One of the more interesting programs I’ve used recently on Linux is Celestia. I installed it on Xubuntu 14.04 using the Ubuntu Software Center a few days ago. This program allows you to go through the various moons, planets, stars, galaxies, etc. throughout the universe. Unlike other programs where you are tied down to the Earth, Celestia allows the user to move throughout the galaxy and gain different perspectives of the various objects that exist in our universe. Some other things the program can do is to: illustrate the orbits of objects around each other, speed up or slow down time to observe objects rotate around each other, tells you how far you are from the target, track an object, establish synchronous orbit, lists a decent amount of information as seen from your current perspective of the object, and label the various galaxies, constellations, and other heavenly groupings.
While this program may not show the utmost level of detail when up-close to heavenly bodies, but I believe it is an amazing program that is well worth spending some time on. This program is a very detailed and of course free way to explore the stars. The program isn’t even that big. Here are a few sample screenshots.
This program is also available to Windows and Mac OS X users. Here’s the developer website for anyone that’s interested. Look here for more amazing screenshots of Celestia.