How to add more stars (SAO, HD, TYC, etc.)

The place to discuss creating, porting and modifying Celestia's source code.
Topic author
Posts: 2
Joined: 01.01.2018
With us: 1 year 9 months

How to add more stars (SAO, HD, TYC, etc.)

Post #1by CU1500 » 01.01.2018, 19:03

I am a new member of this forum and would like to know how to "add" or "create" a new catalog of stars to Celestial. Thanks :)

Posts: 194
Joined: 26.09.2017
With us: 2 years

Post #2by LukeCEL » 02.01.2018, 20:29

The Celestia Motherlode has a full catalog of TYC stars, which you can download here. Installation instructions are included.

Added after 12 minutes 14 seconds:
Note: The stars in the HD and SAO catalog are mostly contained in the TYC catalog. But, the add-on doesn't include cross-indices with all those new names, so if you you can't look up "HD 2", only "TYC 3660-43-1".

Posts: 10069
Joined: 04.09.2002
With us: 17 years 1 month
Location: NY, USA

Post #3by selden » 02.01.2018, 20:44


Stars can be added to Celestia using plain-text files called "STar Catalogs". They have a .STC "file type". Examples are in Celestia's data directory. A detailed description of the format is in the Celestia Wikibook at

Very large STC files can take a while to load, so if you want to add more than a few thousand stars, you'll need to learn how to create a replacement binary catalog "stars.dat". At the moment, the best documentation is in the Perl script used to create it from Hipparcos catalog. See

Return to “Development”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: 30 guests