Aciqra is a free and open source virtual planetarium and sky mapping program for simulating objects in the sky. It is intended for users who regularly view the sky through a telescope or binoculars, whether visually or with a camera, and need software to help them decide what to view and when.
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Although it may have educational potential, Aciqra is not designed for this purpose and intentionally lacks realism in favor of readability. As a result, it may not be perfectly suitable for most of the general public due this lack of eye-candy. Beyond this, there is no reason why it cannot be used by anyone who knows how to use a computer.
Aciqra is the main part of a greater project named Caglow which aims to provide a set of free and open source tools for astronomy. Aciqra currently uses all of the other projects in Caglow and so they are included in its default download.
Aciqra is far from complete and is still under active development. Major releases are generally made twice every year in June and December on or around the solstices. These are frequently pushed earlier, if an astronomical event is scheduled to occur within a month or two before the solstice, or later, if there are too many bugs present for a usable release.
The project maintains a roadmap of future releases with a description of each release's objective. Usually, only one or two releases are listed due to the difficulty in planning far into the future.
If you are having trouble using Aciqra, please consult the documentation. Though designed to be efficient and easy-to-learn, many parts of the program are not intuitive for those familiar with other, similar programs. To quickly find how to do something, it may help to use the search bar on this site to search the docs.
Note that the documentation is still very basic. If after a brief search, you still cannot find what you are looking for, please ask for help on the support forum.
License & Copyright
Aciqra is licensed under the Aciqra License, a copyleft license similar to the GPL v2. It differs from the GPL in that additional restrictions that do not contradict the defined terms are allowed and it prevents the use of the software from creating materials under other licenses. The latter difference is important as it requires all additions and modifications to be released under the same license.
All code and documentation contributed to Aciqra and the rest of the Caglow project has copyright transferred to the Caglow project. This also has the effect of all such contributions being automatically released to the public under the Aciqra License -- in other words, though ownership is transferred to the project, the project grants everyone the right to use, modify and redistribute the contribution freely under the terms of the Aciqra License.