Licence: Freeware
Version 1.6.1 | Release Date: 2011-06-12 | Download


Version 1.6.0 | Release Date: 2009-07-09 | Download

Bug fixes
* Fix to admit absolute directory notation in VT ImageDirectory
* Implemented encoding of special characters when saving cel URLs
* Fixed flickering of models with missing texture coordinates
* Fixed appearance non-ellipsoid star geometry in pre-OGL2 render paths
* Improved appearance of point stars when multisample antialiasing is enabled
* Fix for crash when viewing a star barycenter in an empty system
* Fixed off by one error assertion testing for number of lights used by shaders
* Windows: fixed UTF8 bugs in tour guide, star browser, and context menu
* Fixed crash bug that was triggerred by xyz and xyzv files with duplicate
* Fixed bug that caused dim stars in orbits distant from the primary to not
be drawn.
* Fixed strange appearance of cloud textures at times in the distant
* Fixed memory leak in multiview handling
* Fixed ambient light in the ARB shader path
* Fixed bugs in comet rendering (corrects overbright coma)
* Fixed code to compile without errors with gcc 4.3; fixed some warnings
* Fixed g++ compier errors in cmodfix tool
* Fixed search path for Lua scripts
* Fixed numerous bugs that occurred when an object's orbit center was different
* Fixed a bug in the celx function celestia:getscreendimension
* Fixed bug with returning Hubble type for galaxies
* Eliminated error-prone min/max macros; use STL functions instead
* Fixed discrepancy between apparent magnitudes shown in the 3D view and
the star browser.
* Change "Day Length" string to the correct and more general term "Rotation
* Show 'planetary companions' message for stellar barycenters (instead of
just stars.)
* Improved location drawing so that location labels can be occluded by
foreground objects.

Data file updates
* Implemented data base globulars.dsc with all known 150 globulars around the Milky Way
* Renamed galaxy database deepsky.dsc into galaxies.dsc
* Implemented SIMBAD compatible cross-listing for globular clusters
* Updated Iapetus texture based on a new Ciclops map from Oct 2008
* Significant update of the database on binary orbits, including SIMBAD
compatibility of barycenter nomenclature and alternative names
* Updated the near stars catalog
* Updated texture for Mercury; includes imagery from MESSENGER
* Updated textures for some Saturnian moons: Tethys, Dione, Mimas,
Enceladus, and Rhea
* Added CHARM2 catalog of measured stellar radii
* Added model of asteroid Itokawa
* Regenerated star catalog using the new reduction of the HIPPARCOS data
* Cassini updates:
- Updated Cassini trajectory to include extended mission
- Switched to using xyz+velocity files for a more accurate trajectory
- Separated Cassini mission into cruise and orbital phases
- Improved appearance of Huygens separation from Cassini
* Added IAU rotational elements for most major solar system bodies
* Made visible the orbit and label for Pluto-Charon barycenter
* Correctly centered Galileo spacecraft
* Rebuilt cross-indices from SIMBAD data
* Added alternative names for many solar system bodies (e.g. preliminary
designations for asteroids in addition to proper names.)
* Updated extrasolar planet catalog with discoveries made up to Apr 2009
* Changed class of Pluto, Ceres, Eris, ... to dwarf planet
* Changed class of small outer planet moons to minormoon
* Included new and updated solar system body features from the IAU
* Added provisional rotation period for Eris

* Added Perl script globulars.pl used to extract the globular data from scientific publications and as documentation
* Added spice2xyzv tool for extracting xyzv files from a pool of SPICE kernels
* Added Perl script to build cross-indices
* Added Perl script to generate CHARM2 catalog
* Added Perl script to build star database

Platform-specific changes
* Mac OS X: Fixed rerun script menu item
* Mac OS X: fixed issue with some checkbox settings not getting saved properly
* Mac OS X: Fixed potential crash in eclipse finder if the user specified
an object that wasn't a planet or moon
* Mac OS X: Fixed keyboard shortcuts not working when GL window not frontmost
* Mac OS X: eliminated beep when clicking splash screen on multi-core machines
* Mac OS X: fixed compiler warnings, removed -fpermissive flag
* Mac OS X: Refactored Mac disk image build into separate target, made default
builds more efficient.
* Mac OS X: Fixed bug where time zone was ignored when setting time zone
* Mac OS X: look for user config file in ~/.celestia.cfg
* Mac OS X: Fixed blank names for location bookmarks
* Mac OS X & Windows: Added texture resolution setting to GUI
* BSD: Fixed tm_zone handling
* Linux: Install scripts at during "make install"
* Linux: Added workaround for broken include_x11 define from acinclude.m4
* Linux: Updated admin directory to KDE 3.5.10, regenerated acinclude.m4
* Linux: Added the missing menu entries related to globulars for KDE version
* Linux: Added globular and grid selection options in GTK interface

