Bright Novae plugin

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The Bright Novae plugin provides visualization of some bright novae in the Milky Way galaxy.

Example (Nova Cygni 1975, also known as V1500 Cyg): NovaCygni1975wiki.jpg

Using the Bright Novae plugin

  1. Enable the tool by clicking the tool-bar button "Load at startup"
  2. Set date and time (30 August 1975 year for Nova Cygni 1975 as example)

Section [Novae] in config.ini file

You can edit config.ini file by yourself for changes of the settings for the Bright Novae plugin - just make it carefully!

ID Type Version Description
Plugin Stellarium
last_update string 0.1.0+ 0.12.3+ Date and time of last update
update_frequency_days int 0.1.0+ 0.12.3+ Frequency of updates, in days
updates_enable bool 0.1.0+ 0.12.3+ Enable updates of bright novae catalog from Internet
url string 0.1.0+ 0.12.3+ URL of bright novae catalog

Catalog of bright novae

You can modify the novae.json file manually using a text editor. If you are using Windows, it is strongly recommended to use an advanced text editor such as Notepad++ to avoid problems with end-of-line characters. (It will also color the JSON code and make it easier to read.)

Warning: Before editing your novae.json, make a backup copy. Leaving out the smallest detail (such as a comma or forgetting to close a curly bracket) will prevent Stellarium from starting.

The path to the directory which contains novae.json is something like:

  • C:\Users\UserName\AppData\Roaming\Stellarium\modules\Novae (Windows Vista, Windows 7)
  • C:\Documents and Settings\UserName\Application Data\Stellarium\modules\Novae (Windows XP)
  • HomeDirectory/Library/Preferences/Stellarium/modules/Novae (Mac OS X)
  • ~/.stellarium/modules/Novae (Linux)

(Note that this is a hidden folder, so in order to find it you may need to change your computer's settings to display hidden files and folders.)

Format of catalog

To add a new supernova, open a new line after line 5 and paste the following, note commas and brackets, they are important:

             "Nova designation":
                   "name": "name of nova",
                   "type": "type of nova",
                   "maxMagnitude": value of maximal visual magnitude,
                   "minMagnitude": value of minimal visual magnitude,
                   "peakJD": JD for maximal visual magnitude,
                   "m2": Time to decline by 2mag from maximum (in days),
                   "m3": Time to decline by 3mag from maximum (in days),
                   "m6": Time to decline by 6mag from maximum (in days),
                   "m9": Time to decline by 9mag from maximum (in days),
                   "distance": value of distance between nova and Earth (in thousand of Light Years),
                   "RA": "Right ascension (J2000)",
                   "Dec": "Declination (J2000)"

For example, record for Nova Cygni 1975 (V1500 Cyg):

             "V1500 Cyg":
                   "name": "Nova Cygni 1975",
                   "type": "NA",
                   "maxMagnitude": 1.69,
                   "minMagnitude": 21,
                   "peakJD": 2442655,
                   "m2": 2,
                   "m3": 4,
                   "m6": 32,
                   "m9": 263
                   "distance": 6.36,
                   "RA": "21h11m36.6s",
                   "Dec": "48d09m02s"

Light curves

This plugin uses a very simple model for calculation of light curves for novae stars. This model is based on time for decay by N magnitudes from the maximum value, where N is 2, 3, 6 and 9. If a nova has no values for decay of magnitude then this plugin will use generalized values for it.

Version history

Plug-in version Stellarium version Significant changes
0.1.0 0.12.3 First public version of plugin

How you can help

We are welcome bug reports, feature requests and feedback through the usual channels (trackers, forums and so on).

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