Strictly spoken it's a piece of software, simulating the Solar
System's bodies in 3D on your Windows or Linux PC (will work in most *NIX's
as well). In difference to quite a few other programs it does so in realtime.
Meaning you can view all the planets, moons and spaceships move along
their paths, trace them, follow them, orbit them and even control them (time
and spaceship contol). And you won't have to fight your way through hordes
of green, slimey and one-eyed aliens for that ;-)
OpenUniverse (OU) was formely known as Solar
System Simulator (Ssystem). It was initially released on Nov 1997 with
the intention to create a rotating Earth display on a main stream PC. Since
these early roots a continuing development and expansion has taken place.
Was version 1.0 only aware of the major bodies (planets), version 1.2 added
a whole bunch of moons. Solar System v1.6 then added more ways of movement
for the user's eye (camera) within Solar System's virtual universe and last
but not least better textures for a lot of bodies. This version, called
OpenUniverse (OU) finally has been renamed to underline the concept behind
the further development of the program: Open for the whole Universe, not
just the solar system. Open to use, extend and change. Finally open for
all users, programmers and for you. :)
after years of search we've found the holy grail at last. WE HAVE
A LOGO!!! (background music). You may be wondering what's that logo
supposed to mean, well, we don't know (don't tell anyone). One of
these days i'll tell you more about this shiny metal guy :-)
- Linux/Unix or Windows 95/98/NT/2000
- 3D card (not required
but strongly recommended)
any card with decent OpenGL support, i.e.:
- Voodoo Graphics, Voodoo2 and Voodoo Rush
- Riva 128
- Riva TNT/TNT2
- GeForce / GeForce2
3.2 or above (Other OpenGL 1.1 compliant libraries should work)
3.7 (included in Mesa 3.2 Demos distribution)
- Independent JPEG Group's
GLUI 2.0 if you
want the GUI (currently in beta).
just download the binaries you won't need most of the above. A working
OpenGL driver should be enough (hopefully)
A few screens captured from OpenUniverse running at 640x480
in windowed mode. Just click on the images to see a full size screenshot.
These screenshots don't make justice to the real thing though :-).
(source code only) Site
need Mesa 3.2, GLUT 3.7 (you don't need glut if you've downloaded
MesaDemos) and optionally GLUI. See Requirements.
OpenUniverse's already using high resolution maps.
However, maybe some of you (especially those owning new generation 3D
cards) are interested on HIGHER resolution maps. In this section i'll
be posting VERY HIGH RESOLUTION MAPS. Be aware that these maps are memory
(I've included a required memory field to the table below so you may guess
whether a map is for you or not) and bandwidth hungry so, please, don't
download a map unless you're sure it will work for you.
|| 1913 KB
|| 8 MB
|| 821 KB
|| 24 MB
|| 13.3 MB
|| 96 MB
To install these high-res maps just copy them to the textures directory
(rename file to prevent overwriting the old one) and then edit the ou.conf
file. To install the Mars map you have to do this:
IF YOUR SYSTEM
IS NOT POWERFUL ENOUGH TO HANDLE THESE MAPS, DOWNSAMPLE THEM TO A LOWER
POWER OF TWO (a 2048x1024 map takes four times less memory than a 4096x2048
the file, rename it (say marshigh.jpg) and copy it to the textures directory
Mars section and replace "mars.jpg" with "marshigh.jpg"
may have to modify the slices and/or stacks values in the config
file. Try with powers of two (any other even value may work but
you'll have to find them following the trial and error procedure
OpenUniverse and be patient, it may take a while to load the maps
Guess what happens when you mix imperfection and lazyness?
Yeah, i'm afraid there're a few bugs. Fortunately, they won't wipe out
you hard disk (yet).
We think we're aware of most of them so if you've discovered a bug double
check the bug tracking
page before reporting them.
Lists / Discussion Forums
Thanks to the SourceForge guys now we have mailing
lists and public discussion boards available. What are you waiting for?,
go take a look:
like to help us out subscribe and start hacking :-)
receive an e-mail whenever a new version is available)
hacks, quick fixes, ...)
Forums (sourceforge log in required):
If don't have anything better to do you may want to visit our project
page on SourceForge. Don't forget to rate OU ;-)
Mesa Homepage The best choice for your OpenGL programs
GLUT Homepage A must
have for the beginner.
Independant JPEG Group ftp archive
for Windows 95 Software only OpenGL DLLs
A Space Library Map projections and ...
a GREAT Solar System Simulator
Approximate astronomical positions
Keith Burnett's homepage
App to display the relative motions of the planets in our Solar System.
Shuttle A shuttle simulator
Earth and Moon
viewer Interactive views
Björn Jónsson's homepage Probably the best planetary
maps/rendering out there
James Hastings-Trew homepage
Very nice planetary maps
OpenUniverse is distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License.
Basically it means OU is free. However, keep in mind i'm not the
copyright holder of most of the texture maps included.
Well, as i said above OU is free but if you really like it and you think i
deserve some support i'd accept hardware donations (3D cards i don't have
access to so i can test OU) or anything from this
Thanks to all the people who had help me since i started
this little project (in late 1997), but i'm especially grateful to:
- Axel Groll
- Paul Rademacher
- Sébastien Métrot
- Alfonso del Pozo
- Everyone at Laser Internet Center
- Brian Paul
- Mark Kilgard
- Daryll Strauss
- David Bucciarelli
- Curtis L. Olson
- The Independent JPEG Group
- Elwood Charles Downey
- Keith Burnett
- Kevin Kamel
- Rafael Barberá
- Aaron Worley
- Mike Oliphant and Rob Clark
- Elias Martenson
- Andrey Zakhvatov
- John Kilburg and Bill Spitzak
- Bjorn Jonsson
- Larry Manley
- Tigran A. Aivazian
- Nacho and Dawn
- The Living Earth, Inc
- Mike Latinovich of SkySys
- Richard Jones
- All of you who sent me support messages
... i appreciate it :-)
Although OpenUniverse is far from what I'd like, I think the program is
quite interesting, especially with 3D hardware acceleration. If you have
ideas to improve it, comments, suggestions or whatever drop me a line.
ralonsoalvar at gmail
"That Man is the product of causes which had not prevision of the end they
achieving; are but the outcome of accidental collocation of atoms; that no
no heroism, no intensity of thought and feeling, can preserve an individual
life beyond the grave; that all the labours of the age, all the devotion,
the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius, are destined to
extinction in the vast death of the solar system, and that the whole temple
Man's achievement must inevitably be buried beneath the debris of a universe
ruins -- all these things, if not quite beyond dispute, are yet so nearly
certain, that no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand. Only
the scaffolding of these truths, only on the firm foundation of unyielding
despair, can the soul's habitation henceforth be safely built."
Bertrand Russell (1923)
Click here for more Bertrand Russell quotations