Monday, December 8, 2008

The Sky on the Moon

We had some discussions on our public forum recently about using the stars and the planets for guidance and navigation on the lunar surface. Of course, it raises the question of how the sky looks like on the Moon? To find out, I took a virtual trip to the Apollo 11, 15 and Surveyor 7 landing sites using the free open source Stellarium software. Stellarium is a complete planetarium software for your computer. It shows a realistic sky in 3D, just like what you see with the naked eye, binoculars or a telescope. It even allows you to look at the sky from surface of other planets and moons.

Other free software used in producing this video was the Gimp for image manipulations and Kdenlive for non-linear video editing. Thus, the video was created using only free open source software including the OS, which was Ubuntu linux.

You can also watch the video in higher resolution on the YouTube page.

PS: I have hidden a small error in the first 20 seconds of the video, and I am not thinking about the lunar landscape. The first person to identify this error will receive a free Team FREDNET mission patch :-)


Paul said...

I can see a meteor at the beginning of this clip, which is inconsistent with lack of atmosphere on Moon. Is that an error you had in mind?


Alex Csete said...

Yes, that was the error. Unfortunately, the patch was already won a few hours after posting on the GLXP site, but more competitions will follow.