I'm interested lately in Stellarium and the functionalities which it provides especially scripting. I want to make a simulation that shows the celestial sphere with some planets like Venus, Mars, and the Pole-star.

I would make a kind of animation that starts from a departure point (France) and arrives in (Canada), but in this animation, I couldn't figure out how to synchronise between time and position (Supposing that I'm travelling to Canada at a fixed speed like in a vessel).

I've already looked for some examples in the scripts folder and I read the documentation and I found that I can use setObserverLocation() and maybe setDate() but I don't know to synchronise between both of them to make the animation realistic.

  • $\begingroup$ You'd need to find equally spaced points on the great circle between France and Canada, and then set the times based on your speed. Finding these points isn't difficult, but I'm not sure it's actually an astronomy question, and it's probably too simple for gis.SE -- I'll look into it, but consider trying stackoverflow.com $\endgroup$
    – user21
    Feb 11, 2017 at 4:25

1 Answer 1


This doesn't really answer your question, but may help you get started. If you run https://github.com/barrycarter/bcapps/blob/master/STACK/bc-stell-travel.pl and follow the instructions at https://github.com/barrycarter/bcapps/blob/master/STACK/README you can create a video similar to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_4ej5rfYm4A but higher quality (youtube lowers the quality of uploaded videos).

With the default settings, it's a ~6 hour Mach 1 flight from Menton, France to Rampart House, YT Canada starting at 2017-02-10 at 00:00:00 GMT at approximately 120x regular speed.

The only vaguely interesting things about the default flight:

  • Since the flight goes fairly far north, you can see Polaris rising in the Northern sky for most of the flight.

  • Since you traveling westwards fairly quickly, once you get far north enough, the stars go "backwards": they rise in the west and set in the east.


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