KStars v3.3.7 Released With Integrated Astrometric Plate Solver

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The latest version of the free planetarium program KStars adds a lot of new features for professional astronomers. A program called ASTAP, a free stacking and astrometric solver, has been integrated into KStars. There's also enhancements for using the PHD2 telescope autoguiding software.

KStars can be used to learn the constellations. It's features go way beyond that, though, it is actually a very advanced tool for professional astronomers.

KStars is a fun piece of software which everyone can use to learn constellations and look at the stars from different viewpoints on earth. It can be used as a simple educational toy but that is not what it's for. KStars is a highly advanced professional tool with support for telescopes and other tools astronomers use. Version 3.3.1 added support for managing observatory domes. You will likely want to read developer Jasem Mutlaq's 3.3.7 release-announcement if you have a observatory dome.

The new version has the ASTAP, the Astrometric STAcking Program integrated into it. That brings a whole range of new features to KStars. There's also improvements when KStars is used together with the PHD2 telescope autoguiding software.

There are improvements in other areas too. All of them are in the professional area, casual hobbyist users will find little difference between this version and previous versions. Jasem Mutlaq's 3.3.7 release-announcement has all the details and it is worth a look if you are a professional who's using or have interest in using high-quality free open source astronomy software.

All the GNU/Linux distributions have KStars available and the package is simply named kstars.