Stellarium (software)

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Original author(s)Fabien Chéreau
Developer(s)Alexander Wolf
Georg Zotti
Marcos Cardinot
Guillaume Chéreau
Bogdan Marinov
Timothy Reaves
Florian Schaukowitsch
Initial release2001
Stable release
24.1[1] / March 25, 2024
(15 days ago)
Written inC++ (Qt)
Operating systemLinux, Windows, macOS
PlatformPC, Mobile
Size345 MB (Linux tarball)
261 MB (Windows 32-bit installer)
265 MB (Windows 64-bit installer)
243 MB (macOS package)
TypeEducational software
LicenseGNU GPLv2[2] Edit this on Wikidata

Stellarium is a free and open-source planetarium, licensed under the terms of the GNU General Public License version 2 or any later version, available for Linux, Windows, and macOS. A port of Stellarium called Stellarium Mobile is available for Android, iOS, and Symbian as a paid version, being developed by Noctua Software. These have a limited functionality, lacking some features of the desktop version. All versions use OpenGL to render a realistic projection of the night sky in real time.[citation needed]

Stellarium was featured on SourceForge in May 2006 as Project of the Month.[3]


In 2006, Stellarium 0.7.1 won a gold award in the Education category of the Les Trophées du Libre free software competition.[4]

A modified version of Stellarium has been used by the MeerKAT project as a virtual sky display showing where the antennae of the radiotelescope are pointed.[5]

In December 2011, Stellarium was added as one of the "featured applications" in the Ubuntu Software Center.[6]

Planetarium dome projection[edit]

The fisheye and spherical mirror distortion features allow Stellarium to be projected onto domes. Spherical mirror distortion is used in projection systems that use a digital video projector and a first surface convex spherical mirror to project images onto a dome. Such systems are generally cheaper than traditional planetarium projectors and fish-eye lens projectors and for that reason are used in budget and home planetarium setups where projection quality is less important.[citation needed]

Various companies which build and sell digital planetarium systems use Stellarium, such as e-Planetarium.[7][non-primary source needed]

Digitalis Education Solutions, which helped develop Stellarium, created a fork called Nightshade which was specifically tailored to planetarium use.[8][9][non-primary source needed]


VirGO is a Stellarium plugin, a visual browser for the European Southern Observatory (ESO) Science Archive Facility which allows astronomers to browse professional astronomical data. It is no longer supported or maintained; the last version was 1.4.5, dated January 15, 2010.[10][non-primary source needed]

Stellarium Mobile[edit]

Stellarium Mobile is a fork of Stellarium, developed by some of the Stellarium team members. It currently targets mobile devices running Symbian, Maemo, Android, and iOS. Some of the mobile optimisations have been integrated into the mainline Stellarium product.[11][non-primary source needed][dead link]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Wolf, Alexander (March 25, 2024). "v24.1". GitHub. Retrieved March 25, 2024.
  2. ^ "~stellarium/stellarium/trunk : contents of COPYING at revision 9976".
  3. ^ "Project of the Month – May 2006 – Stellarium". SourceForge. May 2006. Retrieved September 25, 2008.
  4. ^ "The third Free Software Awards placed under the sign of the international". Les Trophées du Libre 2006 website (in French). Archived from the original on December 21, 2008. Retrieved February 16, 2009.
  5. ^ "Virtual sky display in MeerKAT control room". Archived from the original on April 23, 2012. Retrieved June 16, 2012.
  6. ^ "Software Centre app picks for December". Ubuntu App Developer. December 14, 2011. Archived from the original on June 26, 2012. Retrieved June 16, 2012.
  7. ^ "Stellarium Planetarium Software". E-Planetarium website. Archived from the original on December 1, 2008. Retrieved February 15, 2009.
  8. ^ "Nightshade Astronomy Simulation Software". Digitalis Education Solutions official website. Retrieved January 11, 2010.
  9. ^ "Nightshade Astronomy Simulator". Nightshade official website. Retrieved January 11, 2010.
  10. ^ "VirGO, The Visual Archive Browser". ESO Science Archive Facility. Retrieved November 21, 2012.
  11. ^ "Stellarium Mobile". Noctua Software. Archived from the original on March 14, 2014. Retrieved March 14, 2014.

External links[edit]