astronomy software offers real benefit for amateur enthusiasts.
Features of Astronomy Linux 16.04
- This astronomy software paves the way to explore the universe for amateur enthusiasts to significant context.
- It is easy to download, install, and to operate on the Linux platform because of being simple operating.
- This program lets the amateur astronomers have the necessary information regarding the universe, stars, galaxy, and planets.
Hallo North SKY or HNSKY is semi-professional astronomy software for the Linux platform. In this planetarium tool; there are more than 30,000 objects with detailed features and characteristics additionally; has a comprehensive latest database that allows controlling telescope with INDI and ASCOM. Moreover, through this online program version in-depth sky survey can be conducted that would enable to access millions of stars images. Apart from that, it also allows the professional database that is enriched with in-depth sky survey information.
Features of HNSKY
- This astronomy software is entirely free and available with 21 languages additionally; it can be downloaded and installed without any restriction.
- This planetarium tool facilitates emerging the moon, sun, planets, and their satellites in the surface feature.
- It helps to predict an eclipse of moon and sun along with the occultation, and what is more; it lets the users watch polar alignment view for the telescope.
- Its installation prompts accessing Gaia star database up to 18 magnitudes, by the same token; it allows a database of in-depth sky survey for 30,000 objects.
11. Virtual Planet Atlas
Virtual Planet Atlas is the second edition of this astronomy software since its inception in 2013. It is used to study on topographic and scientific data for different planets and satellites surface. It was published by the Christian Legrand and Patrick Chevalley who also published the Virtual Moon Atlas. Having been suitable for the telluric, it offers data regarding the solar system satellites and the planets. Afterward, those data get revealed by the active probes those are sent by the different space agencies, namely, USA, Russia, Europe, and others.
Features of Virtual Planet Atlas
- In the very beginning, when this software was published, it could only study on the Mercury, Venus, and Mars; however; the second edition is developed with Jupiter and its 4 Galilean satellites.
- Additionally, the latest database has been integrated with Virtual Planet Atlas from the IAU that prompts users accessing in different planets.
- In terms of Jupiter, it has created a separate database that allows all the information of the Jupiter about zones and belts.
CCDciel is open source free astronomy software that is designed by focusing on the amateur astronomy enthusiasts. It is entirely programmed with the required tools to functionalize for the advanced imaging celestial objects. Moreover, it can be operated attendant with sequential performance. Nevertheless, its manual operation is also effortless, and if it is required, it can be customized. It is one of the most active amateur astronomy software that uses INDI and ASCOM as drivers.
Features of the CCDciel
- It has a different option that provides multi-connection facilities using distinct protocols in local or remote drivers.
- It paves the way to use simple, configurable interface additionally; setting can be customized for capture and preview.
- Automatically it can improve the image display thanks to the predefined program gamma and histogram truncation.
- Different devices get boosted with it like CCD/CMOS camera, filter focuser, rotator, wheel, and telescope mount.
EQAlign planetarium software was developed to have helped to align ‘German Equatorial Mount’ (GEM) precisely over the polar axis. In the meanwhile, it has been mainly developed, and it is full-featured astronomical software along with the Align characteristics.
This astronomy software is open source free, and it is distinct from other subcategories; part of the home and hobby category that implies it is designed by focusing on the amateur astronomy enthusiasts. At the very beginning, this tool was only accessible in the German language; however, the latest version has programmed in English as well.
Features of EQAlign
- This astronomy software facilitates to calculate the exact center of an image and smooth the way to match all the detected starts into the UCAC2 catalog.
- In the given catalog where many stars are enlisted, EQAMatch would pick a star from the specified zone and would initiate a spiral search until it can detect the image centroids match.
- EQAMatch computes the transformation between the equatorial coordinates and the image coordinates; hence; exact center point can be located by it.
14. Digital Universe Atlas
Digital Universe Atlas that is open source free astronomy software that is available under the Illinois open source license performs on the Linux platform very effectively. This planetarium software was initiated by the American Museum of Natural History that facilitates standalone 4-dimensional sky visualization, and it was designed by the Stuart of National Centre of Supercomputing center. In the solar system, many stars and planets that are out to the edge; this planetarium software collect information from the scientist and relevant agencies; hence; enthusiasts can utilize the database.
Features of DUA
- This astronomy software has an incredibly powerful engine that helps to visualize the universe objects to a significant extent.
- There is an extremely high definition planet rendering with zoom visualization moreover; it is built on partiview.
- This planetarium facilitates observing the space objects vividly that far way even beyond the Milky Way.
- Most importantly, it lets the astronomy enthusiast observe the planets and space objects from points of outside earth.
15. Where is M13?
Where is M13? is characteristically unique planetarium tool let the enthusiasts observe the space objects and locate those with appropriate physical properties in and around the galaxies. There is an exciting option that is called ‘face-on and edge-on’ prompts the users accurately find the cluster and nebulae. It shows all the objects relative at the entre on the plane galaxy with a three-dimensional perspective.
