50% developed


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Celestia provides photo-realistic, real-time, three-dimensional viewing of the Solar System, the galaxy and the universe. It is an easy to use, freely-distributed, multi-platform, open source, software package which has become a valuable tool for astronomy education. Used in homes, schools, museums and planetariums around the world, it also is used as a visualization tool by space mission designers. Versions are available for computers running Windows, macOS, and Linux operating systems, with mobile (iOS and Android) versions recently released.

Although it is optimized for 3D astronomical visualization, Celestia can be used to display and explore other 3D environments, too.

And, for some reason, many people seem to find exploring with Celestia to be a lot of fun.

About this guide

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This Guide to Celestia is intended to be a comprehensive source of information for students, educators, and other users of Celestia. It includes instructions for obtaining, installing, using, customizing, and troubleshooting the Celestia software, as well as explanations of concepts and techniques from astronomy and computer graphics as needed to fully explore and understand Celestia and its universe. It is intended to address the needs of novice, casual, and advanced users.

The Guide to Celestia is very far from complete. You can help by adding useful content. Members of the Celestia community are encouraged to be bold in editing this WikiBook to provide the additions and corrections needed to make it useful for themselves and others. Please share your knowledge here.

Icons indicate approximate development status.
Of course, all pages are subject to improvement at any time.

Wikibook Development Stages
Sparse text 0% Developing text 25% Maturing text 50% Developed text 75% Comprehensive text 100%

Using Celestia

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Currently, this section only contains basic explanations of how to use Celestia. If you would like more detail, please refer to Frank Gregorio's Celestia 1.6.1 User's Guide (also available as a PDF).

Getting Celestia to Run

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Exploring Celestia's Universe

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Understanding Celestia

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Enhancing Celestia

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The following reference pages will help you to add features and make Celestia easier to use in your environment.


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Customizing Celestia

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  • Specifying the Correct Time: TDB is not UTC


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Addon Tutorials for Beginners

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The following pages are for beginners. These are tutorials for creating different kinds of celestial bodies in Celestia.

  • Tutorials: a few things you should know before making addons for Celestia. 75% developed

1. Creating Solar System Objects

2. Creating Extrasolar Objects

  • Stars: Adding stars to Celestia. 75% developed
  • Star Systems: Adding binary stars and multiple star systems to Celestia. 75% developed
  • Exoplanets: Adding exoplanets to Celestia. 0% developed

3. Creating Deep-Sky Objects

  • Galaxies: Adding galaxies to Celestia. 0% developed
  • Globulars: Adding globular clusters to Celestia. 0% developed


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Celestia Web Sites

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Celestia Add-ons

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Note: the Motherlode and Celestial Matters (both hosted on ibiblio.org) went offline on 2020 August 27. As of December 22 the Motherlode is back online, but Celestial Matters is still unavailable.

Articles about Celestia

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