Stellarium is a free open source planetarium for your computer. It shows a realistic sky in 3D, just like what you see with the naked eye, binoculars or a telescope.
A shooting star flashes past the Jupiter. You can select different intensities in the View window.view screenshots »
The great nebula in Orion. Press N to bring up the nebula labels.view screenshots »
The dance of the planets above ESO headquarters, near Munich.view screenshots »
Full sky view of the constellations, their boundaries, the Milky Way.view screenshots »
Constellation art turned on.view screenshots »
user contributed 3D sceneries
We are collecting user-contributed 3D sceneries of astronomical interest (not necessarily your garden shack).
how to install 3D sceneries
After you have downloaded the .zip file for a 3D scenery, you need to install it in Stellarium.
- Browse to your User Data Directory, which varies according to your operating system. (See User Guide)
- Create a sub-directory called scenery3d in your User Data Directory (if it doesn't exist).
- Unzip the scenery .zip file in the scenery3d directory (if it's done right, a sub-directory should be created for each scenery).
- If there is also a landscapes subdirectory in the ZIP file, move its contents to the landscapes subdirectory.
Please feel free to contribute your own custom 3D sceneries here. Make thumbnails 200x114 pixels to fit with the rest of the page. Please include a location section in your scenery3d.ini file with the longitude, latitude, altitude and planet for the location of the scenery (see one of the pre-existing sceneries for an example).
To find out more about how to create a 3D scenery, see the Stellarium User Guide, and examine existing examples. If you are having problems, posting to the forums is a good way to get some advice.
important note on image dimensions
IMPORTANT: Try to still use textures with dimensions of integer powers of 2, i.e. 256, 512, 1024, 2048, 4096, 8192, 16384, ... e.g. 4096 by 1024, 2048 by 2048 and so on.
This is a limitation of older OpenGL hardware. Most video hardware will nowadays work OK with images with different image dimensions, but some will not display properly, suffer vastly reduced frame rates, and even crash the computer.
Be aware that many people's video hardware cannot handle very large textures. This is hardware and driver dependent. Maximum compatibility is achieved with image size not exceeding 2048x2048.
Please package your 3D scenery in a .zip file with all files inside a subdirectory in the .zip file. This should be unique to your scenery, and must be all lower-case with no spaces.
If you enclose your scenery with a landscape, provide this in a landscapes/name subdirectory in the ZIP file.
The file description.en.utf8 (and any translated versions which you may want to provide yourself) describes the scenery and what is special about it. Please make this a self-contained explanation that does not only point to external links.
You should also include a readme.txt file which briefly describes the landscape and specifies any usage restrictions or licensing terms for the images used in the 3D scenery.
Before you distribute images as part of a Stellarium 3D scenery or landscape, please ensure you are legally entitled to - you must be the copyright holder for the images, or be able to distribute them for use with Stellarium under the terms of some agreement with the copyright holder (e.g. Creative Commons licensed images found on the web).
It is important to explicitly state what use may be made of images for your 3D scenery. This should be done in the readme.txt file inside the .zip file.
We recommend an open source license compatible with Stellarium itself (i.e., the GNU GPL), or one of the Creative Commons licenses.
The scenery3d.ini and readme.txt files should be UTF-8 encoded text or plain ASCII. It's probably a good idea to adopt the Windows line ending encoding, (i.e. CR LF). Both Windows and *nix style line ending encoding should work OK in Stellarium, but Windows users will have an ugly time reading the readme.txt if it uses *nix-style newlines.
If you have a 3D scenery of culture astronomical interest you would like to share but have no web-space to put it, email to any Stellarium developers and we'll put it on our site.