* Added Polish translation
* Added Lithuanian translation
* Added Romanian translation of constellation names
* Mac OS X: Japanese localation of eclipse finder added
* Added Chinese localization
* Localize surface names in alternate surfaces menu
* Prevented English name 'Milky Way' from being displayed when a translated
version is present.
* Extended localization to DSO and star names

* Added light from secondary sources (i.e. "planetshine")
* Implemented depth sorting for markers so that they are correctly occluded
by foreground objects.
* Implemented code package rendering globular clusters
* Implemented new cel URL version with observer position and orientation stored
in frame coordinates (for forward compatibility)
* Added a long term (+-5000 centuries) precession model for Earth based on
work by Jan Vondrak
* Improved celestial coordinate grids:
- Added new grid types: ecliptic, horizontal, and galactic
- Made grid resolution adapt to the field of view
- Positioned coordinate labels at edges of field of view
* Added animated selection indicator
- Switches to direction pointer when the selection is off screen
- Changes color when the selected object is occluded
* Implemented more flexible system for reference marks and added new
reference marks:
- Planetographic grid
- Terminator
- VisibleRegion
* Enabled display of the phase angle for the currently selected object
* Improved eclipse rendering: correctly calculate depth and umbra radius
for eclipses.
* Improved star handling code so that stars can be placed more than 16k light
years from Earth.
* Switched to using sd prefix for hot subdwarfs per arXiv:0805.2567v1
* Added symbols for locations

Add-on features:
* Added SemiAxes property for ssc objects, which allows triaxial ellipsoid
geometry for solar system objects like Haumea and Mimas.
* Added new boolean properties for ssc/stc/dsc objects: Visible and Clickable
* Added new classes for solar system objects: dwarfplanet, minormoon,
surfacefeature, component, and diffuse
* Implemented Modify and Replace dispositions for star catalogs
* Added SPICE rotation model, allowing the orientation of an ssc object to
be controlled by a SPICE frame.
* SPICE orbit improvements:
- Allow multiple kernels to be specified for a SPICE orbit
- Automatically calculate start and end times when possible
* Added Timeline, which allows multiple frame, trajectory, and rotation
models for a single ssc object.
* Implemented CustomRotation, the rotation model analogue of CustomOrbit
* Added support for InfoURL for stars (already exists for deep sky objects and
solar system objects)
* Improved SampledTrajectory to handle files with positions and velocities
* Added LabelColor property for locations
* Implemented new Topocentric frame (a simplified two vector frame for placing
objects on the surface of a planet.)
* Added support for premultiplied alpha blend mode in cmod files
* Extended FixedPosition to support spherical coordinates as well as
cartesian coordinates.
* Added FixedAttitude rotation model, with more intuitive paramters for
* Added new SurfaceObject type for ssc files--like an ordinary body except
with different default frames that make it easy to position an object on
the surface of a planet.
* Added CloudShadowDepth property for atmospheres
* Improved control over mesh scaling with NormalizeMesh and MeshScale
properties for ssc objects.
* Added new locations types: eruptive center, insula (islands), and
tholus (domical hills and mountains)
* Added support for comment headers in xyz and xyzv files

Code optimization and reorganization
* Reimplemented observer frames in terms of Celestia 1.5.0 frames
* Improved performance of complex frames by caching last calculated orientation
* Added velocity method for all classes derived from Orbit
* Added angularVelocity method for rotation models
* Optimized solar system rendering by maintaining a bounding sphere hierarchy
* Switched to using 2 64-bit integers for storing high precision coordinates;
simplifies code and improves performance of operations using high precision
coordinates (dramatically on 64-bit systems)
* Optimized creation of render lists

* Celx scripting functions:
- object:addreferencemark, object:removereferencemark
- object:visible, object:setvisible, object:catalognumber
- object:setorbitcolor, object:orbitcoloroverridden, object:setorbitcoloroverridden
- object:orbitvisibility, object:setorbitvisibility
- object:locations (returns an iterator over all the locations associated with an object)
- new phase object type (for timeline phases)
- permit any X11 color name
- observer:makeactiveview
- showconstellations, hideconstellations, setconstellationcolor
- getlabelcolor, getlinecolor
- getsystemtime, ispaused
- gettextureresolution, settextureresolution
- windowbordersvisible, setwindowbordersvisible
* Split celx scripting support into several modules
* Cel scripting
- splitview, deleteview, singleview, setactiveview
- setgalaxylightgain
- setradius
- setlinecolor
- setlabelcolor
- settextureresolution
* Made the package library (except loadlib) available for celx scripting
regardless of the ScriptSystemAccessPolicy setting
* Added an "AddonPath" value that is available to a ScriptedOrbit or
ScriptedRotation when it is created.
* Pass control modifier to Lua keyboard handlingfunctions

