STELLARIUM STAR CATALOG MANUAL INSTALLATION INSTRUCTIONS
Many people, myself included, find the Stellarium automatic star catalog downloader and installer to be very problematic. It virtually never completes the download, especially of the larger files. And, partially downloaded files can not be resumed, but have to be restarted from the beginning - only to continue failing repeatedly. It is generally much easier to download star catalogs through the browser, where failed downloads can be resumed, then install the files manually.
The following instructions are based on the latest portable version of Stellarium 0.19.11, which is compatible with 32-bit and 64-bit W7, 8, and 10 machines with at least 4 GB of RAM.The portable version of the program is used instead of the installed version because installation and user sub-directories are not separated, but reside in the same directory / folder. If you wish to use an instaled version of Stellarium, please see the following link for Stellarium folder and directory structure:
You might have to change explorer settings so you can view system files, hidden files, and file extensions. Also, necessary editing of the “starsConfig.JSON” file will be more confusing.
The latest portable version of Stellarium can be downloaded here:
The downloaded file named “StellariumPortable_0.19.1.1.paf.exe” is a self-extracting executable file. Move it to the Desktop where it is easily accessible, and double click on it. It will install a [StellariumPortable] folder on the Desktop. Open the [StellariumPortable] folder to see the following content:
[App] folder contains Stellarium programs.
[Data] folder contains user data with saved configuration files, which are now in the default condition.
[Other] folder containing irrelevant data
help.html file, and
StellariumPortable.exe file which launches Stellarium.
If you use the Stellarium automatic star catalog downloader and installer, successfully downloaded and installed star catalogs will be found at the following path:
[StellariumPortable] / [Data] / [Stellarium] / [stars] / [default] / ...
At this stage, the [default] folder should be empty except for the “starsConfig.JSON” file which is in the default condition.
I strongly recommend that you do NOT try to use the automatic star catalog downloader and installer.
After initial installation, Stellarium contains 4 catalogs of the brightest stars down to magnitude 10.5. The catalogs are located at the following path:
[StellariumPortable] / [App] / [Stellarium] / [stars] / [default] / :
In the same folder is a file named “defaultStarsConfig.JSON”. It basically tells the program which star catalogs are available for use. As you add more catalogs, you will need to minimally edit this file with Notepad.
Download the latest versions of Star Catalog files 4 through 8 here:
For this version of Stellarium, you will need the following (latest) star catalog versions:
Move the file to this destination:
[StellariumPortable] / [App] / [Stellarium] / [stars] / [default] / stars_4_1v0_2.cat
With NOTEPAD open the file “defaultStarsConfig.JSON” which is in the same folder.
Scroll down to the following section:
"magRange": [10.5, 12],
Change the value of “checked”: false to “checked”: true
Be careful. There is a single space after the colon.
Close the .JSON file, saving changes.
Repeat the process for other star catalog files.
When done, you can move the [StellariumPortable] folder to any location on your hard drive, external hard drive, or flash drive, and create a Desktop link and a Start Menu link to:
[StellariumPortable] / StellariumPortable.exe