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What Are The Normally Available Types Of Astonomy Software Programs?

Author: Greg Dutch

A lot of people like Astronomy. Many of these are men of science studied by train who study it by trade. Some are enthusiasts who delve into the stars as a hobby. Hobbyists have even made many amazing discoveries. It used to be that astronomy required a telescope or at least binoculars. Today however, computers make it possible to practice astronomy without them thanks to astronomy software. The list of programs is almost endless.

SETI@Home home is very popular. The idea behind this software was to create supercomputer made up of many small computers connected via the Internet. Before SETI@Home the SETI radio telescope, SETI meaning Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, scanned the heavens for radio signals that would indicate a pattern, an intelligence behind them. the data were analyzed with supercomputers. But now all that computing power is distributed online. No red light will flash if intelligent life is located. But people can take pride in being involved in the search for intelligence outside our home planet.

3-D screen savers are a more basic type of astronomy software. With this software during idle time your computer can show vivid 3D worlds. This can be as simple as an image or an actual 3D representation you can navigate. A search engine like Google can help you locate one of these programs.

F.I.T.S is something not many people have heard of. It's Flexible Image Transport System, which is a NASA and IAU endorsed format to store and deliver not only images but spacial data and multi-dimensional arrays such as 2-D and 3-D images. There are a variety of programs that can read and display this type of data. These include freeware and software for sale. A web search will find many more. Some are listed at Duke University's web site: http://www.phy.duke.edu/~kolena/imagepro.html.

Amateur astronomers can even find help with imperfect telescopes. Images seen through the telescope are compared with those shown by the software and adjustments can be made.

These are only a small sample of the astronomy software available. All you need to do is search and you will find some computer software that will be relevant to your situation. It is an ever developing field and more and more software is composed on a daily basis. There are a lot of sites where you can find both free and paid for software - all you really need to do is have a bit of a look. Download some and have fun.
There are additional excellent articles on astronomy magazine and telescope eyepiece available - check them out
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