* Bound P and M keys to toggle dwarf planet and minor moon labels
* Bound U and E keys to toggle globular clusters and globular cluster labels
* Group reference mark menu items in a separate submenu
* Changed star name lookup priority in stc parser: check proper names before
cross indices.
* Eliminated R and Shift+R key bindings for changing texture resolution
* Added new leap second 31-Dec-2008 23:59:60

* Removed obsolete 'LabelledStars' section from standard celestia.cfg
* Updated README: removed obsolete sections, reorganized credits, added
information application to 1.6.0
* Purged out of date controls documentation
* Reorganized spacecraft add-ons in standard package

Version 1.5.1 | Release Date: 2008-05-04 | Download
  • Added fonts for Russian, Chinese, and Japanese
  • Updated translations
  • Fixed date formatting for non-UTF8 locales
  • Fixed crash for dates prior to JD -1.5 when local format is used
  • Fixed star rendering for Macs with ATI graphics hardware (worked around
    a driver bug in point sprite support.)
  • Fixed star glare clipping bug
  • Fixed bug that caused some stars to be drawn untextured
  • Fixed faster/slower options in the Windows time menu to adjust time by
    10x instead of 2x
  • Fixed translation of time acronyms DST and STD
  • Use localized versions of start script, guide, demo, license, and controls
    file from locale directory
  • Fixed Windows 98/ME input problem; most keyboard commands weren't working on
    the OSes.
  • Made Lua os functions available from celx scripts when access policy is "ask"
Version 1.5.0 | Release Date: 2008-01-27 | Download

Improved rendering:
- Support for specular textures an normal maps for meshes
- Display of eclipse shadows cast onto meshes
- Per-pixel specular lighting for higher-quality specular highlights, i.e. fewer tessellation artifacts. This is especially noticeable with low polygon models with specular materials.
- Normal maps and specular materials can now be applied at the same time, for 'bumpy-shiny' effects
- Simulated scattering, for much more realistic rendering of planetary atmospheres.
- Lunar-Lambert photometric model for more realistic rendering of dust covered bodies such as the moon.
- Support for compressed normal maps; eliminates the need to use huge amounts of texture memory for high quality normal maps.

