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The Adventure Has Begun


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These are some of the highlights of Stars in the NeighborHood™ software.

Display Which Systems Have Planets

Space travel would mean little to most of us unless it meant there was someplace to go. Imagine traveling to Mars or Saturn. Each possesses exotic qualities. But for most of us, the buzz would only last a few minutes—not quite worth the several months to get there.

But where there are planets in other star systems, there may be a planet like Earth. That could make all the difference in the universe.

Viewing Cube detail with planet icons

Detail of Viewing Cube showing planet icons.


Now imagine, instead of Mars, a frostier version of Earth with oceans, mountains and forests. And imagine that it takes only minutes or hours instead of months to get there. The number of people hooked on space travel would, well,... skyrocket. The reason? Planets—Earth-like planets. That's the holy grail for space and astronomy. We can all feel the excitement when we suddenly realize that there are other, friendly islands in the dark of space as easy destinations.

Astronomers have discovered over 3,000 planets in other star systems. Though all of them are too big and gaseous to be vacation or retirement destinations, they hint at the strong possibility of Earth-like worlds amongst them. Many of them are close enough to reside in the Solar vicinity.

A moon, an Earth-like planet, and a sun

Artist's painting of an alien sun, Earth-like planet and its moon. Copyright © 2006 Carl Martin.


Explore the Hood with Alien Skies

The constellations are not as fixed as the ancients thought they were. Stars move! But if the viewer (you) moves to other star systems, then it's a whole new ball game. Even next-door Alpha Centauri has some strange twists on some otherwise familiar constellations. There are nearly two million Alien Skies views in here. Discover some views of the universe that few, if any, have ever seen.

Alien Sky view of Orion as seen from Alpha Centauri

Alien Skies view from Alpha Centauri of Orion, but with a bright intruder.


Get a Feel for the Size of Everything with Zoom Out Universe

To get a feel of where we are in the universe, this feature—Zoom Out Universe—takes you on a Grand Tour, scale-wise at least, from Earth all the way out to the Local Group of galaxies.

Software detail, Zoom Out Universe view of Milky Way disk edge on at solar vicinity

Zoom Out Universe, Solar Sector of the Milky Way.


Control Which Stars Are Displayed with Show Select

Show Select, allows you to see both the "forest" and the "trees." You know the old expression: you can't see the forest, because all of the trees are in the way. With "Show Select," you can winnow out the thickness of "too many" stars, and concentrate on only certain star types which interest you.

Software detail, Show Select portion of the Viewing Cube Controls

Show Select portion of the Viewing Cube Controls.


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Tharsis Highlands Software

Copyright © 1978–2016 Carl Martin. All World Rights Reserved
"Stars in the NeighborHood" and "Stars in the Hood" are trademarks of Tharsis Highlands.


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