In this article, we will list some best free Planetarium software for Windows 11/10. By using these free software, you can explore space and other heavenly bodies in space like the Stars, the Planets, the Galaxies, etc. If you are a student of astronomy or just want to explore space, you can install any of these free software.
Best free Planetarium software for Windows 11/10
We have the following Planetarium software on this list:
- Hallo Northern Sky
- Night Vision
- WorldWide Telescope
Let’s explore the features of all of these software one by one.
Stellarium is a free Planetarium software that lets you explore space, heavenly bodies, galaxies, constellations, etc. When you launch Stellarium, it displays a landscape view with the sky. If you are connected to the internet, it automatically detects your current location and your time zone. You can toggle day and night by clicking on the Atmosphere button available on the bottom panel. It also displays the directions on the Earth. You can zoom into and zoom out of the view by using the scroll wheel of your mouse. Using the zoom options, you can also have a closer look at the planets and the stars. To move the screen, you can use the left click of your mouse.
When you click on any space object, it displays its astronomical data, like its name, magnitude, absolute magnitude, phase angle, distance from the Sun, orbital velocity, apparent diameter, etc. You can also play, pause, and change the simulation speed. To view Constellations, simply click on its respective button on the bottom left side.
Visit stellarium.org to download this free astronomy software.
2] Hallo Northern Sky
Hallo Northern Sky is another free Planetarium software on this list. It comes with a huge library of Stars, Galaxies, and other heavenly bodies. When you launch it, you will see Stars, planets, constellations, and other heavenly bodies along with the coordinates. You can use the left mouse click to move the screen and the scroll wheel to zoom into and out of the screen. Alternatively, you can also use the In and Out buttons to zoom in and out.
The Search feature in the software lets you find:
- Deep Sky objects
When you click on any of the above names in the Search window, Hallo Northern Sky will show you the list of all available objects. You can select any of the objects from the list and click on the Goto button to view it.
You can download Hallo Northern Sky from hnsky.org.
WinStars3 comes with simulation and high-quality graphics. It has two view modes, namely, Planetarium mode and Navigation 3D mode. When you launch the software, it displays the Navigation 3D mode. To enter into the Planetarium mode, click on the circular button in the bottom right corner.
The Planetarium mode provides a view of space from the Earth. Different directions on the Earth are marked with red color. The Planetarium mode has some extra features as compared to the Navigation 3D mode, like toggling day and night, hiding and unhiding the Earth’s landscape, etc.
It also comes with a search feature that lets you find and explore different objects in space.
You have to visit winstars.net to download WinStars3, the free astronomy software.
KStars is another free astronomy software. When you launch it for the first time, it will show you a setup wizard. Using this setup wizard, you can set some basic options in KStars, like your location on the Earth. It also comes with some extra Addons, which you can download and install during the setup wizard. These extra Addons include Curiosity Mars Terrain Background, Perseverance Mars Terrain Background, Dark Nebulae Catalogue, etc.
KStars also has a huge library of stars and other space objects. You can zoom in to and out of the screen by using the scroll wheel of your mouse. Some basic features of this software include show and hide the Stars, Supernovae, Constellations, and their names, Equatorial Coordinate Grid, Horizontal Coordinate Grid, etc.
When you click on the Tools menu, you will find interesting tools. We have explained some of these tools below:
- Calculator: KStars comes with an astronomical calculator. The calculator has three different modules, namely, Time Calculators, Coordinate Converters, and Solar System. You can use these calculators to calculate the Julian Day, apparent and horizontal coordinates, angular distance, planet coordinates, etc.
- Sky Calendar: Here, you can plot the Planetary Almanac of the selected planets and take a printout of the plot.
- What’s up Tonight: It shows you some general information like the timings of moonrise, sunrise, etc., in your location. By default, the location is set to the USA, but you can change it.
- It also has a Solar System viewer tool.
To download KStars, visit its official website, edu.kde.org.
Aciqra is a very simple Planetary software. It does not have a lot of advanced features but you can install it to explore space. It has an easy-to-understand interface with a few tools. It lets you show and hide the Stars, Constellations, Deep space objects (Nebulas, Galaxies, and Clusters), Solar System, etc.
When you select a space object, it displays its astronomical information, like its name, apparent magnitude, size, distance from the Sun and the Earth, etc.
You can move the screen by using the left click of your mouse. To zoom in or out, press and hold the right-click of your mouse and drag it on the screen.
You can also save the current view as an image. It saves all the images in the Save folder which is located under its installation directory in the C Drive. It also displays the path to the Save folder every time you save a view so that you can easily locate it.
You can download Aciqra from aciqra.caglow.com.
6] Night Vision
Night Vision is another simple astronomy software that comes with a vast collection of space objects. A number of tools are available on its toolbar, which you can use to show or hide the different space objects.
It is a Java-based program. Hence, you need not install it on your system. Simply open the JAR file to run this freeware.
In the Set menu, you can change:
- Your location.
- The amount of Stars to be displayed on the screen.
- Colors of different space objects, including Constellations, Constellation boundaries, Planets, Sun, Moon, Deep Space objects, the Milky Way Galaxy, etc.
- The font of the text.
When you right-click on an object, it displays its astronomical data, like object type, object name, magnitude, declination, altitude, etc. In the View menu, you can use the Find option to locate different space objects. It also features a separate Solar System which you can launch from the View menu.
Night Vision software is available on its official website, nvastro.com.
7] WorldWide Telescope
WorldWide Telescope comes with 3d high-definition images of space objects. The control buttons are available on the bottom right side of the interface that let you rotate and tilt the space objects, zoom in to or out of the screen. You can also use the left click and scroll wheel of your mouse for the same.
On the left side of the screen, you will see a list of space objects like the Sun, planets, satellites, etc. You can select and deselect these space objects from this list. WorldWide Telescope also displays the orbits of all the planets and their satellites.
To download WorldWide Telescope, visit worldwidetelescope.org.
Read: Explore our planet Earth using Google Earth.
Is Stellarium app free?
Stellarium is a free and open-source Planetarium software for Windows 11/10. It lets you explore the Universe. You can also view different space objects closely in this software. In addition, it also provides astronomical information about every object that you select.
What is the best Constellation app?
The Constellation apps let you view constellations and different space objects. They also provide information about different constellations. The features that the Constellation apps provide are also available in some of the Planetarium software. We have listed some best free Planetarium software in this article. You can download them to study Constellations. If we talk about the best Constellation app, every software has its own pros and cons. Hence, it depends on the user what features of the software make it the best for him.