Stellarium Logo - stellarium.org

Workshop Originally Presented at NCTIES 2010 - Friday @9:15

Re-presented on 4/26/10 @ Stanly County Schools Technology Night
Ben Davis

Ashley Bullock

21st Century Skills Facilitator
Stanly County Schools

21st Century Skills Facilitator
Stanly County Schools



Workshop Outline:


  • Participants of this workshop will have a basic understanding of the features and navigation of the software, but more importantly a vision for how it can be integrated into the curriculum.
  • Through a hands on experience, the spark of imagination and wonder into the universe around us will be lit as the skills necessary for successful classroom exploration are learned.

Tutorials and Instructions and Resources

For this workshop you will need an installed version of Stellarium. It is a free download from www.stellarium.org
Teacher Guide: CLICK HERE to download the USER GUIDE from stellarium.org

Step 1: Setting your Location

This video segment demonstrates where to start with setting up the program.

To set the location within your program, select the top icon "Location" on the pop-out window of the left hand side. Picture_7.png
With the Location Window open, you can use the computer mouse to select a location on the map. Using the scroll wheel you can zoom in to get a more precise location. Another method would be to search for your city using the search bar in the top right of the window. When you find your location be sure to set it as the Default Location.

If you know your latitude and longitude you can enter it directly in the lower left area.

To see what the sky would look like at any point in time, the Date & Time window. Picture_11.png
This tool is better for making large changes in the time. For hourly control, use the time advance tool on the bottom pop-out tray.

Step 2: Navigation

Take a look at the following video segment that provides a run down of the navigation tools.

Navigating Stellarium can be done with either the mouse or the keyboard. Clicking and Dragging the mouse will spin the sky around. Objects in the sky can be selected with a click and then zoomed in on using the wheel. Using the arrow keys on the keyboard will spin the night sky around and then holding the page up / page down button will zoom in and out. Once you get where you are looking it is important to hold that position. Remember that the Earth is constantly rotating on its axis and the program replicates that. To "Lock" the "Telescope" on your object, select it and press the space bar. The view will track with that object as it traverses the sky.
Here is a list of keyboard shortcuts


Step 3: Searching

If you know what you are looking for, then a search for it can be the best way to find it. To search for a known object, click the magnifying glass on the left side pop-out menu.

Then type the name of the object you are looking for and select search or press enter. Common names may work or NGC numbers as well as a few other naming conventions
Here is a list of interesting items that can be seen with darks skys and a basic telescope. http://seds.org/messier/