Celestia/DSC File

From Wikibooks, open books for an open world
Jump to: navigation, search


This is a brief description of the parameters recognized by Celestia v1.4.1 in DSC files (Deep Space Catalogs). DSC Galaxy functionality has undergone a substantial improvement when compared to the previous versions of Celestia.

A DSC catalog file can be used to describe three classes of objects: OpenCluster, Nebula or Galaxy.

A DSC object definition consists of its class, a quoted name, and its parameters enclosed in braces:

Class  "name" { ...parameters... }

List of Parameters[edit]


  • OpenCluster "name"
  • Nebula "name"
  • Galaxy "name"
  • GlobularCluster "name"


  • RA f, Dec f, Distance f


  • Position [f f f]


  • Axis [f f f]
  • Angle f


  • Radius f


  • InfoUrl "URL"


  • Mesh "filename"
  • Type "string"
  • CustomTemplate "filename"
  • AbsMag f or Appmag f

OpenCluster "name"[edit]

"name" is the name of the object. Multiple names can be speciied within the quotes if they're separated by colons (:). OpenCluster currently is used only to associate the specified "name" with a position in space. The members of an OpenCluster are defined separately in one or more .STC files or in stars.dat. The parameters used to define an OpenCluster are


A deep space object's position can be defined either by specifying a single position vector or by specifying its three astronomical coordinates.

  • Position [ f f f ]
    The position vector's [x y z ] coordinates are in Light Years, specifying a position in Celestia's Ecliptic J2000 "Universal" coordinate system
  • or

  • Distance number (default: 1.0) in LightYears
  • RA number (default: 0.0)

    Right Ascension in fractional Hours (unlike STC catalogs, which use fractional degrees)

  • Dec number (default: 0.0)

    Declination in fractional degrees

orientation (optional)[edit]

  • Axis 3 vector (default: [ 1.0 0.0 0.0] )
    a unit vector specifying the orientation of the object's axis in Celestia's Ecliptic J2000 "Universal" coordinate system
  • Angle number (default: 0.0 degrees)
    the amount the object is rotated around that Axis.


  • Radius number (default: 0.0) in Light Years.

information (optional)[edit]

  • InfoUrl "string"
    "string" should be the URL of a web page describing the object.

Nebula "name"[edit]

Places a glowing model at the specified position and orientation.
Uses all of the parameters used for OpenCluster plus the following:


  • Mesh "filename" (optional)
"filename" must be the name of a 3DS, CMS or CMOD model file which determines the Nebula's shape.
The model's internal material may require an associated PNG, JPG or DDS surface texture image file to be in the object's subdirectory /textures/medres to define the Nebula's coloration.
If Mesh is omitted, no object is drawn.

Galaxy "name"[edit]

Places a glowing image of a galaxy at the specified position and orientation
Uses all of the parameters used for OpenCluster plus the following:


  • Type "string"
"string" should be one of: S0,Sa,Sb,Sc,SBa,SBb,SBc,E0,E1,E2,E3,E4,E5,E6,E7,Irr
The Type is shown in Celestia's on-screen informational display. It also determines which PNG image in Celestia's Models directory is used to define the shape of the Galaxy's image.


  • CustomTemplate "filename" (optional)
"filename" must be a the name of a PNG image defining the shape of this Galaxy.


  • AppMag number


  • AbsMag number


  Nebula "M16" 
     Mesh "1995-44-a.3ds"
     Axis    [0.205007 -0.737927 -0.642989]
     Angle 146.298
     RA 18.31404
     Dec -13.8311
     Distance 7002
     Radius 3.45