Platform: Windows XP
Number of downloads: 739
If you are at all interested in planets, stars and space then you will love StarStrider.
Like Celestia, this program offers you a fantastic voyage through the galaxy and beyond, all in realistic 3D and scientifically accurate.
The entire Hipparcos database is present, totalling 118,218 stars, all rendered in 3D. If you own a pair of those plastic 3D glasses you can view the entire galaxy in impressive 'stereo' 3D.
As you roam around the galaxy simply double-click on an item of interest and you will instantly zoom into it. Right-click and a window appears providing information, including alternative names and coordinates.
The coordinates, like everything else, are in real-time, so you get to see the galaxy exactly as it is right now.
All nine planets in the solar system are, of course, featured in detail, along with 30 major satellites.
In version 2.5 most stars, planets and satellites now include a link to more detailed information on the web. Also, an optional database is available for download, adding 1,462,812 stars in 3D and another 572,733 distant stars.
Purchase price: $49.95