  • Flexible reference frames
    - Celestia now supports flexible reference frames for specifying object trajectories and orientations. This makes it easier to import new objects into Celestia that have orbits defined in some reference frame other than the default ones enforced in 1.4.1.
    - New reference frames:
    - J2000Ecliptic: defined by the ecliptic and equinox of J2000.0. This
    is the default for objects orbiting stars. It may now be specified for
    other objects as well.
    - J2000Equator: defined by the Earth equator and ecliptic of J2000.0.
    - MeanEquator: reference frame defined by the equator of some arbitrary
    object. This was previously the default and only reference frame available
    for solar system bodies that didn't directly orbit stars.
    - BodyFixed: a reference frame that rotates with smoe specified object
    - TwoVector: a flexible system for defining reference frames based on two
    vectors, either a constant vector, object-to-object direction, or
    velocity vector. Useful for local attitude frames (among other things.)
    - Separate reference frames may be defined for the position and orientation
    of an object. As an example, it may be useful to specify the trajectory of
    an Earth-orbiting satellite in an Earth equatorial frame while its attitude
    is specified in an LVLH frame.
    - A new solar system object called a ReferencePoint is available. This is
    useful for defining the origin of a reference frame that doesn't happen
    to lie at the center of a planet, moon, or spacecraft.
  • New trajectory types:
    - FixedPosition: For placing an object at a fixed point within its reference
    - ScriptedOrbit: Allows the position of an object to be controlled by a Lua
    - SampledTrajectory: A more flexible version of SampledOrbit, with the option
    to specify single or double precision and cubic or linear interpolation.
  • New rotation models:
    - In previous versions of Celestia, all objects rotated uniformly about a
    single axis (with optional precession about the z-axis.) Celestia 1.5.0
    introduces the concept of a generic rotation model, which is some function
    that specifies the orientation of an object over time.
    - Rotation models available in Celestia 1.5.0:
    - FixedRotation: For an object with an orientation that remains fixed
    within its reference frame. This was a notable omission in older version
    of Celestia.
    - UniformRotation: Describes a rotation of a constant rate about a fixed
    - PrecessingRotation: UniformRotation plus a precession rate.
    - SampledOrientation: Analagous to SampledOrbit for position.
    SampledOrientation specifies a file of time tagged quaternions which
    are interpolated to give the orientation of an object.
    - ScriptedRotation: Allows the orientation of an object to be controlled
    by a Lua script.
  • Galaxies:
    - Catalog improvements:
    - Included the complete local group of galaxies.
    - Updated catalog so that nearly 100% of galaxies now have distances.
    - Added support for custom galaxy templates; created a custom Milky Way
    template with all known galactic arms.
    - Improved appearance of Milky Way as seen from Earth.
    - Accelerated loading of large catalog files by using an improve name index
    (measured over 100x performance increase for 100k+ object catalogs)
    - Implemented distance-based fading of labels.
  • Data file updates:
    - Extrasolar planets: added about 50 recently discovered extrasolar planets,
    and revised orbits of known ones based on new data.
    - Solar System: Added newly discovered outer planet satellites and names
    - Locations: Added new IAU names for features on planets, moons, and asteroids.
    - Near stars: Updated near star catalog with latest data from RECONS
    - Binary stars: Updated the binary orbit data in visual and spectroscopic binary
    catalogs, and included scripts that document the extraction of information
    in scientific data sets for use in Celestia star catalogs.
    - A new set of higher resolution textures was added for the Moon and several
    satellites of Saturn.
  • CELX Scripting improvements:
    - OpenGL drawing commands allow scripts to display custom graphics on screen.
    - ScriptedOrbits and ScriptedRotations provide hooks for objects to be
    positioned and oriented with scripts.
    - The Lua hook mechanism gives CELX scripts the ability to handle mouse,
    keyboard, and tick events.
    - Many other CELX functions to enable scripts to accomplish much of what
    used to be possible only by modifying the Celestia source code.
    - Scripts may now be loaded quickly from the new Scripts menu.
    - Updated CELX interpreter from Lua 5.0 to Lua 5.1
  • Accuracy
    - Established Barycentric Dynamical Time (TDB) as the time scale used
    internally by Celestia.
    - Established the origin of Celestia's coordinate system as the Solar System
    Barycenter and the reference frame as J2000 ecliptical.
    - Fixed support for JPL ephemerides. It is now posible to use the JPL
    DE405 and DE406 ephemerides whenever extremely accurate positions for
    the Moon and planets are required.
    - Added an orbit for the Sun around the solar system barycenter
  • SPICE support:
    Celestia can now use extremely accurate planet orbits and spacecraft
    trajectories available in SPICE SPK files from JPL.
  • Orbit rendering
    - Orbits are now properly depth sorted with respect to other solar system
    objects. They are no longer improperly drawn in front of objects that they
    are behind, and vice versa.
    - The jittering of orbit paths viewed at close distances has been reduced
    - Cubic splines are used to reduce the appearance of sharp angles in between
    orbit segments. This also has the effect of placing the rendered orbit path
    much closer to the the actual orbit path.
    - Star orbit paths are now shown, and may be toggled on and off indepently
    of the orbits for other objects.
  • Translation:
    - Windows version finally supports multiple languages
    - New translations: Ukrainian, Russian, Arabic, Dutch, Chinese, Korean,
    - All other languages updated
    - Added translations for constellations names.
  • Miscellaneous
    - Added dynamic star labeling
    - Added support for labeled markers and new marker symbols
    - Enhanced InfoURLs so that they can refer to local files.
    - Added the capability to show reference vectors for objects, including
    frame axes, body axes, velocity vector, and sun direction.
    - Made label and line colors customizable via script.
    - Bound Shift+K and Shift+L to reduce or increase the time rate by a
    factor of 2.
  • Annoying bugs fixed:
    - Fixed the video recording rate on Windows
    - Bad calculation of specular exponent when loading 3DS models. This caused
    models with specular materials to look very different in Celestia than they
    did in 3D modeling software.
    - Fixed precision problems that caused location labels to disappear and
    jitter at close range.
    - Implemented more robust handling of script errors so that they don't
    cause Celestia to crash.
    - Allow scripts to run before the first frame is rendered so that they can
    set the starting observer position.
    - Switched to double precision for rotation and precession periods; among
    other things, this keeps synchronous rotators from drifting out of sync.
    - Implemented adaptive tesselation for comet tails based on their size on
    screen. This makes comet tails appear smooth when seen up close.
    - Clamped the simulation time to prevent going too far into the past or future.
    - Fixed the cmod loader to work properly on 64-bit systems. A nasty bug was
    preventing 64-bit Linux versions of Celestia from displaying spacecraft.
    - Fixed problems with the displayed time rate getting out of sync with the
    actual time rate.
Version 1.4.1 | Release Date: 2006-07-11 | Download
No changes specified