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SimSolar is a fun and educational solar system simulator. The relative positions of the sun, moon and planets are shown for any date selected. With SimSolar you’ll be able to tilt and rotate the entire system to view from any desired vantage point. Set the system in motion and watch the planets move around their orbits at any speed you select. You can search for planetary alignments or check the phase of the moon on any selected date. You could even type in your birthday and see the positions of the planets on that date. The Today button automatically snaps the planets back into proper position for the current date. The Hide Controls button allows you to clear away all of the controls except the top row, providing an unobstructed view of the solar system.
SimSolar can present the sun, the planets and their respective orbits to different scales. You can zoom in and out according to your needs and desires, covering all ranges from viewing the whole solar system to the inner planets in more detail. The adjustable Minimum Planet Diameter feature keeps the planets from disappearing completely when you are zoomed out too far. Small labels can be turned on, which follow the planets through their motions, making it easy to keep track. Orbit Circles can be turned on and off with a click of the mouse.
You can use SimSolar's Earth Centered option to view the apparent motions of the sun and planets as seen from the Earth. Holding the Earth at the center of the screen causes the planets to move in wild spirograph-type patterns as they circle the sun. If you turn on the Spirograph option you’ll be watching as colored streamers follow each planet.
There is a trial version of this piece of software, available for 30 days. It’s kind of limited in comparison with the registered version. Let’s see the following list to know what the extra features are on the registered version of SimSolar:
• Planet Images from NASA's online image archive.
• Photo-realistic Moon Phase display.
• Full-featured Galilean Moon Simulator.
• Alignment Finder - automatically detects and displays alignments of planets.
• Planet Info - detailed information on each planet, including large photos.
If you are interested in buying this program you can do it online with your credit card. There are two license types to consider:
- Single User License: allows one copy of the software to be used on any machine by one individual at a time. A registration code is provided, which will activate the extended features and replace the UNREGISTERED notice with your user name on the start-up screen as the application is loaded.
- Limited Site License: allows up to 30 individuals to use the software simultaneously, either on individual machines, or by accessing the software over a Local Area Network. Users accessing the software over a network must be physically located at the licensed site. A registration code is provided, along with a receipt for your files, showing that all seats have been properly registered. Multiple installations are not typically required for network operation (the executable can be run remotely with no files on the local machine)
- It's a fun and educational program
- The registered version is available for an affordable price
- It has an outdated interface
- The trial version has too many limitations
- It's available in English only