Adding a comet to Stellarium with the Solar System Editor plug-in

Created by Bogdan Marinov on on 2011-08-26
Keywords:

An explanation about how to enable the Solar System Editor plug-in and add a comet, for example C/2010 X1 (Elenin):

1. Get the latest Stellarium, 0.11.0 (version 0.10.6 will also do, but its bookmarks are out of date because the Minor Planet Center changed their website)

2. Enable the Solar System editor plug-in if it hasn't been enabled:
2.1. Open the "Configruation window" and go to "Plugins";
2.2. Select "Solar System Editor" in the left column (the plug-in's description should appear);
2.3. If the "load at startup" box is not checked, check it and restart Stellarium.

3. Go to the same plug-in screen, select the same plug-in and click on the "configure" button.

4. In the window that opens, go to the "Solar System" tab, then click on the "Import elements in MPC format window".

5. In the window that opens, select "Comets", then "Download a list of objects from the internet".
5.1. If you are using 0.10.6, copy this URL to the "URL" box: http://www.minorplanetcenter.net/iau/Ephemerides/Comets/Soft00Cmt.txt
5.2. If you are using 0.11.0, just select "MPC's list of observable comets" from the bookmarks list.

6. Click the "Get orbital elements" button and wait for the file to be downloaded.

7. After it has finished downloading, it should display a list of comets. Find the comet(s) you want to add in the list, check the checkbox in front of it and click the "Add objects" button. (In this case, look for "C/2010 X1 (Elenin)". In future versions, you will be able to search/filter the list.)

After the comet has been added, you can find it in the "Search" window: start typing the name of the comet for it to appear in the list of suggestions. The name should be written in the same way as it was displayed in the list, for example "C/2010 X1" (without the quotation marks, of course).