KStars Development Manual
What is KStars?
KStars is a free, open-source, cross-platform Astronomy Software.
It provides an accurate graphical simulation of the night sky, from any location on Earth, at any date and time. The display includes up to 100 million stars, 13,000 deep-sky objects, all 8 planets, the Sun and Moon, and thousands of comets, asteroids, supernovae, and satellites.
For students and teachers, it supports adjustable simulation speeds in order to view phenomena that happen over long timescales, the KStars Astrocalculator to predict conjunctions and many common astronomical calculations. For the amateur astronomer, it provides an observation planner, a sky calendar tool, and an FOV editor to calculate the field of view of equipment and display them. Find out interesting objects in the "What's up Tonight" tool, plot altitude vs. time graphs for any object, print high-quality sky charts, and gain access to lots of information and resources to help you explore the universe!
Included with KStars is the Ekos astrophotography suite, a complete astrophotography solution that can control all INDI devices including numerous telescopes, CCDs, DSLRs, focusers, filters, and a lot more. Ekos supports highly accurate tracking using online and offline astrometry solver, autofocus and autoguiding capabilities, and capture of single or multiple images using the powerful built-in sequence manager.
KStars is written in modern C++ using the Qt toolkit and KDE Frameworks. It can run on Windows, MacOS, BSD, Linux, and Android (via KStars Lite).
Why Contribute to KStars?
KStars is one of the leading astronomy applications in the world with a very rich set of feature that suits entry and advanced level users. Since KStars includes Ekos Astrophotography Tool, it is used by thousands of users worldwide to control the complete astrophotography process. It can also be used to schedule observatories for fully robotic operation.
If you have a passion for Astronomy and Computers, then KStars is perfect for you. You can start by simple bug fixes, or fixing C++ compiler warning, or even by helping us update the documentation. By contributing to KStars, you will be involved in the complete software management life-cycle where you will be exposed to many solid software practices that can grow and strengthen your experience in the field. You will learn about software revision control systems, submitting patches, algorithms & data structure, UI/UX design, and much more.
Several of the core KStars developers continued to work in high profile software companies. By contributing to open source, you will not only gain a considerable experience necessary for the workplace, but you will also learn to interact and collaborate with an international team of developers, translators, and testers. This is crucial for a successful carrier in the long term.
- Build KStars from Source: Get the code and build KStars to explore the code and start development
- C++ developer tools with KStars on Linux: How to use memory checkers and other useful tools with KStars.
- C++ Best Practices for KStars: How to use some C++ features.
- Building KStars from source on Windows: Documentation (in progress) on how to build KStars under Windows operating system.
- Junior Jobs: Perfect place to start developing for KStars.