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 Jupiter. You can select different intensities in the View window.view screen-shots »
The great nebula in Orion. Press N to bring up the nebula labels.view screen-shots »
The dance of the planets above ESO headquarters, near Munich.view screen-shots »
Full sky view of the constellations, their boundaries and the Milky Way.view screen-shots »
Constellation art turned on.view screen-shots »
user contributed sky cultures
We have few user contributed sky cultures which are not included into default package for some reasons.
how to install sky cultures
After you have downloaded the .zip file for a sky culture from this page, you need to install it in Stellarium.
Please follow this procedure to install a sky culture package:
- Browse to your User Data Directory, which varies according to your operating system.
- Create a sub-directory called skycultures in your user directory (if it doesn't exist).
- Unzip the sky culture .zip file in the skycultures directory (if it's done right, a sub-directory should be created for each sky culture).
Please feel free to contribute your own custom sky culture here. Make thumbnails 300x170 pixels to fit with the rest of the page.
To find out more about how to create a sky culture, see the Stellarium User Guide, and examine existing sky cultures. If you are having problems, posting to the forums is a good way to get some advice.
important note on image dimensions
IMPORTANT: Make sure all textures have dimensions which are 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 OpenGL. Some video hardware will work OK with images with different image dimensions, but many will not display properly, suffer vastly reduced frame rates, and even crash the computer.
Please make sure all contributed sky cultures conform to these requirements, or your link may be removed.
Be aware that many people's video hardware cannot handle very large textures. This is hardware and driver dependent. A typical maximum image size is 2048x2048 or 4096x4096.
Please package your sky culture in a .zip file with all files inside a directory in the .zip file. This should be unique to your sky culture, and it would be nice if it was all lower-case with no spaces.
You should also include a description.en.utf8 file which describes the sky culture and specifies any usage restrictions or licensing terms for the images used in the sky culture.
Before you distribute images as part of a Stellarium sky culture, 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 sky culture. This should be done in the description.en.utf8 file (and value for option 'license' in info.ini 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 info.ini and description.en.utf8 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 description.en.utf8 if it uses *nix-style newlines.
If you have a sky culture 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.