Welcome to Celestia Educational Activities
NOW UPDATED FOR 2013
Many people understand that a “universe” exists in the night sky. What most do not understand is just how spectacular it really is. Few people know the true size of the universe, can name the planets, or experience a Black Hole or Pulsar up close.
Likewise, many folks, including Astronomy students in high school and college, are very excited about space and the cosmos but have not had an opportunity to explore it for themselves ... to actually go into space in their own spaceship and travel to any destination they wish. We are pleased to advise you that this limitation can now be overcome.
Welcome to the World of Celestia Education.
Celestia is a unique space simulation program for the PC that lets you and/or your students interactively leave your seats at home or in school and experience our universe in stunning three dimensions. Employing over 18 GB of add-on files, it is capable of taking you deep into space to produce a virtual world seen only in supercomputer simulations and Hollywood films. Celestia is not a video program giving you canned video clips to watch. Nor does Celestia confine you to the surface of Earth to view the sky, as many other applications do.
Instead, Celestia is the only space simulation program that places you in the command seat of your own hyperdrive spacecraft. Its destination is yours to set. You can personally orbit Mars, plunge through the rings of Saturn or travel anywhere in the Solar System and beyond into deep space, at any speed, in any direction you choose, and at any time in history. If desired, you can visit stars or nebula circling the Milky Way or view thousands of other galaxies and galactic clusters from intergalactic space. You can travel back in time to fly alongside famous spacecraft like Sputnik or Voyager as they make history. You can try docking with the International Space Station. You can even travel five billion years into the future to witness the death of our Sun and of Earth.
Celestia is a very accurate program. It depicts the Solar System of planets, dwarf planets, moons, asteroids, comets and spacecraft in vivid detail, and can draw and track over 2 million stars and 10,000 galaxies in real time and proper position. It can also create rotating stars, planet atmospheres, planetshine on other objects, drifting clouds, moving surface shadows, magnetic fields, constellations, solar eclipses, speeding comet tails, erupting solar flares and swirling nebula gas. Its add-on database includes over 50 real spacecraft and dozens of fictional ones.
Celestia is in use in millions of locations worldwide, and is routinely used by high schools, universities, NASA, ESA and other government space agencies. It has also been employed in movies and in TV shows. Celestia was created and is provided open source, free of charge by Mr. Chris Laurel and the Celestia Development group, a collection of space enthusiast professionals who have donated their talent to bring it to the rest of the world. Celestia is available at http://www.shatters.net/celestia/.
Celestia 161-ED is a customized version of Celestia designed specifically for Astronomy education containing additional features for teaching, to include sound and overlay textures. In fact, Celestia is the only space simulation application to incorporate sound in its operation. Now, you can not only see a pulsar, but hear it as well.
Celestia is a sophisticated program that can be daunting to learn, particularly in the classroom. Consequently, in 2004, work began on a set of educational lesson-plans that would facilitate the visual power of Celestia to be used at home or in the classroom. Today, the Celestia Educational Activities series is complete and is updated yearly with the latest in astronomical facts and graphics. The Series represents 12 detailed tours of space to over 400 destinations. They are ideal for users of all ages, for home or school computer lab use in grades 7 – 12, and in introductory college courses as a valuable tool in the visualization and understanding of Astronomy and of our Universe.
Celestia’s Educational Activities were created by Frank Gregorio, an award-winning
high school teacher who is part of the Celestia development forum. The Activities and
required files are 2.8 GB in size and are available on this site as a 2-CD set or DVD, that can be
purchased for a nominal fee for home or school use (see link below). The Activities can also be
downloaded individually for free as installation zip files from Celestia’s educational
website (see the link below for further details).
Each Activity Flight Plan is read independently by users/students at their own pace and employs hundreds of
add-on files developed by Celestia’s professional volunteers to teach Astronomy in beautiful
detail, while providing a comprehensive written explanation of the astronomical wonders
users will be seeing.
All Activities meet applicable requirements of the National Educational Standards in Science and Math.
Click the Play button to discover what Celestia can do