Feature of Where is M13?
- Galactic coordinates are used as plotted to display the night sky view; thus; it prompts users to locate the deep sky objects and familiar stars to the plane of the Galaxy.
- In this astronomy software, a database has been developed with the deep sky objects that can be matched with the list that the user has already input in it.
- There is in and out zooming option with excellent control additionally; in a specific directory preset option prompts to open the preset that placed with documentation.
KStars is free open source planetarium software performs on the Linux platform very effectively. In night sky; whatever the location on earth or time and date it provides exact graphical stimulation for the astronomy enthusiasts. In its exclusive catalog, it has 13,000 deep sky objects, hundred million stars, all the planets, the sun, the moon, supernova, comets, asteroids, and satellites too.
The KStars astronomy software can predict supernatural conjunction and various astronomical calculations as well. It is programmed with the astrophotography suit that is believed an entire astrophotography solution which can manage all the INDI devices. What is else; it also can control DSLRs, CCDs, telescopes, filters, focusers, and many more.
Features of KStars
- Amateur astronomy enthusiasts are benefited from this astronomy software because; it is integrated with observation planner, FOV editor, and sky calendar tool so that they can calculate and display them.
- Having enriched catalogs with many information; amateur astronomers get benefited by accessing the database and can explore the universe.
- Because of having a flexible operating system, atmospheric refraction, nutation, and precession can be customized.
ORSA astronomy software which elaboration is Orbit Reconstruction, Simulation and Analysis is a program of the scientific level that performs Celestial Mechanics Computation in the astronomy field. It mainly aims in different projects to execute state of the art orbit integration and algorithms.
This planetarium tool offers full fledge performance and accuracy that is required for the development of the number rationalizing tool. Through this software, different deep sky objects such as comets, asteroids, artificial satellites, the solar and extra-planetary solar system could be calculated, simulated, analyzed, and reproduced.
Features of ORSA
- This planetarium software can establish appropriate mathematical algorithms moreover; JPL ephemeris files are used to produce an accurate planetary position.
- Having been used numerical library labors, it can perform all alone in this astronomy field. What is more, an integrated database tool has been used so that the database gets updated automatically.
- It performs distinctively by generating conventional infrastructure system with the existing celestial mechanical program and standard.
18. Mars Simulation Project
Mars Simulation Projects that aim to establish a human colony on Mars is open source free software on the Linux platform. It is programmed by taking into account all the aspects of Mars; got developed a computer-based model that would let implement human settlement on Mars.
The programmed that has been developed by studying on the human psychology is believed that whoever goes to the Mars at the earlier stage some problem might arise among them thus; it aims to develop a computer-based model to establish a professional relationship among them.
Features of Mars Simulation Project
- In the main window of this astronomy software, many features have been included, such as menu bar, search tool, time tool, and Mars navigator, and so on.
- It is also designed to monitoring all the events along with rover, settlement, and persona info window.
- This program can be customized for the simulation; however; at the event of any change, the new simulation must be started.
The astronomy software list has been integrated with the Audela what is free open source software designed for the digital observation of the universe. To some extent, it is entirely a new type of software because of its capability of image processing. It is discrete because; a simple script has been used in this software that allows programming it easily. It performs excellently on the Linux platform that can control telescopes mount, camera and DSLs and it is written in six different languages along with English.
Features of Audela
- This planetarium software is user-friendly, and it is easily customizable. The users can customize Even its main interface.
- It is featured to control cameras along with the telescopes; additionally; those devices can be controlled from a far distance by using the network system.
- It is developed with the extended range features, for instance; it can be used by the beginners, amateur enthusiasts, and advanced users as well.
- Having written in 6 languages, an extensive range of users can use it for their purpose.
Echoes astronomy software that performs on the Linux platform can be used along with the RTL-SDR and appropriate antenna to monitor the deep sky meteors scatter detections. Scientific research has found that when meteors get entered into the atmosphere, an ionized air leaves behind and when this event takes place; signal reflection and powerful transmitter get involved with it. Because of some supernatural phenomena FM radio, analog TV and radars get impacted with it. Interestingly; here is the original lie of the echoes software.
Features of Echoes
- Echoes work to some extent distinctively, for instance; it neither demodulate nor decodes any human-made signals.
- This software is mainly used to record and analyze the natural signals that prompt generating tabular data and screenshots.
- Audio sound does not get produced since there is no demodulation.
My Two Cents
At large, the software, as mentioned above, is recognized as the best tools for the astronomical practice on the Linux platform. Nevertheless, among many software, there are a few that are used professionally in the solar field whereas rest of others are used for amateur enthusiasts.
Finally, readers are being asked to leave their two pence regarding this article. Additionally, if you find this article and information are useful, please don’t forget to comment, like, and share it.