Ubuntu Astronomy is a live 64-bit DVD based on Ubuntu Linux 16.04 LTS (long term support).
This distribution is designed for astronomy amateurs that are familiar with the Linux Ubuntu Operating System. It is free to download and use. It is downloaded as an *.iso file, and includes many different types of programs.
You can try this out without permanently installing it on your hard drive in several ways. The *.iso image produces a “live” DVD. Download the *.iso image and install it on a DVD or USB flash drive. Boot up on it and it will run without affecting your current system. Try programs out, but nothing will be saved to your computer's hard drive.
Alternatively, you can install it in a virtual machine under your computer's operating system. For example, VirtualBox is available for both Linux and Windows. Once it is installed, the downloaded *.iso file can be loaded as a DVD and installed in the virtual box. From there it can be run and tested. In this situation, data can also be saved.
Some of the many included programs:
Cartes du Ciel/Skychart enables access to a large collection of the sky atlases. This software allows a big range of possibilities to study celestial objects: virtual observatory mode, SAMP protocol support, conversion of text catalogs for a graphical display with the help of the built in CatGen (Catalog Generator). It also includes a HNSKY sky atlas which has a telescope control function through INDI server. The INDI server and equipment drivers control is operated through INDI starter.
The Virtual Moon Atlas is designed for the Moon study. Virtual Planet Atlas lets you explore Mercury, Venus and Mars. If you want to create a robotic observatory, you can use KStars, a program which has a large set of the necessary tools.
WxAstroCapture, Audela and oaCapture are used for the Moon and planet photography, while CCDciel, GoQat, OpenSkyImager, Audela and KStars are used for taking photos of deep-sky objects. Digital camera support is made through the libgphoto2 library. It is also used by Entangle, a cameras control program and one of the INDI drivers. The processing of astronomical images is made through AstroimageJ, Siril, THELI GUI, Lxnstack, ImPPG, GCX, C-Munipack, Stackistry, Regim, MicroObservatoryImage. SAODS9, fv FITS Editor, APT, Aladin, nip2 are installed for the *.FITS analysis and editing.
To search and explore variable stars, there are two programs included, C-Munipack and Vstar. Observation Manager performs a role of an observation planner and logbook.
Read more at Documentation.
“UBUNTU ASTRONOMY 16.04” 64-BIT disc is free for download, distribution and use.