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HomePlanet Screen Saver

March 3, 2008

HomePlanet Screen Saver
Photo: John Walker’s HomePlanet

John Walker’s HomePlanet is a Microsoft Windows application which calculates the position of the Earth, Sun, Moon, planets, asteroids, comets, and Earth satellites with high accuracy.

A friend who’s a professional Astronomer recommended it to me and gave it quite a rap and now I’m giving it a rap, it’s great, easy to use and has a brilliant help file with a huge amount of great reference material.

I’m about to abandon Windows, I’ve finally had enough so I’m moving to the light side, I’m getting a Mac and my only regret will be losing my much loved HomePlanet (thanks to my friend Sean, and John Walker) and perhaps my Lotus SmartSuite, but particularly my Lotus Organizer.

John Walker is a computer programmer and a co-founder of the computer-aided design software company Autodesk, and a co-author of early versions of AutoCAD… which explains the excellent nature of HomePlanet.

The above photo is in fact a feature known as ‘Sky map’. The sky map shows the sky as it appears at the current time (real or simulated) above the location you’ve selected as the observing site. Stars visible to the naked eye and symbols representing the Sun, Moon (with correct phase), and planets currently above the horizon are shown in their correct positions in the sky. If you’ve selected an asteroid or comet to track from the Object catalogue and it’s currently visible, the symbol representing it will also appear in the sky map. If you’re tracking a satellite and it’s visible from your site, its icon will appear at the correct position in the sky.

John Walker’s real time Screen saver looks very similar to Sky Map, it, like it’s parent software, is brilliant and free, you don’t even have to register them… how great is that.

Website: John Walker’s HomePlanet


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