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Webinar on Stellarium

What is Stellarium anyway? What can it do? How is it to use? What does it look like? Can I drive my telescope? Attend the webinar to find out.

This online dedicated webinar is meant to show what the Stellarium planetarium software can do. The computer application is surprisingly rich and powerful. We'll briefly show some of the commonly-used features and then take questions.

Fee: Free to all.


Webinar Overview 

Stellarium is a surprisingly powerful planetarium application available for Windows, Macintosh, and Linux computers. The free computer software can be used to learn the sky and plan astronomical observing sessions. If logging observations, it be used to corroborate and confirm celestial objects seen. Educators, presenters, and outreach volunteers may use the software for demonstrations, presentations, and What's Up discussions.

main screen in Stellarium planetarium software

We are referring to the full, popular software program for Windows, Mac, or Linux. It's available for free at:

We will briefly demonstrate and show the main features of Stellarium.

An open question-and-answer period will follow.

This is a webinar aimed at people interested in the Stellarium software, either completely new to the software, or with some limited exposure. I.e. beginners.

The Zoom webinar size is limited to 100 people.


What We'll Demonstrate

Stellarium for computers is feature-packed so we won't be able to cover everything. The webinar is meant to be light and fast. Still we will show as much of its capability as possible.

  • very realistic sky presentation, with our atmosphere, sunrises and sunsets, plus light pollution
  • realistic coloured stars, showing between 600,000 and 200 million stars, including those with exoplanets
  • some of the 80,000 to more than 1 million deep-sky objects
  • images of DSOs (full Messier catalogue)
  • constellations for over 20 different cultures around the world
  • asterisms and illustrations of the constellations
  • planets and their satellites, the ecliptic
  • a realistic Milky Way
  • artficial satellites above the Earth
  • simulated surroundings such as one's backyard with custom landscapes
  • unobstrusive graphical interface and extensive keyboard control
  • a handy search command
  • a powerful and rapid zooming
  • time controls for now, next week, next year, last night
  • simulated ocular and camera fields and frames
  • new calculation and planning features
  • expandability with plugins
  • and telescope control

Duration: about 30 to 40 minutes, for the demonstration proper. Then followed up an open Q&A session.



You need a device or computer to monitor our Zoom meeting session. This will be delivered via the RASC Toronto Centre Zoom account which accepts 100 viewers maximum. The Zoom meeting software is not technically required to watch the webinar. That said, we’ll be conducting a poll during the webinar and will encourage all to participate. If you want the Zoom meeting software, download and install it in advance. It is free.

As this is not a hands-on training session, you don't need a computer or the Stellarium software running.  

It is assumed participants have some minimal knowledge of astronomy, the sky, celestial objects and planets. We will not teach astronomical concepts. This is a software demonstration.

Bring your curiousity.


Who Should Attend

This course is intended for amateur astronomers who wish to gain a sense of what the computer-based Stellarium planetarium application can do and to see what it looks like. Little or no previous experience with Stellarium is assumed.

Visual astronomers may want to use Stellarium in planning observing sessions beforehand or during logging afterwards, to check what they saw. Some may want it at the telescope, in red light mode, to corroborate views. Imagers may use Stellarium to plan photography sessions, plan the framing of a target, and to identify objects discovered in the field of view.

Some astronomers want to drive their telescope go-to mount with Stellarium. With the appropriate cabling or wifi connections, necessary drivers, if required, Stellarium can slew to specific targets or a region of interest.

Presenters can use Stellarium to show what's happening in the sky now or in the next few weeks. It's easy to simulate day-time and night-time events, including conjunctions, eclipses. Volunteers involved in education and public outreach (EPO) or teachers may want to use Stellarium to show the sky and teach astronomical concepts. For the absolute beginners, Stellarium can help people learn the sky, learn star names and constellations, watch the night-by-night and seasonal movement of the Moon and planets. RASC members pursuing observing certificates may find Stellarium useful to planning sessions and tracking down targets.

Many astronomers can use Stellarium in a wide variety of scenarios.

It is assumed participants have some minimal knowledge of astronomy, the sky, celestial objects and planets.

After this webinar, people may be interested in taking our formal, instructor-led training courses to learn how to operate the software comfortable, quickly, and competently.


Upcoming Webinar Dates

Every once in a while, we will deliver this webinar to expose people to the Stellarium software for computers.

  • Monday 23 November 2020, 7:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada). Complete.
  • Wednesday 13 October 2021, 8:00 PM Eastern Time.

Duration: about 30 to 40 minutes. For the demonstration proper.

Question-and-answer period following the demo is open but no more than 60 minutes.

Presenter: Blake Nancarrow.



Registration is required.

Send an email to the Stellarium webinar adminstrator (stellarium AT rascto DOT ca)

You will receive the Zoom meeting ID code to allow access to the webinar.

Open to all people.



This will be delivered via the RASC Toronto Centre Zoom account which accepts 100 viewers maximum.

This webinar is not for the paid Stellarium app on smartphones or the Stellarium web app.

This is not a training course for Stellarium. To RASC members, we offer full training courses. In addition to this webinar demonstration with Q&A, we offer interactive, instructor-led training sessions at various levels, such as our introductory level 1 and intermediate level 2. See the training hub page for our 2-hour courses delivered by professional teachers.

Again, in the webinar, we’ll just be showing what the software can do. It will illustrate that Stellarium is rich, powerful, and fairly easy to use. Also, we're focusing on the tool; we're not teaching astronomical concepts.


Any questions? Contact the adminstrator (stellarium AT rascto DOT ca).

Return to the Stellarium Training Series hub.