KStars : Cross-Platform Astronomy Software with INDI Support

KStars is an astronomy software that works on many different platforms like Windows, Linux, Mac, Android and more. The software displays an accurate night-sky simulation that displays up to 100 million stars, 13000 deep-sky objects, all of the eight planets, the Sun and the Moon, and thousands of the comets, asteroids, supernovae, and satellites. The view can be customized as seen from any location on this planet (Earth).

After the installation, when you launch KStars for the first time, it asks you about your location. You can choose from a large number of cities for which it already has the proper latitude and longitude coordinates. Or you enter these coordinates yourself to find the location. You do not have to enter your own location, you can configure it to show the night-sky as seen from any location of your choice.

The night-sky is displayed to a great level of accuracy using the data collected from many reputed organizations. It makes use of the known databases like the NGC (New General Catalog), Messier Catalog and IC (Index Catalog). You can change the way the night-sky view is shown by changing the projection, for example, you can switch to orthographic, gnomonic, equirectangular, stereographic, Azimuthal equidistant or Lambert Azimuthal equal-area.

KStars

You can find various objects in the night-sky like the planets, constellations, asteroids, comets, galaxies etc. it even displays the portion of the Milky Way galaxy as seen from our planet. If you want to find something interesting, then you can select What’s Up Tonight or What’s Interesting from under the Tools menu.

But the most interesting part of the KStars is that it can be connected to all the devices that support INDI protocol (instrument neutral distributed interface). Using this interface you can control your telescopes, DSLR cameras and other supporting devices using the KStars. This way if you want to view an object in your telescope, you can control it to the right position using KStars.

You can download KStars from https://edu.kde.org/kstars/.

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