Software

Here are several excellent third-party astronomy software applications for your computer; some allow you to see what the night sky will look like, others allow you to visualize and explore the wonders of the cosmos.

We use these in preparing materials for Sacred Space Astronomy, and we include the links here as they may be useful for other educators as well.

Nasa

NASA Eyes on the Solar System 

Free app for Windows and MAC OS X – travel along with current space missions, go to planets, moon, and asteroids, see Earth climate data, and exoplanet systems.

Space Engine

Space Engine 

A free virtual Universe you can explore on your computer. You can travel from star to star, from galaxy to galaxy, landing on any planet, moon, or asteroid with the ability to explore its alien landscape. You can alter the speed of time and observe any celestial phenomena you please.

Universe Sandbox

Universe Sandbox 

A physics-based space simulator that merges gravity, climate, collision, and material interactions to reveal the beauty of our universe and the fragility of our planet.

Create, destroy, and interact on a scale you’ve never before imagined.

Stellarium

Stellarium 

Stellarium is a free planetarium app; you can see the skies from any location on Earth, at any date and time you wish. You can turn on constellation lines and artwork, control your telescope, and much more!

Celestia

Celestia 

Celestia is a free space simulator in which you can explore space in three dimensions. Travel around the solar system, to other stars, and even outside our galaxy.

American Astronomical Society Worldwide Telescope

American Astronomical Society Worldwide Telescope 

It’s not a physical telescope — it’s a suite of free and open source software and data sets that combine to create stunning scientific visualizations and stories.

OpenSpace

OpenSpace 

OpenSpace is open source interactive data visualization software designed to visualize the entire known universe and portray our ongoing efforts to investigate the cosmos.

Official Calendar

2023 Vatican Observatory calendars now available for purchase in our e-store!