Great Software for Various Space and Astronomy Related Research

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It is always great to have some kind of astronomy application when you are quite the astronomer.  It can be either for research or just for your own leisure.

Observation Manager

Observation Manager will run on any platform that supports Java 1.4 or higher and it is a logbook for astronomical observations.  Any of your observations can be noted and saved for future use.  This can be useful if you only get the chance to do stargazing once every few weeks.  The catalogues in Observation Manager are already categorized for ease of use.


Xephem is a very complicated application but once you master it you won’t want to use anything else.  It is a highly developed astronomy application with a whole lot of data and information available to the user.  There is information on just about everything in the solar system.


Gpredict is a satellite tracking application.  It can show the user in real time where a satellite is moving and it can predict where the satellite will be at a specific time.  Gpredict shows the locations of satellites in different “modes”,like lists, maps, tables and polar plots.


Celestia will give you a real-time visualisation of space in 3D.  It contains a detailed model of the solar system, more than 10 000 galaxies and over 100 000 stars.


Stellarium is basically a planetarium made for your computer and it gets used in planterium projectors.  This application will show you just about anything you can see in the night sky with your own eyes and then tell you what you want to know about what you see.

CD or DVD Creation

This might come in handy if you need to open up space on your hard drive.  Burn data to a CD or DVD.

DVD Flick

- A simple and powerful tool for your DVD creation needs.  It will burn almost any video format to DVD.  DVD Flick supports over 45 formats and over 60 video codecs. It also supports over 40 audio codecs.  This is a great all-rounder.


- InfraRecorder is everything you will need in a CD/DVD burning tool.  You can create ordinary audio cd’s or create audio files from the cd.  Infrarecorder is also a disc image recorder.  It also supports recording to dual-layer DVDs.  InfraRecorder will also create your disc album with all of your favourite photos.


Image manipulation is a very complicated task but can be very rewarding when you get it right. That is why there are applications to help.


The GNU Image Manipulation Program is exactly the application you need for photo retouching, doing image composition and image authoring. It is everything from a simple paint program to a mass production image renderer. It is greatly expandable and extensible meaning the user can customize it to do anything they want.


Inkspace is a highly recommended vector graphics software. It is great for creating any graphics needed by the user. Illistrations, icons, logos, diagrams and more is exactly what Inkspace is good at. Inkspace can be compared to CorelDRAW and Adobe Illustrator.


Blender is an amazingly powerful 3D image generating application. If you want to build something you can easily render a 3D model in Blender and get a good idea of what your project can look like. Create your 3D models and even start animating them. This is a great free tool available to users.


Nathive is a software image editor for the Linux system. It is similar to Adobe Photoshop but with a much smoother learning curve for users. This application is still in a development phase and can be editied to your liking and you can contribute to the final product.


What good is your digital media if you can’t display it properly?  That is why there are multimedia players available.


Avidemux is for editing videos.  You can cut, filter and encode your personal videos with this nifty application.  Avidemux uses a variety of codecs and supports all general file types.


Use your own footage to create cool slow motion videos.  This is an editing tool that can be a lot of fun to play around with.  Slowmovideo puts you in control of showing to others exactly what you want them to see.

VLC Media Player

If you are struggling to play a video or some kind of media, try playing it with VLC Media Player.  VLC Media Player can play just about any file format.  Simple design and it is very easy to use.


Sometimes a little editing  to your photos is necessary to get a picture that speaks to you.


When you have a range of photos which can make one great photo when put together then Hugin is exactly what you need.  Hugin is a great tool for making panoramic images.  With Hugin you can also edit your photos and make spectacular images.


RawTherapee is a raw photo development application and will ensure that your photos come out exactly as you want them to.  Its image processing abilities are of high quality.  RawTherapee supports a wide range of cameras and also supports most photo formats.

Simulation Games

It is always nice to do dangerous things behind the safety of a computer screen.


FlightGear is a realistic flight simulator. The main objective of FlightGear is to act as an educational framework or to be a sufficient simulator good enough for research purposes. It can also be used for your own entertainment and great fun.


OpenRocket is a model rocket simulator. All the information you need on designing and building and even launching your own custom rocket. Do a simulation and see if your rocket will fly or blow up. Dangers include building and launching a rocket.

Web Browsers

Everybody needs a good hassle free web browser for use to search the net for their favourite topics.


This is the open source project behind Google Chrome.  The actual web browser available for download is Google Chrome.  This is a very stable, safe and fast browser and a great alternative to other web browsers.


Firefox is an easy to use web browser which is safe and fast.  Firefox has a great look and user interface.


Various Online Tools

Jmars Toolset
Public Lab