This chapter presents a guided tour of KStars, introducing many of its important features.

The above screenshot shows a typical view of the KStars program. You can see the sky display centered on Betelgeuse, the brightest star in the constellation Orion. Stars are displayed with realistic colors and relative brightnesses. In three corners of the sky display, there are on-screen text labels displaying data on the current time (“LT: 3:08:30 AM EEST Wednesday, July 6, 2016”), the current Geographic Location (“Bucharest, Romania”), and the current object in the center of the display (“Focused on: Betelgeuse (alpha Orionis)”). Above the sky display, there are two toolbars. The main toolbar contains shortcuts for menu functions, as well as a time-step widget which controls how fast the simulation clock runs. The view toolbar contains buttons that toggle the display of different kinds of objects in the sky. At the bottom of the window, there is a status bar which displays the name of any object you click on, and the sky coordinates (both Right Ascension/Declination and Azimuth/Altitude) of the mouse cursor.