Built-in Plugins

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Information is actual for version 0.12.2

Since version 0.10.3, Stellarium's packages include a number of plug-ins: Angle Measure, Compass Marks, Oculars, Telescope Control, Text User Interface, Satellites, Solar System Editor, Time Zone, Historical Supernovae, Quasars, Pulsars, Exoplanets and Observability analysis. All these plug-ins are "built-in" in the standard Stellarium distribution and DON'T need to be downloaded separately.


Enabling plugins


To enable a plugin:

  1. Open the Configuration dialog (press F2 or use the left tool bar button)
  2. Select the Plugins tab
  3. Select the plugin you want to enable from the list
  4. Check the Load at startup option
  5. Restart Stellarium

If the plugin has configuration options, the configuration button will be enabled when the plugin is loaded and clicking it will open the plugin's configuration window.

Data for plugins

Some plugins contain files with different data, e.g. catalogs. JSON is a typical format for those files and you can edit it's manually. Of course, each plugin has specific format of data for the own catalogs and you should read documentation for plugin before editing of it catalog.

You can read some common instructions for editing catalogs of plugins below. In this example we use catalog.json file for identification of catalog for typical plugin.

You can modify the catalog.json files 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 catalog.json file, 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 catalog.json file is something like:

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

How you can help

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

Angle Measure Plugin


The Angle Measure plugin is a small tool which is used to measure the angular distance between two points on the sky. *goes misty eyed* I recall measuring the size of the Cassini Division when I was a student. It was not the high academic glamor one might expect... It was cloudy... It was rainy... The observatory lab had some old scopes set up at one end, pointing at a photograph of Saturn at the other end of the lab. We measured. We calculated. We wished we were in Hawaii. A picture is worth a thousand words.

Using plugin

  1. Enable the tool by clicking the tool-bar button, or by pressing control-A. A message will appear at the bottom of the screen to tell you that the tool is active.
  2. Drag a line from the first point to the second point using the left mouse button
  3. To clear the measurement, click the right mouse button
  4. To deactivate the angle measure tool, press the tool-bar button again, or press control-A on the keyboard.

Plugin's home page


Compass Marks Plugin


Stellarium helps the user get their bearings using the cardinal point feature - the North, South, East and West markers on the horizon. Compass Marks takes this idea and extends it to add markings every few degrees along the horizon, and includes compass bearing values in degrees.

Using plugin

There is a tool bar button for toggling the compass markings, or you can press control-C.

Note that when you first enable compass marks, the cardinal points will be turned off. You can have both active at once, but there is a small bug which means you have to press Q two times to re-enable cardinal points after enabling the compass markings.

Plugin's home page


Text User Interface Plugin


Older versions of Stellarium used to have a little menu system which was controlled by the cursor keys. This was used primarily by planetarium system operators to change settings, run scripts and so on. In the 0.10.x series, this function vanished as we totally re-designed the user interface. This plugin re-implements the "TUI", as it was known. Full list of the commands for the TUI plugin you can read in the section TUI Commands.

Using plugin

  1. Activate the text menu using the M key
  2. Navigate the menu using the cursors keys.
  3. To edit a value, press the right cursor until the value you wish to change it highlighted with > and < marks, e.g. >3.142<. Then press the up and down cursors to change the value. You may also type in a new value with the other keys on th keyboard.

Plugin's home page


Oculars Plugin

Telescope Control Plugin

Satellites Plugin

Solar System Editor Plugin

Time Zone Plugin

Historical Supernovae Plugin

The Historical Supernovae plugin provides visualization of some historical supernovae brighter than 10 magnitude:

  • SN 185A (7 December)
  • SN 386A (24 April)
  • SN 1006A (29 April)
  • SN 1054A (3 July)
  • SN 1181A (4 August)
  • SN 1572A (5 November)
  • SN 1604A (8 October)
  • SN 1680A (15 August)
  • SN 1885A (17 August)
  • SN 1895B (5 July)
  • SN 1937C (21 August)
  • SN 1972E (8 May)
  • SN 1987A (24 February)
  • SN 2011FE (13 September)

Example (Supernova 1604, also known as Kepler's Supernova, Kepler's Nova or Kepler's Star): sn1604wiki.jpg

Using plugin

  1. Enable the tool by clicking the tool-bar button "Load at startup"
  2. Set date and time (29 April 1006 year for SN 1006A as example)

Plugin's home page


Quasars Plugin

The Quasars plugin provides visualization of some quasars brighter than 16 visual magnitude. A catalogue of quasars compiled from "Quasars and Active Galactic Nuclei" (13th Ed.) (Veron+ 2010).

Example (3C 249.1, also known as LEDA 2821945 or 4C 77.09): qso_3c_249.1.jpg

Using plugin

  1. Enable the tool by clicking the tool-bar button "Load at startup"
  2. Enable displaying of the quasars on the bottom bar (or press Control+Alt+Q for toggle plugin).
  3. Find the quasar by their designation (3C 249.1 as example)

Plugin's home page


Pulsars Plugin

This plugin plots the position of various pulsars, with object information about each one. Pulsar data is derived from Catalog of Pulsars (Taylor+ 1995) for 0.1.x series and derived from The ATNF Pulsar Catalogue (Manchester, R. N., Hobbs, G. B., Teoh, A. & Hobbs, M., Astron. J., 129, 1993-2006 (2005) (astro-ph/0412641)) for series 0.2.x.

Example (PSR J0332+5434):


Using plugin

  1. Enable the tool by clicking the tool-bar button "Load at startup"
  2. Enable displaying of the pulsars on the bottom bar (or press Control+Alt+P for toggle plugin).
  3. Find the pulsar by their designation (PSR J0437-4715 as example)

Plugin's home page


Exoplanets Plugin

This plugin plots the position of stars with exoplanets. Exoplanets data is derived from "The Extrasolar Planets Encyclopaedia"

Using plugin

  1. Enable the tool by clicking the tool-bar button "Load at startup"
  2. Enable displaying of the stars with exoplanets on the bottom bar (or press Control+Alt+E for toggle plugin).
  3. Find the stars with exoplanets by their designation (24 Sex as example)

Plugin's home page


Observability Analysis Plugin

Reports an analysis of source observability (rise, set, and transit times), as well as the epochs of year when the source is best observed. It assumes that a source is observable if it is above the horizon during a fraction of the night. The plugin also gives the day for largest separation from the Sun and the days of Acronychal and Cosmical rise/set.

Using plugin

  1. Enable the tool by clicking the tool-bar button "Load at startup"

Plugin's home page


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