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Ramskov's Resources - Teaching - Physics - Astronomy animations
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Astronomy animations for Celestia

The purpose of the animations below is to illustrate the movement of the Earth and Moon around the Sun, and which consequences this have on day/night, seasons etc.

Celestia splash-billede

The animations are made in the free program Celestia. It makes it possible to move in space and time around in the universe and it has very good 3D effects. It is possible to manipulate the configuration files, so the universe can be configured to emphasize certain effects, which is useful in teaching. This is done in the animations below, which are scripts to the program.

There are three animations. They may be used for demonstration or by the pupils themselves. They work like small movies which may be paused.

  1. Latitude- and longitudes on the Earth.

    The rotational axis, the equator and how they fix the latitudes and longitudes are shown. Duration: 2:00.

  2. Day and night.

    An illustration of why we have day and night. Duration: 1:53.

  3. Seasons.

    This longer episod shows the movement of the Earth around the Sun and the tilt of the rotational axis. Daylength at summer solstice, spring equinox and winter solstice are shown at different places on the Earth. Duration: 7:15.

The animations are made in two editions for Windows and one edition for Linux.

  • The stationary edition (92 kb) for Windows, where Celestia has been installed separately on the computer first. Use the link above to get Celestia.
  • The portable edition (8 Mb) for Windows, where a minimal installation of Celestia is included so it can be executed from a CD or USB flashdrive without installing anything on the computer.
  • The stationary edition (112 kb) for Linux, where Celestia has been installed separately on the computer first. Use the link above to get Celestia.

An installation guide is included in all versions. A Celestia version exists for MacOS, but the animations can not be run directly there.

A large collection of add-ons for Celestia (for example more detailed surface maps of the planets) and animations is available. There is a large package with Educational Activities for the universe more generally.

© Kurt Ramskov - the page was last revised at 02/22/2010