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How to add Comets and Asteroids to Stellarium
Submitted: Thursday, 2nd August 2012 by Jarrod Bennett

This article will explain how to add Comets and Asteroids to Stellarium.

I'm going to use Comet Garradd as an example as it was a must see comet at the time of writing this but it is just as easy to select any other object you like.

It is however important that you upgrade Stellarium to the latest release for it to work.

1. Press F2 to open the "configuration" window. Under the "Plugins" tab in the "Configuration" window, select "Solar System Editor". Under "options" at the bottom of the tab, click the "Configure" button.

2. A window for "Solar System; objects" will open. Under the "Solar System tab" of the "Solar System objects" window, click the "Import orbital elements in MPC format" button at the bottom of the tab.


3.An "import data" window will open.

Under the "lists" tab of the "Import data" window, Select the "type" as "comets"; select the "source" as "download a list of objects from the internet";

Under "or select from the list" click on "Select bookmark" and select "MPC's list of observable comets," and then click the button "get orbital elements."

4. A list of objects found will load.

Scroll down and check the box next to C/2009 Garradd, then click the "Add; objects". C/2009 Garradd will then be added to your solar system. Close the Solar System editor and Configuration window.

5. If you want to see where Garradd will be in the sky, you'll need to update your location and time.

6. Find Garradd. Press F3 to open the "Find object" window. Type in "C/2009 Garradd" and you should only see one choice "C/2009 Garradd" below the search box. Click the magnifying glass at the right of the search box to lock in on Garradd.

It will automatically give you a view of the sky where Garradd is located.

I hope that is easy enough to follow.


Article by Jarrod Bennett (JB80). Discuss this article on the IceInSpace Forum.

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