Astronomy Software and the Real Sky

Below is a photograph of the sky from the observing platform outside the Gettysburg College Observatory at 8:45 PM on Nov. 8. It shows the observatory building and, from left to right, Capella, Jupiter, and Aldebaran. The Pleiades are above, and Orion is rising, although it is difficult to see it in the glare. Below that are screenshots of the same scene from Starry Night 6 (College) and Stellarium 11.1 (which is free!). The observatory site panorama is one we made ourselves. Both applications have the capacity to simulate light pollution, though that feature is not enabled in these shots.

Photo by Ian Clarke, Panasonic Lumix FZ100, 30 sec exposure processed with UFRaw.

Starry Night College, 6.4.6.

Stellarium 11.1